Sani2c: Nedbank duo are race favourites
DAVID George and Kevin Evans (Nedbank 360Life) earned themselves the favourites tag for the Subaru Sani2c mountain bike race that started in Underberg on Thursday, having recently dominated at the MTN Tulbagh ultra-marathon.
“We’re going there to fight for a win and, on paper, we’re more than capable,” said George, who took his second win of the prestigious national series and with it the overall lead. His team-mate Evans, a four-time Subaru Sani2c champion, proved he had also returned to form with a determined second place after breaking his collarbone at the Absa Cape Epic in March.
George conceded the Sani2c was a major objective for them. “We planned our season around two big peaks, the Epic and now.”
He said that despite the bad luck at the beginning of the year, they were still one of the strongest teams going into the three-day race through southern KwaZulu-Natal, which finishes at Scottburgh today. Their biggest threat is likely to come from the experienced team of Max Knox and Rwanda’s Adrien Niyonshuti (MTNDoItNow) as well as Brandon Stewart and national road champion Darren Lill (FedGroup Berg and Bush).
The women’s race has been blown wide open with the withdrawal of joBerg2c champion Ischen Stopforth (Team bizhub). Stopforth, who overcame a puncture and a crash to take third at Tulbagh behind her partner Catherine Williamson, was bitten by a dog during a training ride on Monday. Williamson, of Britain, will now be partnered by cross-country rider Candice Neethling, who placed fourth in Tulbagh.
“They’ll still go for the win — they must do it for me!” Stop- forth said. She said their main competition would come from the strong pairings of Cherise Taylor and Karien van Jaarsveld (USN) and Hanlie Booyens and Michelle Lombardi (Momentum SI Ladies).
CYCLING NEWS Road racing continued with the KZN Lassen Series at Camperdown last weekend. Dean Edwards took the victory in the Elite/Junior and U23 race in a time of one hour, 39 minutes and 13 seconds with Richard Baxter three seconds off the pace behind him.
Chris Cowan was first junior home while Deno van Heerden led the veterans home in third place overall (1:39:18). Honours in the U16, women and veteran 50+ six-lap race went to U16 rider Ryan Felgate (1:48:50) while Trevor Thompson led the vets home (1:49:59) followed by Don Kruger and Colin Stroberg. Kim Watchurst took a surprise win in the women’s race (1:55:26) ahead of Isabel Moolman and Brenda Potts.
MOUNTAIN BIKING NEWS The second event in the KZN Momentum Health Short Course Series took place at the Hesketh Conservancy last weekend. The venue provided a central and well maintained track which was ideal for short course racing over a six kilometre loop.
Riders are able to choose which event they wish to race, be it A batch over 90 minutes through to D batch over 45 minutes of racing.
Brendon Davids and James Reid tussled it out in A batch with Davids clinching the win ahead of Reid and Travis Walker placing third. Jeannie Bomford and Elaine Carter-Brown contested A batch while most women raced B batch over 75 minutes. Julian Jesson was first home in the B batch with veteran Alan Martin second.
Amongst the women, Ashleigh Parker-Moffatt placed first ahead of Nataschka Mowat and Savannah Schuit. C batch winners over 60 minutes were Joshua Nelson and Frankie du Toit. The next event in the Momentum Short Course Series takes place next weekend (Sunday May 29) at Holla Trails, Ballito.
MOUNTAIN BIKING The Boston MTB challenge takes place tomorrow morning from the Boston Country Club. There are three formats to choose from, a 10 km Family Fun Ride (R20), a 25 km Intermediate (R60) and 50 km Challenge (R100). Please note that there will be no late entry fee charged for entries on the day.
For the 50 km ride, there will be no official start — participants may start anytime after 9.30 am. The races will not be timed and there will be no prize money for winners. The 25 km is a relatively easy ride with only one difficult climb in it. The 10 km is aimed at kids and novices. Funds raised will go to the Boston Country Club and Howick Hospice.
Next Saturday sees the Compendium MTB Derby taking place at Shongweni Polo Club, Hillcrest, from 8.30 am.
Registration will be open between 7 am and 9 am, with the 40 km starting at 8.30 am, followed by the 20 km at 8.45 am, the 10 km at 8.55 am and the five kilometre at 9 am. Entries close on www.roag.co.za on Wednesday. T-shirts to the first 1 000 entries, medals to all finishers.
Kevin Evans (right) and Neil MacDonald compete during the sani2c mountain bike race currently taking place in Underberg.