In a discussion of any particular sport, the debate about who is really the best will always be an important issue. A conversation like this very often turns into a heated discussion.
But as far as mountain biking is concerned, the question of who is the best mountain biker in South Africa, will be answered on 25 August when the best of the best will battle it out during the South African National Championships at the MTN Gravel Travel in and around Wellington.
One of the main challenges for the pro-elite riders will certainly be to bring the domination of Kevin Evans and David George (Nedbank360Life) in the MTN National MTB Series to an end.
Mountainbike master Burry Stander let a possible podium place slip to finish fifth in the seven-lap 34.08km in the men’s mountain bike event at Hadleigh Farm at the London Olympics on Sunday, and there was a clean sweep for Africa in the men’s marathon.
Starting slowly, Stander climbed through to 11th position after being in 19th place halfway into the first lap.
With just weeks to go until the 2012 UCI World Cycling Tour Final in Pietermaritzburg from 23 to 26 August one of road cycling’s icon figures Andrew McLean is determined to succeed at an event that he says is of massive importance for South African cycling.
“I think this is a very prestigious competition and very important for cycling on the world stage as well as being very important for South Africa,” said McLean, who dominated his 45-49 year age group at the Msunduzi Road Challenge qualifying event last year, winning the his age group road race and posting the fastest time trial overall.
South African cycling icon Gary Beneke has set his sights on the UCI rainbow jersey awarded to each age group’s world champion in the UCI World Cycling Tour Final from 23 to 26 August.
The 49 year old Gauteng star, who rides in the colours of the Dimension Data/Gary Beneke Sports team, qualified for the amateur road racing masters finals lineup with a powerful showing at last year’s Msunduzi Road Challenge, and says he expects the pressure to come from the other veterans and masters rather than the hilly KZN midlands course.
After taking the wrong turn in 2011 not even a problematic chain could stop Jacques “Big Blade” Rossouw from winning the past weekend’s Die Burger MTB Challenge over 75km in Stellenbosch.
He was joined on the podium by Ruan du Toit and Renay Groustra who was second and third respectively.
The final World Cup XCO race was in Val d’Isère this past weekend. Nino Schurter set a hard pace from the start and nobody was able to follow.
After the first lap Absalon, Kulhavy and Stander were already beaten, only Marco Aurelio Fontana and Florian Vogel were close behind.
Obstructed by a crash and a puncture, lead rider Ashleigh Moolman said the South African trio were disappointed with their results in the women’s cycling road race at the London Olympics on Sunday.
Moolman finished in 16th place, stuck in a large chasing group, while Joanna van de Winkel was 28th at the back of the same pack.