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Back You are here: Home Sports MTB MTB:Gauteng wins Interprovincial Spur MTB Competition:
Sunday, 06 October 2013 20:33

MTB:Gauteng wins Interprovincial Spur MTB Competition:

Gauteng pulled out all the stops for a convincing win at the 2013 Interprovincial Competition hosted as part of the Spur Shool Mountainbike League Finals. 

 

Eight provinces as well as Namibia and Zimbabwe selected their top riders across six age categories to don their new provincial Anatomic gear and battle it out for position as the top 10 scores across the different categories counted for the final log.

Competition was fierce across all categories, but Gauteng proved too strong and walked off as winners of the coveted floating trophy with a total score of 248. North West Province logged 209 points to finish second, while last year’s provincial winners, Western Provence finished in third position with 202 points.  The team from Lydenburg was awarded the spirit trophy for the weekend.

According to Gauteng league co-ordinator his team were well briefed on the importance of a tactical approach in the interprovincial competition. “Unlike the schools category, which works on a point system, the interprovincial competition is determined by position and not time.  The Gauteng team understood the value of a team approach and did very well by hunting in packs.  It will be interesting to see if the other provinces alter their approach for the 2014 league, but for now we’re just enjoying the win,” concludes Steyn.

Although a team competition, riders gave it their all to secure individual podium positions.  The sub-junior girls’ category was won by Danielle Strydom of North West with Mariette Kemp of Gauteng second and Allison Morton of Western Cape in third place.  Hendrik du Toit and Chad Fikkert of Gauteng took first and third place respectively in the sub-junior boys with Keegan Clark of Mpumalanga finishing in second place.

The youth girls’ category was won by Frankie du Toit of Kwazulu Natal with team mate Sabrina van Wyk second and Saffron Vosloo of Gauteng in third.  Herbert Peters of Namibia took line honours in the youth boys with Franco Pelser of Mpumalanga second and Vincent Leygonie of Gauteng in third place.

As expected the junior category finished off the Spur School Mountain Bike League interprovincial competition on a high note.  After a fast start, Dylan Robello of Gauteng showed why he finished the season as the Spur Anatomic series winner as he comfortably crossed the finish line way ahead of his competitors.  Nicholas Popich of Gauteng and Dean Morgan of Western Province had a tight race to battle it out for second and third position, but it was Nicholas who made it across the finish line first to secure second place.

The junior girls’ race was a tactical race with the top three riders pulling away from the pack early on in the race and starting their own mini-race for podium positions.   However, it was Hazel Magill of North West who proved to be the best rider on the day, beating Gauteng team mates Janice Venter and Jessica Alcock in a tight sprint for the finish line.

According to Magill, who only started cycling in April last year, the course was very technical and required focus and concentration.  “I had to think about what my next step was all the time as a single mistake could be futile.  As the Gauteng riders teamed up, I had an even harder task at hand,” said Hazel.

Magill was lying second on the second lap when she managed to pass Janice Venter on a small climb.  Lying in front, Magill decided to bring the pace down drastically to save her energy for the final sprint.  This frustrated the Gauteng riders as Western Cape were catching up.  Neither of the Gauteng riders was willing to take the lead as with Magill in the middle, their communication would be compromised.

“I had to change water bottles in the last round and knew they were going to try and both pass me at that point.  I just grabbed my bottle and sprinted away to keep my spot in second.  Although there was a bit of pushing and shoving on the track, I tried to keep the smoothest lines to save my legs for the final sprint,” said Magill, who sprinted across the finish for an exciting win.

According to Meurant Botha of league co-ordinator Amarider, they were very pleased with the level of racing during the Spur School Mountainbike Interprovincial Competition. “It was great to see the enthusiasm amongst the riders from the different schools as they teamed up for their respective provinces.   We are clearly achieving our goal of providing a platform for the kids to compete on provincial level in a sport that is not currently acknowledged as one of the interprovincial school sports,” said Botha.