More than 500 cyclists competed in the action packed Anatomic Spur School Mountain Bike League regional final at FH Odendaal High School this weekend.
Following an exciting 2014 season of fierce competition and a ding-dong battle between the top three schools on the log, it was Menlopark High School that was crowned the 2014 Gauteng champion with Midstream College second and Zwartkop High School in third position.
Gauteng won the Spur School Mountain Bike League National Finals last year and is hoping to hang on to the coveted trophy another year.
Gauteng category champions for 2014:
- Sub-junior girl: Thana Groenewald – Midstream College
- Sub-junior boy: Chris du Plessis – Menlopark Hoër
- Youth-15 girl: Taneal de Kock – Curro Hazeldean
- Youth-15 boy: Jayde Davies – Dainfern College
- Youth-16 girl: Lynette Benson – Waterkloof Hoër
- Youth-16 boy: Henry Liebenberg – Menlopark Hoër
- Junior girl: Janice Venter – Menlopark Hoër
- Junior boy: Luke William Evans – St Stithians College
According to Gauteng league co-ordinator, Deon Steyn the year-on-year growth in the league has been amazing. Since becoming part of the national Spur School Mountain Bike League in 2009, the numbers has shot up from 225 to 609 participants last year. Steyn, who is one of only seven UCI International Moutain Bike Commissaires in South Africa, is invested in establishing the sport of mountain bike riding as an official school sport.
“The Anatomic High School MTB Series has become the biggest XCO series in South Africa, drawing more participants than provincial and even national races. Up until last year the Gauteng Series was open to everybody and we had riders from Limpopo, Freestate, NW and Mpumlanga participating in the Gauteng events. The growth of the league necessitated that we split the regions to avoid racing fields becoming too big for the cross-country lap racing format (also the Olympic format) of the league,” said Steyn.
The league, which was launched in 2009 as a joint initiative between Spur and Amarider, has exceeded all initial projections in terms numbers and reach and has grown from 1600 entries and 21 events in 2009 to last year’s 5300 entries from 42 events.
League co-ordinator Meurant Botha of Amarider attributes the amazing growth of the League to the ongoing and hands-on involvement of Spur Steak Ranches as well as the efforts of a team of dedicated regional organisers and school co-ordinators, who collectively hosted more than fifty events leading up to the record-breaking final.
Diarise the National Finals
Mountain bike enthusiasts should diarise the weekend of 4-5 October when the cream of high school mountain bike riders from across South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe will take to the track at Bekker School in Magaliesburg for the finals of the 2014 Spur High School Mountain Bike League. With more than 40 schools vying for the coveted floating trophy of top cycling school in the country, fierce racing is expected in all three categories – boys, girls and mixed. A maximum of 12 riders are allowed per team with points allocated to the top five boys, top three girls and three and two points respectively in the mixed category. On Sunday, an interprovincial event will be hosted in the same format on the same route. Currently in its sixth season, the Spur School Mountain Bike League has surpassed all expectations in terms of participation and reach logging an average participation growth of 40% and close on 10 000 riders taking part in the 2014 season.