18 June 2017 – The third round of the 2017 SA National MTB Cup Series took place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg, which formed part of the greater weekend-long mountain bike festival from 16-18 June. Christoper Philogene ( took the title in the Elite Men’s and Overall results, and Sabine Thies took the overall women’s title, claiming her third win of the festival.
After seeding placing first just ahead of Tiaan Odendaal (four minutes and 23 seconds) with a time of four minutes and 22 seconds, youngest Philogene, Christopher knew what needed to be done in order to stay safe for his final. “I had a slight idea from our (Tiaan Odendaal and both Philogene brothers) seeding runs of where we all would place if we kept it the same. I knew that I had to put in some more power in order to secure a good enough time,” he said.
His brother, Jonathan, rode a four minute and 24 second seeding run, only to have timing officials flabbergasted when he repeated the exact same time in his final run. “I heard about his time when I got down – maybe he (Jonathan) should take a lotto ticket tonight,” Christopher said.
Christopher had had a great race in Friday’s Enduro as well, taking the second place spot behind Tiaan Odendaal. “I had so much fun out there. I was conserving most of my energy for today’s downhill race of course, but it was really good to just get out there. It was tiring though, but everyone had a great day by the looks of things, and so did I,” he said.
The fastest woman rider down the hill on the day was firecracker Sabine “Beani” Thies with a time of five minutes and 41.165 seconds, making it three victories across three disciplines in three days.
She chatted about her victories: “I knew this weekend was coming up and I did train for it. On Friday we had the Enduro and I was hoping to my best. There was one stage I had never ridden and to my surprise it was very similar to SA National MTB Marathon Champs – which I didn’t do very well in. I was surprised at the bottom to find out that I was first though.
“The cross-country course was just a lot of fun. It was great competition and all in all a great day.
“In practise this morning something felt different when I went over a specific jump, which made my gut feeling to choose not to do it. I realised I still had the speed so I used it all, which paid off.”
Summary of Results
1.Christopher Philogene 04:19.905
2.Tiaan Odendaal 04:21.
3.Jonathan Philogene 04:24.532
4.Timothy Bentley 04:27.045
5.Cullen McMaster 04:39.003
1.Sabine Thies 05:41.165
2.Sonja Engelbrecth 06:43.086
3.Nikki Alvin 07:04.823
4.Dorette Crous 07:43.821