Howick – It was the turn of the enduro riders on the second day of the 2015 Sappi Karkloof MTB Festival as the STIHL Enduro took centre stage with a large number of riders braving the most adrenalin producing sections of the Karkloof MTB trails with familiar faces Tiaan Odendall and Kim Westbrook making it consecutive wins in the men’s and women’s race respectively on Saturday.
Odendaal was put under pressure throughout the race and with another Karkloof win under his belt the youngster is seriously considering the enduro discipline as a potential career but is taking one race as at a time.
“I am really happy to get another win here and I used to use enduro as training but with its growing popularity there is a chance I might think about taking it on as a career.
“There were some changes in the course this year and Hylton (Turvey) has been putting in so much effort and he really has paid some awesome track. It was pretty dry but that’s just because there hasn’t been any rain,” Odendaal mentioned.
It was quite a tricky day for the downhill specialist who found the going tough on the second leg of the race on the Rene’s Rumble section of the course as he took a few tumbles but managed to keep it together to cross the line in the quickest time overall.
“It was getting really loose during the second downhill and I fell but then I tried to go as fast as I could and I took another fall because of it so I was under a bit of pressure from them on but I managed to hold my nerve which I was happy about.
“There were some long climbs today and it was quite hot so I am really happy that I was able to defend the title that I won last year,” an elated Odendaal mentioned.
Ladies winner Westbrook was her usual bubbly self when reflecting on her performance and having a clean run throughout was the order of the day for her as she powered her way to a good win and a retention of the crown she won in 2014.
“I just went out there trying to have as much fun as I can,” the Pyga rider said. “I made sure that I didn’t think too much about last year and I just wanted to keep myself in my bike throughout the race and I managed to do that which I am really happy about!”
Westbrook hit the Gauntlet section of the course with some speed and with only a few seconds before the end of the race she nearly came unstuck however she managed to keep the bike upright and sprinted her way to the finish.
“Apparently I nearly took a fall at the Gauntlet!” she exclaimed. “I felt it a little bit but I was happy that I kept it together because I knew that I was being chased hard by the other girls and I just wasn’t sure if I was ahead or not.
“There are some great lady riders coming up and Sabine ‘Beanie’ Theis is really one to look out for and she is still so young! There are also girls that come from out of town so you really never know what to expect,” she added.
The Sunday’s action kicks off with the Sappi 60km Marathon starting at 07:30 followed by the aQuellé 40km Half Marathon at 08:30 with the aQuellé 20km Family Ride starting at 09:30 and the aQuellé 10km Kids Ride beginning at 10:00.
Riders and spectators can follow news and developments via the event’s Facebook page (Karkloof Mountain Bike Club) or on Twitter (@KarkloofMTB) while more information can also be found at www.karkloofmtb.co.za and entries can be submitted via www.roag.co.za.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – 2015 SAPPI KARKLOOF MTB FESTIVAL
1.Tiaan Odendaal 12.39
2.Craig Paul 12.42
3.Tim Bentley 12.48
4.Hilton Frost 13.07
5.David Hogan 13.27
6.Jedson Tooms 13.29
7.Travis Browning 13.53
8.Harry Orr 13.54
9.Mark Malherbe 13.56
10.Shane Martin 14.07
1.Kim Westbrook 16.48
2.Sabine Theis (U13) 17.14
3.Kathryn Fourie 17.23