MTB riders challenge routes around Hectorspruit

Jessica and Merek Svacha.

Over 200 cyclists from all over the province wound their way through farms bordering the town during the MTB Hectorspruit race.

The scenic route took riders over dams and dusty roads, along the Kruger National Park fence and the challenging single track designed by former SA downhill champion, Dirk Lourens.

The race was first organised in 2013 as a fund-raiser for local preschool Lien se Kleuternes, and has since grown into a popular local sporting event.

READ: Cyclists take on Hectorspruit MTB Challenge

This year all-new distances were added, as the event is also a part of the Mpumalanga Marathon Series along with the Sappi Mankele MTB Challenge, Forest 2 Falls and the Nkomazi MTB Challenge.

Riders could choose from 10-, 19-, 34- and 55 kilometre races and from primary-school children to veterans in their 60’s took on the challenge.

The organisers say they received a lot of positive feedback about the event and riders also remarked on the challenging nature of the course.

There were a few technical difficulties such as flat tyres and two riders who had a close encounter with the ground, but most crossed the finish line in high spirits and with smiles.

Cyclists and supporters could slip over to the MTB Buffalo Festival to rest their tired bones, browse a few of the stalls and enjoy delicious foods like pancakes, curry and rice and prego rolls.



Overall winners:

First: Heine Engelbrecht

Second: Dirk Lourens

Third: Christo Carelsen


Overall winners:

First: Pieter Benade

Second: Rikus Booyens

Third: Willie Horn


Open ladies:

First: Jessica Svacha

Second: Annelize Knipschild

Third: Elsabe Winkler

Open men:

First: Neil Murray

Second: Meyer Horn

Third: Brandon Turvey


Open Ladies:

First: Esmaralda Horn

Second: Shanei Mostert

Third: Leandri Labuschagne

Open men:

First: Milan Snyman

Second: Denys Klopper

Third: Alan Scott.

Leading the series in the 37km is Armand Lombard and Zandri Strydom, and in the 55km, Heine Engelbrecht and Emily Clarke.

Local riders can look forward to the next Onderberg event in the series, the Nkomazi MTB Challenge at Laerskool Malelane on August 26.

READ: Best Nkomazi MTB riders rewarded for achievements

Retha Nel

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