Swiss insurgents sweep victories in soaking Sabie

In another sweep victory and with Swiss precision Urs Huber (Team Bulls) and compatriot Ariane Kleinhans (Team RE:CM) stormed to victory in a soaking wet Sabie (Mpumalanga South Africa) for the first round of the UCI World Marathon Series and the second leg of the MTN National MTB Series driven by Nissan.
The in form Urs Huber (Team Bulls) finished the 120km MTN Ultra Marathon in a time of 5h28m57 followed by his team mate and ABSA Cape Epic partner Karl Platt in a time of 5h31m07s. Kevin Evans (Fedgroup Itec) was the first South African to cross the line in third place in a time of 5h43m33s almost 15 minutes behind Huber.
The MTN Sabie National MTB Series driven by Nissan drew riders from 16 countries including some of the top riders from Switzerland, Germany, France as well as riders from Lesotho and even as far as David Kinjah Chris Froome’s (current Tour de France champion) mentor from Kenya.
According to some of the riders it was complete carnage out there with many of the pre race favourites struck down by mechanical failures leaving the field wide open to those that survived the treacherous conditions. Victims included the likes of MTN Dullstroom winner Lourens Luus (Team RE:CM), local favourite Max Knox (Team Ghost), Waylon Woolcock and team mate Charles Keey (Cannondale Blend), France’s Remi la Fonte, Germany’s Steffen Thum and Simon Gegenheimer (Rose Ultra Sport) to name but a few.
In the women’s MTN Marathon Ariane Kleinhans (Team RE:CM) and team mate Cherise Stander rode in first and second for the majority of the race. Stander had the misfortune of a side wall cut on her tyre leaving her stranded on the side of the trails watching second and third place slip away from her while battling to fix her tyre.. Kleinhans went on to a dominating win over Biogen Toyota’s Robyn de Groot in a time of 4h22m22s and de Groot in 3h31m00s. Amy Mcdougal (Valencia cycling) topped off the podium follow by Cherise Stander (Team RE:CM) and rising star Candice Neethling (BMC Velo Life).

MTN National MTB Series driven by Nissan #2 Sabie Ultra Marathon elite men
  1. Urs Huber Team Bulls (Swiss) 5h28m57s
  2. Karl Platt Team Bulls (Germany) 5h31m07s
  3. Kevin Evans FedGroup Itec (South Africa) 5h43m33s
  4. Andrew Hill TIB (South Africa) 5h45m51s
  5. Gert Heyns ASG Cycling (South Africa) 5h46m23s
  6. Nico Bell Team RE:CM (South Africa) 5h47m6s
  7. Gawie Combrinck EAI Cycling (South Africa) 5h48m1s
  8. Matthys Beukes Scott Factory Racing (South Africa) 5h50m50s
  9. Neil Macdonald Fedgroup Itec (South Africa) 5h51m29s
  10. Ben-Melt Swanepoel EAI Cycling (South Africa) 6h16m29s
MTN National MTB Series driven by Nissan #2 Sabie Marathon elite women
  1. Ariane Kleinhans Team RE:CM (Swiss) 4h22m22s
  2. Robyn de Groot Biogen Toyota (South Africa) 4h31m00s
  3. Amy McDougall Valencia Cycling (South Africa) 4h34m19s
  4. Cherise Stander Team RE:CM (South Africa) 4h40m05s
  5. Candice Neethling Velo Life BMC (South Africa) 4h41m20