Top riders bat­tle for glory in scenic winelands

The Witness - Wheels - - BIKING -

THE beau­ti­ful winelands around Worces­ter in the Western Cape played host to the fi­nal two rounds of the Totpak Na­tional Of­froad cham­pi­onship and it was down to these last two rounds of the cham­pi­onship to de­ter­mine who would be crowned South African cham­pion for 2015.

Rough tracks with dif­fer­ent ter­rain from rocks to sandy sec­tions would make for an in­ter­est­ing two days of rac­ing with three dif­fer­ent loops of ap­prox­i­mately 55 km that had to be com­pleted twice each day. Round six of the cham­pi­onship was held on Her­itage Day with a day’s break in be­tween be­fore com­peti­tors headed out for round seven on Satur­day.

Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Louwrens Ma­honey set the fastest time on Thurs­day’s time trial, be­ing the first man out, how­ever, with the ter­rain un­known it was hard for Ma­honey to keep the lead and he had to set­tle for sec­ond place over­all and sec­ond place in the OR1 class.

Ma­honey also had a great day out on Satur­day, round­ing off the OR1 podium.

Luck was not on Ross Branch’s side on the Thurs­day, but the tal­ented Botswana rider im­pressed with a steady per­for­mance at round seven of the cham­pi­onship, tak­ing vic­tory on the day, both over­all and in the OR1 class.

In the com­pet­i­tive OR2 class Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Louw Sch­midt dom­i­nated both rounds of the cham­pi­onship, win­ning round six and seven with a com­fort­able lead, se­cur­ing yet again another South African cham­pi­onship ti­tle in this highly com­pet­i­tive class. Ty­ron Miller backed up his team mate and fin­ished in sec­ond place in the OR2 class on Thurs­day and in fifth place on Satur­day.

Af­ter win­ning the pre­vi­ous two rounds of the OR3 cham­pi­onship Jar­ryd Coet­zee was driven to bring home the cham­pi­onship, but an un­for­tu­nate crash on Thurs­day’s time trial put Coet­zee out of ti­tle con­tention and he could not con­tinue rac­ing af­ter in­jur­ing his knee. He how­ever quickly re­cov­ered and dug deep to come back on Satur­day and fin­ish the sea­son on a high.

Af­ter a con­sis­tent sea­son it was Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Juan “Bol­lie” van Rooyen who won both rounds in Worces­ter, se­cur­ing his Se­niors cham­pi­onship ti­tle for the sec­ond year in a row.

The com­pet­i­tive High School class was dom­i­nated by KTM Cen­tu­rion’s Eduan Bester who raced a con­sis­tent sea­son, win­ning most rounds and bring­ing home the class ti­tle. Pro­vi­sional re­sults also saw KTM Cen­tu­rion’s Ian Ven­ter tak­ing the Mas­ters cham­pi­onship.

PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Louw Sch­midt (left) dom­i­nated both rounds of the cham­pi­onship while Jar­ryd Coet­zee (right) was un­for­tu­nate to crash out.

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