Reid, Strauss and Odendaal claim Elite MTB races in Lesotho

Afriski Ski and Mountain Resort in Lesotho hosted the second round of the 2014 Southern African Mountain Bike Cup Series, on 19 and 20 April. South African, and some international riders, competed for UCI category points in the cross-country and downhill disciplines, which were UCI category 1 for the Elite Men and Elite Women, and UCI Category 2 for the Elite Men respectively.

The much-talked about altitude – Afriski is situated at over 3000m above sea level – made for some exciting racing and saw some new names atop the podiums in some of the categories. The reported sub-zero morning temperature was surely enough to get the pulse racing ahead of the competition.

James Reid (Trek South Africa) continued his good form in Lesotho from the previous weekend where he finished fourth in the under-23 race of the first round of the 2014 UCI World Cup series in Pietermaritzburg. Reid posted consistent lap times in the Pro-Elite class, 00:11:47, 00:12:45, 00:13:02, 00:12:51, 00:13:18, 00:13:16 and 00:13:16 in the 7-lap encounter to finish in 1 hour 30 minutes and 15 seconds.

Reid finished under 2 minutes ahead of British rider David Fletcher (Orange Monkey Pro Team) with Rourke Croeser (Kargo Pro MTB Team) claiming third place a further 28 seconds adrift. Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys, both of the Scott-Sports team, finished fourth and fifth, in 01:33:23 and 01:35:13 respectively.

Mariske Strauss (Orange Monkey Pro Team) continued her strong form when she won the Elite women’s race in 1 hour 33 minutes 5 seconds for the 6-lap race. Strauss, who finished in 19th place in her first year as an elite competitor at the UCI MTB World Cup in Pietermaritzburg the week before, claimed the top position by eight minutes over Candice Neethling (Time Freight VELOlife). Neethling’s teammate, Ashleigh Moffatt, finished in third place in a time of 01:44:42.

Current Downhill National Champion Tiaan Odendaal (Green Team) won the Downhill race, which was held on the Sunday. Odendaal descended the open course, which could be viewed from the finish area, in 2 minutes 4.857 seconds. Stefan Garlicki (Investec) finished in second place  (02:06.523) with Jonty Neethling (sponsored by Fox South Africa) third (02:11.724). Michane Viljoen won the women’s race in 3 minutes 23.239 seconds with Hayley-Ann Adamson finishing in second place, in 03:24.054.

Cycling South Africa extends a big thanks to the hosts, AfriSki Ski and Mountain Resort and their staff, for hosting the event. We also thank our sponsor, Stihl, and the Lesotho government and Lesotho Cycling.

Download the full set of XCO results here

Download the full set of DHI results here

Summary of results: SA XCO Cup #2 (Afriski) 19 April 2014  

Elite Men – 7 laps
1 James Reid 01:30:15
2 David Fletcher 01:32:05
3 Rourke Croeser 01:32:33
4 Matthys Beukes 01:33:23
5 Philip Buys 01:35:13 

Elite Women – 6 laps
1 Mariske Strauss 01:33:05
2 Candice Neethling 01:41:04
3 Ashleigh Moffatt 01:44:42

Junior Men – 5 laps
1 Marc Fourie 01:08:34
2 Julian Jessop 01:08:34
3 Sybrand Strauss 01:09:26
4 Tristan De Lange 01:12:02
5 Nicol Carstens 01:13:35 

Junior Women – 4 laps
1 Frances Du Toit 01:05:54
2 Amy Williams 01:20:54
3 Alexandra Mapstone 01:23:45 

Youth Men – 4 laps
1 Thomas Jessop 00:59:54
2 Andrew Sparks 01:00:39
3 Francois Annandale 01:03:17
4 Jarrod Van Den Heever 01:06:34
5 Dean Wortmann 01:10:22 

Youth Women – 3 laps
1 Lynette Benson 00:59:16
2 Sabrina Van Wyk 01:00:48
3 Saffron Vosloo 01:04:37

Summary of results: SA DHI Cup #2 (Afriski) 20 April 2014

Elite Men
1 Tiaan Odendaal 02:04.857
2 Stefan Garlicki 02:06.523
3 Jonty Neethling 02:11.724
4 Samuel Bull 02:13.573
5 David Hogan 02:16.745
6 Ryan Frerichs 02:16.947
7 Duran Van Eeden 02:17.549
8 Shane Martin 02:22.059
9 Gregg Brown 02:22.350
10 Wesley Auths 02:23.516

Elite Women
1 Michane Viljoen 03:23.239
2 Hayley-Ann Adamson 03:24.054

Photo: Orange Monkey Pro Team