Nkomazi MTB draws most entries yet

Lana Bezuidenhout and Alexa Caldeira.

Muddy, exhilarated, joyous and very determined MTB cyclists crossed the finish line of the Nkomazi MTB Challenge at Laerskool Malelane on Saturday morning.

This second-last race in the Mpumalanga Marathon Series, sponsored by Malalane Toyota, had the most entries yet in its four-year existence.

It drew cyclists from all over South Africa and even a few neighbouring countries, including provincial and SA champions.

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The 10-, 19-, 35- and 65-kilometre routes followed farm roads through sugar-cane, papaya and citrus orchards and certain routes featured a few mud obstacles.

The school was complemented for the excellent routes, route markings and support of the marshals.

Several local businesses and organisations manned the water points along the route to re-energise cyclists with water, other beverages and treats.

Competitors ranged from primary school learners to veterans, families and friends, casual and fiercely competitive, champion MTB riders.

Malalane resident Burger Bester, was the second place winner in the men’s 65km.

While the cyclists battled against each other and the terrain, supporters could gorge themselves on pancakes and other delicious foods on offer, or browse the variety of stalls in the first Let’s Ride Market organised by The Malalane Market.

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A total of R70 000 in prizes was handed out to 51 categories during the prize-giving ceremony. There were also a few spot prizes and two draws for a brand new bicycle.

Results

65km

Men: 1 – Declan Sidey; 2 – Burger Bester; 3 – Cobus van der Linde

Women: 1 – Samantha Sanders; 2 – Heila Meintjies. 3 – Kirsten Gillespie

35km

Men: 1 – Emile Fourie; 2 – Damion Gomez; 3 – Willie Horn

Women: 1 – Zandri Strydom; 2- Hijke Coetzee; 3 – Johlene Faul

19km

Men: 1 – Kimhan van der Merwe; 2 – Jason Grobler; 3 – Christiaan Coetzee

Women: 1 – Camilla Alexander; 2 – Jessica Svacha; 3 – Mariaan Janse van Rensburg

10km

Men: 1 – Milan Snyman; 2 – Juan Jansen van Vuuren; 3 – Freddie Jansen

Women: 1 – Karike Coetzee; 2 – Abigail Lourens; 3 – Libby Ralfe

The winner of the schools competition will be announced soon.

GALLERY: Fair weather makes tough Nkomazi MTB Challenge a treat

Laerskool Malelane would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the event, from the security and ambulance services, support staff and marshals to sponsors of products for the goodie bags and accommodation, as well as those responsible for the layout of the route and use of the farms.

The Mpumalanga Marathon Series is open to all MTB cyclists, and started with the Sappi Mankele MTB Challenge in March. The best four race results of five count towards participants’ final scores. The final race is the Mankele Challenge near Mbombela on November 18.

  AUTHOR
Retha Nel

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