The town of Albstadt, Germany welcomed mountain bike racers from around the world for the opening round of the 2013 UCI World Cup XCO season at the weekend.
Twelve riders represented South Africa with solid representation in the under-23 men category, which had seven competitors. Saturday’s riders were faced with sunny conditions, which turned overnight and presented Sunday’s elite classes with wet conditions.
Tokai forest is the mountain biking gem of Cape Town. Situated just 20km from Cape Town CBD it is the most popular mtb destination for riders living in and around Cape Town. If you have ridden there recently you would have noticed the prolific felling of trees, causing a moonscape effect where the ever popular Mumba trails used to be.
Max Knox and Nico Bell held onto their overnight lead to claim overall victory in the three-day Nedbank sani2c mountain bike race that finished on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast on Saturday.
Riding in the colours of EAI-Westvaal, the pair finished fourth on the 80km final stage from Highflats to Scottburgh to claim the victors’ laurels in an aggregate time of 9:44:50.
Max Knox and Nico Bell mastered slippery conditions to win the decisive second stage and take the overall lead of the Nedbank sani2c mountain bike race in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday.
After crashing early on the descent into the Umkomaas River Valley, the mud-spattered EAI-Westvaal riders powered their way back to claim the 99km stage from MacKenzie Club near Ixopo to Jolivet farm in the Highflats region.
After a run of bad luck this season, Charles Keey and Darren Lill finally got the break they needed to claim the opening stage of the three-day Nedbank sani2c mountain bike race near Ixopo in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.
The Cannondale-Blend duo timed it perfectly to hold off all contenders in a bunch sprint to the finish, taking the 87km stage from Underberg to MacKenzie Club in 2:47:10.
With five wins from six starts, defending champion Kevin Evans will be a marked man when the three-day Nedbank sani2c mountain bike race rolls out of Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.
Evans, who is slowly returning to form following complications from abdominal surgery, is set to mount his title defence in the 271km Race alongside ad hoc partner Gawie Combrinck.
The third round of the Cycling SA-MTB National Cup Series takes place at Thaba Trails near Alberton in Gauteng on 25 and 26 May 2013.
Gauteng Mountain Bike Commissioner Wendell Bole and his team have pulled out all the stops to ensure that the trails meet the standards of the national cup series race. “This is a proper cross-country (XCO) course with a little bit of everything,” said Bole. “And the team has been working hard to build a downhill course of a high standard from scratch.”