Superb cross-country racing and an amazing display of upcoming talent resulted in one of the best SA National MTB Championship events in a long while with defending champions Burry Stander and Yolande Speedy retaining their elite national cross-country titles.
A technical 5.4km XCO course with 120m of ascent had been prepared by Mankele MTB Park on the outskirts of Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, and coupled with excellent weather conditions on Saturday 21st July made for some exciting racing.
Venues have been confirmed for the remaining South African cross-country and downhill races as part of the SA national series.
Following a fantastic start at the first round in Cape Town at the weekend, which raised the bar in terms of technicality, organisation and crowd support, organisers will no doubt rise to the challenge to deliver an equally high standard in all aspects of the remaining events, offering the competitors and supporters optimum value.
Beijing Olympians Burry Stander and Yolande Speedy showed that four years later they’re still South Africa’s top mountain bike racers in the Olympic Cross-Country (XCO) discipline, winning the Elite men and women’s races respectively at the opening round of the 2012 South African National Cup Series in Durbanville, near Cape Town on Saturday.
A dress rehearsal for the Absa Cape Epic is what Saturday’s (26 February) MTN Sabie ultra-marathon might just boil down to.
Germany’s Karl Platt (Team Bulls) who has perfected winning the Epic into a fine art has, indicated that he will race at the MTN Sabie.
“A most enjoyable ride!”
This is how Burry Stander (Specialized/USN) described his winning performance in the pro-elite race of the African Cross Country MTB Championship at Jonkershoek, near Stellenbosch, on Saturday (12 February).
Crank attended the UCI African Continental Champs in Jonkershoek on Saturday. The riders were met with stifling hot conditions and a super technical 4km course designed by Chris Nixon. There was some great racing to be seen with Yolande Speedy, Burry Stander and James Reid securing African titles.
After the South African Road Championship in Port Elizabeth, Burry Stander (Specialized/Mr Price) will undoubtedly be the firm favourite to win the UCI African Continental Cross Country mountain bike championship in Jonkershoek, just outside of Stellenbosch, on Saturday (12 February).
Next year MTN-Qhubeka will have a somewhat different name but their goal will remain the same.
For the riders in yellow it does not matter whether they race on tar or on dirt or even fly over jumps during BMX-races. Their goal will always be to do the best they can.