Max Knox and Cherise Stander (nee Taylor) were the victors at the weekend when they both dominated the men’s and women’s SA National MTB Marathon Championship, which was held at the Diemersfontein Wine Estate in Wellington, Western Cape on Saturday (25 August).
Their solid performances resulted after 4 hours 56 minutes 38 seconds over 110km for Knox and 3 hours 55 minutes 59 seconds over 75 km for Stander in miserable, very cold and rainy conditions throughout the race.
Knox’s (Specialized) solid performance in Diemersfontein saw him surge ahead for the victory at approximately 25km to go in the ultra marathon race, when he simply left his competitors in his wake and crossed the finish line 11 minutes ahead of his closest rival, David George (360Life). MTN Qhubeka’s Adrien Niyonshuti finished third.
For SA Time Trial Champion Cherise Stander (Momentum Toyota), her victory provided her with a double-whammy of national titles in both the on-and-off road disciplines this season after her determined performance from as early as the first major climb of the day.
Stander managed to outride her closest challengers, and despite feeling the extremeness of the cold weather, continued to open a sizeable gap as she crossed the finish line of the 75km marathon about three minutes ahead of second-placed Swiss rider Ariane Kleinhans (Contego 28E) with Ischen Stopforth (bizhub-FCF) in third.
The weather however did not detract from a superb championship course as thousands of competitors took part in the race events over the weekend that were part of the MTN National MTB Series – Gravel Travel.
Summary of Results – SA National MTB Championship
Men – ultra marathon – 110 km
Max Knox 04:56:38
David George 05:08:34
Adrien Niyonshuti 05:09:14
Nico Bell 05:12:13
Waylon Woolcock 05:14:57
Women – marathon – 75km
Cherise Stander 03:55:59
Ariane Kleinhans 03:59:03
Ischen Stopforth 04:00:00
Mariske Strauss 04:07:31
Theresa Ralph 04:08:19