THE City of Mountain Biking, Pietermaritzburg, discovered another hidden gem as the virgin trails of Intaba Ridge were revealed at the inaugural Intaba Ridge MTB Classic and Trail Runs last weekend.
Shaun Peshl blistered through the 40 km course in a time of 1:31:57 to take the win ahead of a strong challenge from Warren Price and Craig Stone. Jackie Moore took a clean win of the women’s race in 1:47:41 while Julia Colvin placed second ahead of Carol Reeves. Multisporter Gareth Harrington claimed the 20 km MTB race, having placed second in the 12 km trail run earlier in the day.
John Densham was second man home with Tracey Wood showing up the men in third place overall. Racing was intense in the 10 km MTB ride amongst the Nippers with Connor Holdsworth taking the win ahead of Ryan Wilde and Seth Price. Terri Eayrs was the first women home.
The 12 km and six kilometre trail runs were treated to a spectacular African bushveld sunrise as they took off to a fresh start at 7 am. Respected triathlete Donovan van Gelder paced it out with Harrington to take the win with Carl Folscher third. Top SA Junior 800 metre track runner Gena Lofstrand made light work of winning the six kilometre Trail Run.
Proceeds raised from the event will go towards re-introducing oribi to Intaba Ridge through the Endangered Wildlife Trust. This indicator species was found in the area in abundance but numbers have gradually dwindled.
Mountain bikers will be excited to hear that Intaba Ridge will host a weekly “open trail” on a Wednesday afternoon for those looking for some training in a safe, secure and scenic environment. Details to be posted on www.intabaridge.co.za
40km MTB Classic, Men overall:
S Peschl 1h31.57, W Price 1h32.26, C Stone 1h32.57. Women overall: J Moore 1h47.41, J Colvin 1h53.02, C Reeves 1h55.57.
20km MTB: Men – G Harrington 1h03.34, J Densham 1h06.25, D Wood 1h13.47.
Women – T Wood 1h13.42, L Drummond 1h20.41, C Smith 1h23.33.
10km MTB: Men – C Holdsworth 44:21, R Wilde 45:45, S Price 50:56. Women: T Eayrs 55:24.
HILL AND CHURCH WIN COMPENDIUM MTB DERBY
A slight drizzle didn’t deter the 1 000-plus mountain bikers who took part in the third annual Compendium MTB Derby last weekend. The race proved to be a perfect test of mountain biking skill and fitness, with Andrew Hill winning with flying colours.
The 47 km event was run through Giba Gorge and then onto the Summerveld circuit and Hill managed to open a small lead over Luke Roberts by the time the riders returned to the start at Shongweni after the first half of the course. From there it was a case of the two leaders time trialling against each other with Hill slowly extending his lead to take the win in a time of 1:53:11. Carl Calverly came third ahead of Warren Price and Justin Porteous. In the women’s race, Jackie Church proved too strong for Jackie Moore and took the win in a time of 2:20:53, just less than five minutes ahead of Moore.
EXCITING MTB RACING HEATS UP CHILLY PE NATIONALS
The third round of the CSA-MTB National Cup Series took place at Addo near Port Elizabeth last weekend. Taking the Pro-elite men’s XCO race was KZN’s U23 rider Luke Roberts (RE:CM), who completed his six laps of the 5,5 km course in a time of 01:38:38. Eastern Cape rider Jason Meaton (Coaches Corner), also in the U23 category, finished over two minutes later.
Winning the junior men’s race was KZN’s Patrick Belton (Team Jeep), who dominated the race from the start and finished five laps in a commanding time of 1:24:56. He finished just under three minutes ahead of second place Paul Rodenbach with Dylan Hattingh rounding out the podium.
The only Pro-elite woman to race at the third leg of the Nationals was Team Jeep’s Angela Egeland (KZN). The U23 rider clocked 1:35:08 for her four laps.
The junior women’s race was close, with Linda van Wyk walking away with top honours in 1:06:24. Second place saw Nicole Erasmus (Western Cape) finish just nine seconds ahead of KZN’s Savannah Vosloo (BMC SA), in 1:08:36.
Although not a big field, with many of our downhill riders campaigning overseas at the moment, up-and-coming Alasdair Fey (Maverick) from KZN took top honours in his first year as an Elite rider in two minutes 50,6 seconds, nudging Western Cape’s Jonty Neethling into second place (02:51,16). KZN’s Kyle Davids and Samuel Bull (both Team Jeep) were the second and third juniors home respectively, finishing fifth and sixth overall.
Many of the XCO and DHI categories are still there for the taking, leaving the series championship wide open. The fourth and final round takes place in Pietermartizburg from June 22 to 24.
Mountain bikers and runners are promised a weekend fuelled with top shelf events with the fourth event in the ROAG Series, The Lizzard Howick MTB Classic presented by Sappi and an all-time favourite family event, the Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge.
The 2012 edition of the Lizzard Howick MTB Classic will be celebrating the 26th edition of this race.
The Howick Mountain Bike Club, an affiliate of Amarider, has delivered two longer race routes (the 20 km and 40 km), primarily traversing Sappi’s plantations for those who thrive on challenging mountain biking with plenty of single track. Two large “Chicken Runs” later on the route allow the weary bodies to make choices, which will be decisive in respect to who finishes ahead of whom
For the younger set, the 10 km river route provides a challenging race, along the Umgeni river conservancy area. The event starts at Howick High School from 8.30 am tomorrow morning with registration open from 5.30 am to 8.15 am.
Currently in line to win the R20 000 ROAG Series Prize money is Carl Calverley in the overall men’s category and Natalie Bergstrom in the women’s category. This weekend sees the Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge taking place in the central Drakensberg from All Out Adventures. A host of activities on Saturday and Sunday will cater for every level of outdoor enthusiast while making for a worthwhile weekend getaway. For entries and further info log onto www.roag.co.za.