Cycling South Africa has crowned the 2013 Mountain bike marathon national champions in perfect Lowveld winter weather conditions at Induna Adventures in Hazyview, Mpumalanga today.
National championship titles were up for grabs across all the age categories, for the main elite event, as well as for the junior, youth, sub veteran, veteran, masters and grand masters events. All categories cycled on the same route, although the distances were altered to provide the correct race route for the various categories.
The elite men and women were required to race over distances of 112 kilometres and 73km respectively. The classy, talented fields built momentous anticipation for their followers and families, as there were a host of potential winners at any point during the race. The winner being decided right at the end.
A tactical race ensued for the men, which saw the lead group change on several occasions. Max Knox (Specialized), Lourens Luus (Team RE:CM) and Kevin Evans (FedGroup-Itec) were leading for most of the first loop of approximately 40km, but they were reeled in by the determined chasing group.
The top names of Waylon Woolcock and Erik Kleinhans (both Team RE:CM), Brandon Stewart and Neil Macdonald (both FedGroup-Itec), Darren Lill (Cannondale Blend), Philip Buys (Scott), Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck (both Team Westvaal Columbia) and James Reid (sponsored by Trek and Craft) all regrouped with Knox, Luus and Evans.
By the time they reached the second technical zone situated at 74km, Luus, Knox, Lill, Reid, Bell, Evans, Stewart and Buys were working hard at the front and had managed to place a significant space between themselves and the splintered chasing pack.
Coming into the final kilometres of the 112km race, Evans, Bell and Reid were out in front, and it was under-23 cross-country racer James Reid who managed to secure the victory for the SA Marathon Championship title in a time of 4 hours 40 minutes and 36 seconds. Nico Bell finished in second place (04:41:08) with Kevin Evans third (04:41:41).
London Olympic road cyclist Robyn de Groot, who has recently turned to mountain biking, won the elite women’s 73km race. De Groot put on a solid performance to take the victory in 3 hours 33 minutes and 56 seconds. Local Lowveld rider Samantha Sanders (Valencia) crossed the line in second place (03:38:25) with cross-country Olympian Candice Neethling (BMC-SA) rounding out the podium less than a minute behind (03:38:57).
Summary of Results – 2013 SA National MTB Marathon Championships
Download the full results on our dedicated SA XCM Champs web page here:http://www.cyclingsa.com/
Elite Men: Ultra marathon 112km (EM)
Elite Women: Marathon 73km (EW)
Sub Veteran Men (30-39 years) 73km (SVL)
Sub Veteran Women (30-39 years) 73km (SXL)
Veteran Men (40-49 years) 73km (VML)
Veteran Women (40-49 years) 73km (VWL)
Master Men (50-59 years) 73km (MML)
Youth Men (15-16 years) 36km (YM)
Youth Women (15-16 years) 36km (YW)
Junior Men (17-18 years) 36km (JM)
Junior Women (17-18 years) 36km (JW)
Master Women (50-59 years) 36km (MWM)
Grand Master Men (Age 60+) 36km (GMM)