Burry Stander Park Development Series Race 2015 Saturday the 24th October 2015 saw the team and I head down the South Coast to The Burry Stander Bike Park to host our annual Development Series Race in the UGU District.
Mandie Stander is always a fantastic host and it goes hand in hand with the great development work she is continually doing every week for the kids in her area. Mandie on average has between 30 to 50 kids at the park learning to cycle and eager to advance their cycling skills. The park is the perfect place to learn as there are many different areas to hone your skills within the park.
Saturday was one of the biggest events we have had this year with there being 135 kids between the ages of 10 and 16. This just shows how eager the South Coast is for Cycling. Mandie has an incredible team of young people that help her and they are also part of her team that participate in local mountain bike events. You can clearly see they are also from the local community as the kids have huge respect for them, they listen eagerly when being spoken to about all that is required of them throughout the day.
Our race day is a simple formula everyone is allowed a chance to practice and participate in 3 qualifying rounds, after the three qualifying rounds the riders with the lowest amount of points proceed to the elimination rounds until we have a final of the top 8 riders in each age category.
The categories for this event were 1 Girls Category, 10 – 11 Boys, 12 – 13 Boys, 14 – 16 Boys and 16 – 18 Boys. The course was laid out and the racing was great with such a big turnout we had lots of racing and lots of cheering so it was a wonderful atmosphere as the kids screamed for their friends. In the Girls Category it was Nomvuyo Xolo that dominated all day and taking the victory followed by Jessica Cele and Anele Ngobese respectively. 10 – 11 Boys saw Mlungisi Xhanyana 1st, Sizwe Msomi 2nd and Saluleko Mncabe 3rd this race just showed that anything can happen in a final as Saluleko had dominated all day but one slip of the pedal and he ended up third for the day. 12 – 13 Boys the pace was getting faster and harder in the end it was Mlungisi Ncama 1st, Ndumiso Msomi 2nd and Linda Msana 3rd, 14 – 16 Boys was the race of the day for me as they were close friends and really any one of the finalists could win but Deron Mamemla was on the top step of the podium for the day and in the end a really worthy winner as he had won all his heats and qualifiers and then dominated the main event all the way to the line then the challenge was on and very close finish saw Lungisani Lele 2nd and Asanda Cele 3rd, 16 – 18 Boys saw Sbonelo Mavundla 1st, Mvusi Khanula 2nd and Mjabula Chaliza 3rd.
The racing was amazing to watch and competitive all the way to the finish line. This area is growing from strength to strength and I think soon we are really going to see some very competitive mountain bikers coming out of this district.
Many Thanks has to go to KwaZulu-Natal Sports and Recreation, KwaZulu- Natal Cycling, Cycling South Africa, Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park and Mandie Stander from Burry Stander Foundation for all the help on a very successful race day in the UGU District.
Source: Tyrone Johns,