Whilst mountain bike marathon fanatics battled the heat and challenging climbs at the 2017 SA MTB Marathon Championships, families and friends of those taking part watched the much younger riders take to the Cross-country Eliminator (XCE) track at Cascades MTB Park on Sunday 21 May.
Parents and family members cheered the riders on as they pedalled their hearts out on the 400-metre track, which incorporated sections of the normal National Cross-country course. With the course being compact and spectator-friendly, the supporters turned up in their dozens to come and show their support.
Each rider who took part on the day received a KZN MTB medal to acknowledge and symbolise his or her participation in the enjoyable race. KZN MTB will be using this eliminator-type event as part of their development programme to be rolled out over the next two years to see “more kids on bikes”.
With a turn out of over sixty riders, race organiser Tim Keep from KZN Schools MTB was happy with this tester event. He said: “The eliminator format is a great and fun event for the kids and parents alike, with the track incorporating some simple technical sections, which the riders negotiated each heat. It helps them gain confidence in a fun yet competitive environment. Parents help the riders with a standing start and can then watch their children ride the entire race route while cheering them on.”
Although the races were purely based on elements of fun and making sure that those taking part were having a good time, it was difficult to completely ignore some of the raw talent on display by the young riders.
Cross-country Eliminator Series Results
Sub Nipper Boys
Sub Nipper Girls
1.Emily van Heerden
Sub Junior Boys
2.Daniel van der Watt
Sub Junior Girls
2.Carla Jane Marais