The Lowvelder

Mpumalanga mountain biking taken to next level at XCO race

- Mark Kinnear

The Mpumalanga XCO Race 3 was once again an action-packed day with outstandin­g talent and awesome racing at Eagle View Play Park on Saturday.

Riders from all over Mpumalanga were massively supported. The track was amazing; some technical aspects with fast-flowing sections and then the burst climbs that pushed the riders to the next level, guaranteed enjoyment for everyone, young and old.

With 191 entries for the day at the third leg of the Mpumalanga Provincial Series, it was just amazing to see it become one of the biggest XCO races to date.

As the MTB director of MPU, Shane Snyman said, “We are taking Mpumalanga MTB to the next level and it is all about the riders. We in Mpumalanga are privileged to have some of the best tracks on our doorstep and are definitely sitting with potential Olympic-class riders.” Clearly this was confirmed on the race day, with so many energetic riders ready to fight it out on the course.

From the word go it was flatout racing in the final men’s race, with Luan Snyman (youth, boys) and Tyrone Anders (junior, men) dominating the field and opening a gap of five minutes. Luan crossed the line first and Tyrone, still with two laps remaining, went on to win his category.

Monet Blofield (sub-vet, women) from Middelburg and Geane Engelbrech­t (juniors, girls) from Secunda led the ladies in the final race of the day.

“With this series we have partnered up with Mpumalanga Schools Cycling to work hand in hand with MCU to expose the kids to more series tracks and racing, and to prepare them for the Spur School Series that kicks of on June 19 at Piet Retief High School, leading up to the SA Schools finals later in the year,” said Snyman.

He concluded, “We are looking forward to the finals of the MPU Provincial­s Series on June 12 at Klipspring­er Lodge on the Uitkyk Road. You can be guaranteed that the tracks will be of the best quality (built and designed by Danie Botha) and will definitely be up to a final XCO standard, but also ridable for anyone, as it is not always about winning on the day, but having fun. We invite every MTB rider to come and enjoy the day out with us at the finals.”

Snyman thanked Cycling South Africa, the Mpumalanga Cycling Union and Mpumalanga Schools Cycling for their support of the series and to an amazing track that was prepped at EVPP, Jaco Potgieter, track builder Wayne Potgieter (please remember the tracks are always open to ride at EVPP) and the sponsors of the day that made it happen - EVPP, the team at 2D Adventures and TWK.

 ?? > Photos: Mark Kinnear ?? Monique Swart won the elite women’s race.
> Photos: Mark Kinnear Monique Swart won the elite women’s race.
 ??  ?? Nelius Janse van Rensburg.
Nelius Janse van Rensburg.

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