Hundreds compete in scenic Big 5 MTB race

Max Knox.

Over 600 riders, from as far afield as Richards Bay and Venezuela and ranging from young pupils to veteran cyclists, set off from Komatipoort Akademie’s sports field on Saturday morning. For many, this race has become a annual tradition and excuse to holiday in the Lowveld.

Monique Swart.

Riders could choose from the 10-kilometre fun ride, 20-kilometre fun race, 45-kilometre half-marathon and 60-kilometre marathon.  The 45 kilometre proved to be the most popular distance with 219 riders, and most participants approached the finish line at a sprint, trying to outpace their nearest competition.

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Although a few of the riders looked a bit muddy, most were still in high spirits when they entered the sports grounds for the last few metres and were enthusiastically welcomed back by supporters.

The race was started as a fund-raiser for the school and has grown from 149 participants in 2013 to around 600 over the past three years.

Declan Sidey.

The organisers received a lot of positive feedback via Facebook, Twitter and at the event, with participants thanking them for a well-organised race, noting the large amount of families who participated together and enjoyed nature, and agreed it was “a fun day out on the bike”.


• In the 10 kilometre, André Maritz crossed the finish line first, followed by Leandré Koen, Damian Buys and Ockert Maritz around two minutes later.

• The younger riders proved the fastest males in the 20 kilometre as Morné Klopper, Lohan Pelser and Janco Peens were the first three riders in. Among the ladies, experience proved key, as senior and sub-veteran riders Chanté Jacobs, Adri Kruger and Cornelia Basson won the top three spots.

• The top three males in the 45 kilometre were Rikus Booyens, Adrian Steyn and Emile Fourie. The female winners were Zandri Strydom, Monique Swart and Hijke Coetzee.

• The top riders in the 60 kilometre were very close in times, but Declan Sidey, Max Knox and Dirk Lourens took the top spots. The winning ladies were Samantha Sanders, Heila Meintjies and, separated by a split second, Jeanette Treherne and Vivienne Turvey.

Find the full results here.

Komatipoort Akademie would like to thank title sponsor RCL Foods and all of their other generous sponsors, all the volunteers, land owners, organisers, people and businesses who managed water points and the participants for their support and excellent efforts to make the event a success.

They hope that all of their supporters will join them again next year.

Check out the gallery of photos of the participants here.

Riders can stay up-to-date on all race-related information by visiting the Big 5 Race Facebook page.

Retha Nel

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Around 600 cyclists compete in Big 5 MTB Race