Jonathan Philogene (2Bros Racing) and Sabine Thies (riding for Greg Minnaar Cycles / Pizzology Craft Café / Foxhead South Africa) put it all on the line as they raced to victory by posting the fastest times on the day at the third round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Downhill Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, on Sunday 22 May, which doubled as the fourth round of the 2016 SA National DHI Cup Series.
The extensive trail network at Karkloof and surrounds presented a beautifully manicured track, which tested the riders’ abilities with tight turns, steep berms, rock gardens and the drop-offs that these gravity riders are accustomed to. The dry weather made the track dusty but this didn’t deter the riders and their quest for victory.
Coming into the race as the leader of the National Series Points’ Log, Philogene had a tight battle with Tiaan Odendaal to secure his status at the top of the Log. Philogene snatched the title from Odendaal in two minutes 38.16 seconds, with Odendaal settling for second place just half-a-second adrift. Third place went to local rider and regular top-contender, Timothy Bentley (Foxhead South Africa), finishing nearly six seconds off the pace.
With his sights set on the World Championships later this year, 19-year-old Philogene was ecstatic with his result. “The race went well and the regional and national result meant a lot to me. I needed to do well at this round to meet the criteria for World Champs selection, which is my ultimate goal for the year. So finishing first mean a lot to me!”
Also rising to the occasion was 13-year-old Sabine Thies, who claimed the overall women’s victory as well as first place in her Sub Junior class. “I feel great, it’s been a long time coming that I would win overall so I am really happy. I’ve had a few bad races this year, but this is by far my favourite track.”
Jonathan’s younger brother, Christopher Philogene (2Bros Racing), commanded the Junior Men’s race and finished in fourth place overall, eight seconds off the fastest time of the day, and six seconds clear of second-placed rider Francois du Toit. Christopher would’ve been locked in a tight battle with fellow downhiller Sharjah Jonsson but Jonsson ran out of luck during Saturday’s Enduro race, injuring his wrist and placing him out of contention for the final Downhill race of the Series.
Jason du Toit continued his good form and extended his lead by taking the victory in the Youth Men’s race, clocking a time of 02:57.10.
Sunday’s Downhill race featured a guest commentator – Samuel Bull. Bull, who was lying seventh in Elite Men on the National Series Log after two events, tore his ACL, which required a full ACL reconstruction when he overshot a jump in practice at the African Continental Championships in Lesotho earlier this year. He commentated the racing action from the track side.
Summary of Results – SA DOWNHILL Cup Series #4 – 22 May 2016 [Karkloof]
Download the Full Results here.
1.Jonathan Philogene (Elite) 02:38.16
2.Tiaan Odendaal (Elite) 02:38.65
3.Timothy Bentley (Elite) 02:43.57
4.Christopher Philogene (Junior) 02:46.21
5.Struan McMaster (Elite) 02:50.00
1.Sabine Thies 03:36.97
2.Kim Westbrook (Elite) 03:50.90
3.Kathryn Fourie (Sub Veteran) 03:53.71
4.Joanne Hicks (Sub Veteran) 04:12.33
5.Tammy Sturrock (Elite) 04:18.15
1.Jonathan Philogene 02:38.16
2.Tiaan Odendaal 02:38.65
3.Timothy Bentley 02:43.57
1.Kim Westbrook 03:50.90
2.Tammy Sturrock 04:18.15
3.Lauren Hoyer 04:20.58
1.Christopher Philogene 02:46.21
2.Francois du Toit 02:52.19
3.Cullen McMaster 02:57.73
1.Jason du Toit 02:57.10
2.Shaun Smale 03:01.26
3.Kayle Seaward 03:09.54
Sub Junior Men
1.Robert Jessop 03:41.46
2.Kyle Brand 03:45.55
3.Maximillian Wolfson 03:54.88
Sub Junior Women
1.Sabine Thies 03:36.97
2.Charlotte Wolfson 05:17.44
1.Caleb Archer 05:50.07
2.Benjamin Wolfson 06:43.13
1.Liam Tyler Hall 03:53.61
2.Nate Tanner Hall 03:56.77
3.Keagan Brand 04:00.57
Sub Veteran Men
1.Mark Millar 03:02.68
2.Nigel Hicks 03:08.00
3.David Drummond 03:17.78
Sub Veteran Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 03:53.71
2.Joanne Hicks 04:12.33
3.Nikki Alvin 04:20.61
1.Craig Seaward 03:15.14
2.Thane Archer 03:19.58
3.Grant Dekker 03:26.00
1.Peter Hoyer 04:23.19
2.Mark Minter 04:38.91