Schools and Enduro races wrap up long weekend of mountain biking

The third and final day of the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival wrapped up a fantastic long weekend of various mountain biking disciplines with the KwaZulu-Natal Schools Challenge and the Enduro events Cascades MTB Park in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday 2 May. Perfect cycling conditions prevailed as young and old traversed the trails on offer.

The youngest riders kicked off the day’s activities from 09:00 with a large field of Sub-Nippers (U8), Nippers (U10) and Sprogs (U12) leading the way along the gentle 2.8-kilometre route. Riders from as young as five years old were all smiles as they experienced the specially cut trails. These heats were closely followed by the older categories of Sub Junior (U14), Youth (U16) and Junior (U18) along a route with an added section of one kilometre.

 
Sub Junior Mitchel Potgieter representing Thomas More College during the KwaZulu-Natal Schools Challenge at the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park on Monday 2 May. Photo: Darren Goddard

Sub Junior Mitchel Potgieter representing Thomas More College during the KwaZulu-Natal Schools Challenge at the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park on Monday 2 May. Photo: Darren Goddard

 

Glenwood High School’s Cycling Representative, David Munro, confirmed that mountain biking was a growing sport and a great way to get the learners outdoors. “Being based in Durban, we can only really ride mountain bikes at Giba Gorge (Pinetown) or Holla Trails (Ballito), so to travel to Pietermaritzburg to race was an experience on its own. The boys enjoy mountain biking but they are not that experienced yet. Hopefully we will be able to do as well as we can; there is some stiff competition here as there are some strong boys and girls that race mountain bikes regularly. We look forward to taking part in the upcoming KwaZulu-Natal Schools Series.”

 
Georgia Finnis of Hillcrest Primary School in the Sprog category followed by Elite rider Frankie du Toit during the KwaZulu-Natal Schools Challenge at the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park on Monday 2 May. Photo: Darren Goddard

Georgia Finnis of Hillcrest Primary School in the Sprog category followed by Elite rider Frankie du Toit during the KwaZulu-Natal Schools Challenge at the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park on Monday 2 May. Photo: Darren Goddard

 

Cross-country racer Cian Leveridge won the Youth category by one-and-a-half minuts over Reece McCallum in 40 minutes and 10 seconds, with Devon Baird rounding out the podium. Leveridge enjoyed his time on the route. “The course today was a lot of fun and I had a really good time out there. Everything went to plan and I was really very happy to take the win. Next for me is the fourth XCO National in PE, and I’m going to be focusing an preparing for that now – I’m looking forward to it!”

 
Mlungisi Mazibuko of Glenwood High School raced in the Youth category during the KwaZulu-Natal Schools Challenge at the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park on Monday 2 May. Photo: Darren Goddard

Mlungisi Mazibuko of Glenwood High School raced in the Youth category during the KwaZulu-Natal Schools Challenge at the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park on Monday 2 May. Photo: Darren Goddard

 

Winner of the Sprog Girl’s race, young Riley Smith, echoed the other riders’ sentiments. “My race was very nice today and I loved the singletrack and technical sections. I like to practice my riding after school on Fridays and on weekends and train at Mazarat Farm in Waterfall.”

 
Matthew Uhlmann from Maritzburg College racing in the Sub Junior category during the KwaZulu-Natal Schools Challenge at the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park on Monday 2 May. Photo: Darren Goddard

Matthew Uhlmann from Maritzburg College racing in the Sub Junior category during the KwaZulu-Natal Schools Challenge at the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park on Monday 2 May. Photo: Darren Goddard

 

Hot off the Enduro course and straight onto the Schools cross-country race was the youngest Jessop brother, Robert, who tackled the Sub Junior category over a distance of nearly four kilometres. “To be honest, I have no idea how I managed to do the cross-country as well – as soon as I started riding I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I was so tired, but I said to myself, “I’ve started, I have to finish”. I had really good day out though, and the weather was amazing!”

ENDURO

Gravity thrill-seekers took to the sublime trails in the Cascades forests for the four-stage Enduro race, which started just after 08:00. The first and second stages were ridden in any order and the third and fourth stages were ridden third and then fourth. Stage one started with a fast pedal section and incorporated a few jumps, tricky switchbacks and nice flowing berms, while the steep stage two offered a few technical tests and was the one to watch out for. The third stage incorporated more pedal sections and some dual track and was the toughest and longest stage in this year’s Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival. The fourth and final stage started on the washed out section of berms and into the old cross-country section called “Amphitheatre” and into parts of Saturday’s XCO route to the finish.

 

Local rider and multiple Downhill National Champion Tiaan Odendaal blitzed the trails on the Cascades mountain side, winning the four-stage race by a cumulative 22 seconds in a time of 13 minutes and 40 seconds during the Enduro at the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park on Monday 2 May. Photo: Darren Goddard

Local rider and multiple Downhill National Champion Tiaan Odendaal blitzed the trails on the Cascades mountain side, winning the four-stage race by a cumulative 22 seconds in a time of 13 minutes and 40 seconds during the Enduro at the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park on Monday 2 May. Photo: Darren Goddard

Local rider and multiple Downhill National Champion Tiaan Odendaal blitzed the trails on the Cascades mountain side, winning the four-stage race by a cumulative 22 seconds in a time of 13 minutes and 40 seconds. Tim Bentley was second overall (14:02) with Hayden Brown finishing third (14:07). Odendaal was quickest on stages one, three and four with Bentley posting the quickest time on the second stage.

Women’s race winner and local trail shredder, Sabine “Beani” Thies, said that racing on the whole course resulted in one of the best Enduro tracks she had ever ridden.

