Hot competition for Provincial XCO at Mazarat

5 March 2016  – Sunny KwaZulu-Natal put on a spectacular display of sunshine and great weather for the second round of the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series, which took place at Mazarat MTB Park in Waterfall on Saturday 5 March.

In the U23 Men’s race, the first place title as well as overall first finisher on the day went to Kargo Pro MTB Team’s Alan Hatherly, just ahead of Elite Men’s winner and teammate, Brendon Davids.

Hatherly, whose season has gotten off to a great start, was extremely happy with his win and shared his story: “We started three minutes behind the Elites, which is not the normal thing we do here at the provincials, but it was great training for me – it’s always motivation to try and close the gap. Marco (Joubert) and I started off at the front and went pretty hard. Unfortunately he had a fall at the top of the climb so I got the gap there on him and then pretty much rode solo. I progressively got into a good rhythm and began to close the gap to the Elites slowly but surely. I ended up winning overall by about six minutes. So a super good day!”

First u23 and overall woman, Frankie du Toit said: “The last National wasn’t too great for me, so I had to come back this weekend and just hope it would be a better race. I went hard from the start and managed to pull a gap on the rest of the ladies field in the first lap and maintained that for the rest of the race. I got to then kind of race at my own pace, and I’m a bit sick so I didn’t push myself too hard. But it was great, I really enjoyed the ride and the course and the venue was such a treat. It was quite tight and there were a lot of turns but there was just such a good vibe out here today.

“It was also so great to see some of the GO! Durban guys out here today. I have met with them and ridden with them but never actually seen them race. And let me tell you, they gave some of the others a run for their money. It’s such an amazing initiative and such well mannered youngsters.”

Elite Men’s winner, Brendon Davids (Kargo Pro MTB Team) suffered an injury to his knee on the course, but did his utmost to push through. “The new venue is really cool. Pretty tight racing in the singletrack made for some interesting tactical kind of racing between the riders,” he said. Davids added that the no-over-taking option in the single tracks made for tough and hard pushes to get out front and make it count.

“Other than my knee going bang three laps in I think the form is really good going into the Cape Epic but I have a scan on Monday just to see where I’m at and see if the damage isn’t too serious and if I can actually take part,” he added.

Elite Women’s winner, Johannesburg-er, Mandy de Beer (Team Jordana) said: “The track was quite technical to get going and to see what it was all about. But at the end of the day it was an amazing event. I raced against the u23 ladies and a very strong field. I had one or two crashes at the technical sections but all-in-all, coming here for training it was absolutely fantastic. Great race, great event, great vibe. A huge thank you to KZN MTB for such a great event.”

Cian Leveridge (Team PAW) took the Youth Men’s title, and enjoyed the twists and turns of the Mazarat course. “I like this track because it’s tight and twisty, and has a really great climb at the back. In the forest you’re just going flat-out, and trying hard to stay on the line that you practiced,” he said.

Leveridge said that he wasn’t happy with his start, but managed to get going in the singletrack and stay ahead for the duration of the race. “Luckily they didn’t catch me,” he added.

Youth Women’s winner, Tiffany Keep (Team PAW) spoke about the Mazarat course: “Racing at this venue was a great new experience. This course was extremely tough to race. It’s very tight and twisty and riding with bigger 29-er wheels made it even more tough.”

Keep mentioned that the ladies field is extremely tough this year. “It was just great being able to race with them and get that experience from it all,” she added. The 16-year-old said that it was very hot, and that the dust made for an even tougher experience, but that she really enjoyed her race. “I think the last round will be very interesting with all of the ladies competing to gain those vital points for the last little one, so it’s going to be tough,” she concluded.

“The race was super hard,” said Junior Men’s winner, Thomas Jessop (Specialized Concept Cyclery). “The first lap was really tough on the climb. There is no shade and about 23 switchbacks I think. Every time you got a gap someone closes down really easily. The singletrack was also just about being smooth rather than stop-starting so that’s where I got away I think,” he said. The bionic-legged youngster sported a red leg brace (after two ACL reconstructions) throughout the race wasn’t going to (and didn’t) let anything stop him.

The Junior Women’s title went to an always-smiling Chriestie-Leigh Hearder, close to nine minutes ahead of Sabrina van Wyk (BestMed ASG).

The third round of the KZNMTB XCO takes place at St. Ives in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Saturday 22 April 2016.
For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde info@kznmtb.co.za.

Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series #2 – 5 March 2016

Full results will be available soon at www.elitetiming.co.za

Sprog Boys
1.Nicholas de Bruin 00: 33:15
2.Jonathan Watts 00:34:58
3.Liam Richard Theunissen 00:35:21

Sprog Girls
1.Emma Clipstone 00:44:15
2.Riley Smith 00:49:25

Nipper Boys
1.Connor Wright 00:24:07
2.Logan Stander 00:26:37
3.Luca Zietsman 00:28:23

Nipper Girls
1.Hannah Elliot 00:30:35

Youth Men
1.Cian Leveridge 01:11:23
2.Aaron Michell 01:14:29
3.Hayden Vinnicombe 01:15:35

Youth Women
1.Tiffany Keep 00:53:44
2.Courtney Smith 00:58:56
3.Megan Bircher 01:05:16

Junior Men
1.Thomas Jessop 01:04:41
2.Kelvin Green 01:06:04
3.Felix Manke 01:07:21

Junior Women
1.Chriestie-Leigh Hearder 01:18:54
2.Sabrina van Wyk 01:27:27

U23 Men
1.Alan Hatherly 01:25:23
2.Marco Joubert 01:30:48
3.Devon Smith 01:42:35

U23 Women
1.Frances du Toit 01:10:59
2.Hayley Smith 01:12:00
3.Genevieve van Coller 01:20:14

Elite men
1.Brendon Davids 01:32:16
2.Stuart Marais 01:33:14
3.Jedsom Tooms 01:35:34

Elite Women
1.Mandy de beer 01:23:12

Sub Vets Men
1.Sean Merredew 01:18:15
2.Duane Stander 01:18:47
3.Carl Calverley 01:21:26

Sub Vets Women
1.Nadine Nunes 01:26:59

Vets Men
1.Warren Price 01:24:41
2.Hendrik Bester 01:25:08
3.Tim Keep 01:29:22

Vets Women
1.Natalie Bergstrom 01:19:36
2.Landy Puddu 01:26:46
3.Belinda Mason 01:34:18

Masters Men
1.Charles Young 01:12:45
2.Brian Magor 01:16:07
3.Tony Stark 01:18:26

Masters Women:
1.Marie du Toit 00:52:50

Grand Masters Men
1.Charles Stander 01:02:28
2.George Eybers 01:09:05
3.Mike Staphorst 01:26:34

Grand Master Women
1.Frances Marsburg 00:47:05

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