Riders tested in Howick
Patrick Belton (Team Jeep) took the honours at last weekend’s Sappi Howick Classic, while Eszter Erdelyi powered her way to victory in the women’s race.
With exceptionally dry conditions and a galeforce wind, fears of the event’s possible cancellation due to fire dangers rumbled through the car park in the early morning KZN Midlands chill. Fortunately these were quickly dispelled and the action got under way as planned.
However, as participants set off on what has become known as one of the most rewarding events in the region, riders aplenty — including the likes of pre-race favourite and defending men’s champion Luke Roberts (BMC-SA) — headed off on a host of impromptu course variations due to the wind wreaking havoc with route markings along the technical and challenging course, leaving both spectators and riders initially unsure of who had actually claimed the title.
Through his local knowledge of the route and sharp eye, it was Karkloof local Belton who crossed the line over eight minutes ahead of his nearest rival to take the overall spoils.
Alan Hatherly (BMC-SA) was followed home by Warren Price (Coffeeberry Café) with Tim Stark (i-Cycle) and Price’s team-mate Frederick Rossouw rounding out the top five in the men’s race.
With Frankie du Toit having fallen foul to the same troubles some of her male compatriots had experienced earlier on in the race, pre-race favourite Erdelyi (Bergamont), put in a faultless effort despite the testing conditions and cruised home to claim a comfortable victory.
Erdelyi crossed the line over nine minutes ahead of Robyn Ryan (Kargo Pro MTB) while Nataschka Mowat claimed third.
In the 20 km Intermediate race Andre Grebe claimed the men’s title while young Sabine Thies was the first woman home.
More information can be found at www.howickmountainbiking.co.za.
The inaugural iCycle Sugar Rush Classic takes place tomorrow morning on Collisheen Estate, Ballito. A roughly 23 km trail, which will be looped to create the longer distance race of 45 km, is on offer. A brand new five-kilometre kids’ trail has been developed to cater for the racing youngsters.
The podium prizes include over R10 000 in cash plus plenty of other prizes, courtesy of the title sponsors, along with spot prizes throughout the day, water tables with various product offerings, food stalls, market stalls, entertainment for the kids, secure parking and medical support vehicles.
For further information, including accommodation, you can visit the Sugar Rush website at www.sugarrush.co.za.
The Magma Security Scottburgh MTB Race will be taking place next Saturday, June 15.
“The start and finish on the Scottburgh beach front has to be one of the most stunning and unique places to end a satisfying ride,” said event organiser Flavio Scarpa. Offering a 45 km Classic, 28 km Intermediate and 10 km Fun Ride, the course has all the features that every mountain biker looks for to test their skill.
June 16 looks set to be a festive day, with both Father’s Day and race number four in the prestigious ROAG Series — the Safire Baynesfield MTB Classic — starting at the Baynesfield Estate. The 65 km route will be dominated by the Baynesfield Breaker (BB) and thereafter a smaller climb called the Old Fire Tower hill (OFT). The 45 km tackles half the BB and all of OFT before heading for the finish line. A 20 km ride is also on offer. Entries on www.roag.co.za.
The second event in the fun and exciting Varsity College Multisport Series takes place at Shongweni Dam tomorrow morning. Participants may choose between the multisport and the multi-x events. The full course multisport comprises a five-kilometre trail run, 20 km MTB and five-kilometre paddle, while the short course is made up of a 2,5 km trail run, 10 km MTB and 2,5 km paddle. The multi-x caters for the non-paddlers and comprises a five-kilometre trail run, 20 km MTB and another 2,5 km trail run and also offers a half-distance event.
The stand alone trail run options (5 km/15 km) and MTB races (40 km/20 km/10 km) are again on offer for those individuals who prefer to concentrate on one discipline. The course provides some challenging hills and thrilling single tracks but is achievable for all abilities at the right pace. Further info on www.maxcluer.com Late entries will be taken at registration between 6.30 am and 9 am at the Umzinyathi Clubhouse at Shongweni Dam.