Winning the Sub Veteran category, Tamryn Taylor said that she thoroughly enjoyed the first and second stages. “I had a blast. I absolutely loved SP1 and 2, as for me they are the perfect Enduro trail: steep, technical and not too much pedalling. I had a few bad falls a while back and am still trying to regain my confidence at each competition, but that's par for the course with mountain biking. The third and fourth stages were fun, but I'm not really fit enough for those kinds of runs yet. I will be soon, as soon as I start training properly again.”

 
The casual and social aspect of Enduro is what keeps attracting newcomers to the sport as riders ascend the hills at their own leisure before starting the timed descending stages during the Enduro at the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park on Monday 2 May. Photo: Darren Goddard

The casual and social aspect of Enduro is what keeps attracting newcomers to the sport as riders ascend the hills at their own leisure before starting the timed descending stages during the Enduro at the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park on Monday 2 May. Photo: Darren Goddard

 

Ex-local resident and competitive downhiller, Hayden Brown, enjoyed being back in his hometown where his downhill roots emerged. Having taken a lengthy break from racing provincially and nationally, Brown decided to hit the trails with some good friends and was chuffed with his third place. “I kept a reasonable pace all the way down the first stage and on stage two I picked up the pace a little bit. Practice was very good for me yesterday and I found some cool lines, which I hoped would give me a bit of an advantage because I was unfamiliar with the route after living in Gauteng for the past five years. Stage three was my best stage on the day, it was very fast and had quite a bit of pedalling but high speed stuff, which is what I like, but Tiaan pipped us on that stage as well. It was good to race against Tiaan and Tim (Bentley) again, like the old days.”

Robert Jessop said of his Enduro race that he was surprisingly fast up all of the hills, which are untimed, and surprised himself coming down as well. “It all just worked out for me and I am super happy with my result in my age group.”

The Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival took place at Cascades MTB Park from 30 April to 2 May 2016 and formed part of the greater Africa Bike City project in Pietermaritzburg. The legacy project and continued development of the venue of Cascades MTB Park as well as staff, cyclists and officials strengthens the local resource pool as we build towards the 2022 Commonwealth Games. For more information on the 2016 PMB MTB Festival, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-pmb-mtb-festival/.

ENDS

Summary of Results - 2016 PMB MTB Festival XCO - 2 May

Click here to view the Full Results: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-pmb-mtb-festival/

KwaZulu-Natal Schools Challenge

Sub Nipper Boys (2.8km x 3 laps)
1.Connor Wright 00:15:29
2.Vaughn Preston 00:18:40
3.Luke Treleaven 00:21:19

Sub Nipper Girls (2.8km x 3 laps)
1.Derryn Millward 00:26:52
2.Madison Bateson 00:32:45
3.Jemma Fitt

Nipper Boys (2.8km x 3 laps)
1.Aiden Wright 00:23:46
2.Antony Clayton 00:24:01
3.Henry Owens 00:25:15

Nipper Girls (2.8km x 3 laps)
1.Amelie Owens 00:29:21
2.Hannah Elliott 00:29:34
3.Jodi Mackinnon 00:30:36

Sprog Boys (2.8km x 4 laps)
1.Jonty Watts 00:30:24
2.Liam Richard Theunissen 00:33:25
3.Keagan Brand 00:36:06

Sprog Girls (2.8km x 4 laps)
1.Riley Smith 00:38:12
2.Anvia Bredenkamp 00:40:01
3.Emily van Heerden 00:44:21

Sub Junior Boys (3.8km x 3 laps)
1.Travis Stedman 00:34:07
2.Matthew Millward 00:36:55
3.Nathan Staphorst 00:40:25

Sub Junior Girls (3.8km x 3 laps)
1.Chloe Bateson 00:36:53
2.Marjone Strydom 00:40:59

Youth Men (3.8km x 3 laps)
1.Cian Leveridge 00:40:10
2.Reece McCallum 00:41:41
3.Devon Baird 00:42:37

Youth Women (3.8km x 3 laps)
1.Bridget Theunissen 00:41:18

Junior Men (3.8km x 4 laps)
1.Dean Wortmann 00:44:39
2.Leonard Robberts 00:53:12
3.Matthew Loder 01:06:40

ENDURO (4 stages)

Overall Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal 00:13:40
2.Tim Bentley 00:14:02
3.Hayden Brown 00:14:07

Overall Women
1.Sabine Thies 00:19:08
2.Charne Dreyer 00:20:33
3.Tamryn Taylor 00:22:12

Senior Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal 00:13:40
2.Tim Bentley 00:14:02
3.Hayden Brown 00:14:07

Junior Men
1.Sharjah Jonsson 00:14:59
2.Mitchell Meugens 00:17:00
3.Thomas Jessop 00:18:34

Youth Men
1.Keira Duncan 00:15:25
2.Kayle Seward 00:16:24
3.Connor Finnis 00:16:51

Sub Junior Boys
1.Liam Hall 00:19:17
2.Robert Jessop 00:20:17
3.Nate Hall 00:20:31

Sub Junior Girls
1.Sabine Thies 00:19:08
2.Charne Dreyer 00:20:33

Sub Veteran Men
1.Craig Paul 00:14:11
2.Joe Bauckham 00:15:43
3.Mark Millar 00:15:43

Sub Veteran Women
1.Tamryn Taylor 00:22:12
2.Michele Reynolds 00:26:02

Veteran Men
1.Craig Seaward 00:16:08
2.Keith Diederichs 00:16:22
3.Jason Hall 00:17:03

Master Men
1.Mike Frost 00:19:08
2.Brian Magor 00:19:1