Bell Claims Crater Cruise and Overall MTB National Marathon Series Win

Images: Zoon Cronje
Images: Zoon Cronje

The final race of the 2014 MTN National Marathon Series came down to the wire in a star-studded finale at the Crater Cruise this Saturday with Nico Bell (Team RECM) not only winning the race, but also claiming the his second consecutive MTN Marathon Series title.

Bell had a sizeable points lead coming into the last race, but should misfortune strike, RECM teammate Lourens Luus, Kevin Evans (The Bike Shop) or Darren Lill (Cannondale Blend) would have able to take the over series win should Nico not have been able to finish the race.

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The bunch stayed largely together up until the KOM up Suikerbos at 50km in. Bell punctured down the rocky descent and was able to change a wheel at the second team technical zone. From there, Nico chased back to rejoin the lead group of Luus, Evans and Rabie (EAI Cycling).

Bell and Evans were alone coming into the last 15km, and Nico was able to drop Evans into the last single track section into the finish. Luus finished 3rd, rounding off the podium.

Ariane Kleinhans was unable to attained the race as she is currently in Switzerland preparing for the 2014 Swiss Epic with World Marathon Champion, Annika Langvad. The Swiss Epic starts in Wallis this Monday, until Saturday, 20 September.

“It was fantastic to be invited by the media to share a day in the car and being so close to the action. Very tough race and brought lots of painful memories back when i was a pro!”

“I am happy to have put together such a balanced team with Nico Bell and Lourens Luus for 2014 and win the races we battled to achieved in years gone by.” commented team owner, Malcolm Lange.

MTN Crater Cruise – Men’s Ultra (115km)

1.  Nico Bell (Team RECM)
2. Kevin Evans (The Bike Shop)
3.  Lourens Luus (Team RECM)
4.  Johann Rabie (EAI Cycling)
5.  Ben-Melt Swanepoel (EAI Cycling)

MTN National Marathon Series – Overall Men

1.  Nico Bell (Team RECM)
2.  Lourens Luus (Team RECM)
3.  Kevin Evans (The Bike Shop)

MTN National Marathon Series – Overall Women

1.  Ariane Kleinhans (Team RECM)
2.  Robyn de Groot (Biogen Toyota)
3.  Yolandi du Toit (Garmin)

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