The Madibaz Mountain Bike XCO Series made a flying start at the NMMU campus in George this weekend, with the organisers receiving double the number of entries compared to last year’s corresponding event.
The cross country mountain bike race was the first of four events in the series, with the remaining legs set to take place on June 10, August 27 and October 29.
Presented by Old Mutual Private Wealth Management, the series aims to provide exposure to cross country racing for riders in the Eden region and race director Jan Venter said the opening race was an overwhelming success.
“The majority of the riders were from the Eden area, but there were also entrants from Ladismith, Oudtshoorn and Cape Town,” he said.
“In total, across the various categories, we had 120 riders which is a 100 per cent increase from last year.”
He added that the feedback from participants had been positive and it had been an excellent start in the promotion of cross country racing in the region.
“I must say the large number of riders was unexpected but welcome,” said Venter.
“There were an incredible number of young riders with lots of talent in the nippers and sprogs categories.
“I have no doubt it is an indication that cross country and mountain bike racing have a great future in Eden.”
He added that there had been a strong level of competition in the age categories, saying “they left it all out on the track”.
Venter said one element they would reconsider for the next leg would be to split the nippers and sprogs categories “to make for easier riding for the youngsters”.
In terms of the course, he said they were happy with what had been created.
“We will probably make a few minor changes to make it even better. And, of course, the next event will have a different race route with new technical surprises.”
Sport manager at the George campus, Hugo Loubser, said the series, which was also supported by Ridelife George, Giant South Africa and Tippeton, was open to everyone.
“Besides promoting cross country racing in the region, we want to provide the community with healthy lifestyle options,” he added.
“It is built on a drive for excellence and respect for the environment.”
The third leg of the series in August will include an intervarsity section, with top university stars competing against each other.
Loubser added that the series champions would be determined by adding the points from riders’ top three finishes together.
Go to www.madibazmtb.co.za for more information.
The results were:
Elite: 1 Luke Cocksedge, 2 Hendre Terblanche, 3 Kyle Symons
U23: 1 Brandon Williams, 2 Daniel du Toit
Sub-vet: 1 Nico Kruger, 2 Hannes Neethling, 3 Adrian de Jonge
Veteran: 1 Gerrie Beukes, 2 Iniel Hattingh, 3 Richard Muller
Grandmaster: 1 Roy Kruger, 2 Sam Nienaber
Junior: 1 Adriaan Venter, 2 Casper Pretorius, 3 Reinhart Marx
Youth: 1 Tristan Nortje, 2 Cwynton Collett, 3 Matthew Leppan
Sub-junior: 1 Julian Bunge, 2 Zandre Gerber, 3 Christian Hattingh
Sprog: 1 Neil Erasmus, 2 Cronje Beukes, 3 Brian Frazer-Mackenzie
Nipper: 1 Roy Frazer-Mackenzie, 2 Matthew Brink, 3 Morgan Jones
Elite: 1 Robyn de Groot, 2 Rose Bailey
U23: 1 Jean-Marie Roelofse
Sub-vet: 1 Anel Strampe, 2 Liezel Marx
Vet: 1 Marike Vreken, 2 Thea-Mari van der Sandt
Junior: 1 Amy Tait, 2 Britney Williams
Youth: 1 Charlissa Schultz, 2 Kirstin Roelofse, 3 Mia Bester
Sub-junior: 1 Sorina Venter, 2 Alissa Coetzer
Sprog: 1 Mienke Boshoff, 2 Mia Aaron, 3 Asha Tait
Nipper: 1 Gita Hildebrand, 2 Hannie Vreken, 3 Chloe Price