KZN gravity riders deliver thrilling action in combined format racing

A scorching hot day greeted the thrill-seeking, extreme-inclined mountain bike riders who ventured into the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands for the opening round of the 2017 KZNMTB PROVINCIAL GRAVITY SERIES at St. Ives on Sunday 12 February.

Attached Image: Kelvin Purchase KZN Gravity Series.jpg
Local rider Kelvin Purchase enjoyed the flowing trails in the Enduro race at the opening round of the 2017 KZNMTB PROVINCIAL GRAVITY SERIES at St. Ives in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Sunday 12 February.

 

The thermometer soared as the day progressed in a nestled away section of St. Ives’ property; a section that kept the spectators very close to some of the racing action. KZN riders and spectators alike welcomed the large Gauteng contingent that could not pass up the opportunity to tackle KZN’s green hillsides for some gravity-induced riding! A large entry field had gathered for the opening round, with over 130 for the Enduro competition and over 70 in the Downhill starting blocks.

 

It was to be the first time that the two “gravity” disciplines were to be held on the same day, a format that will be tweaked as the series progresses. No minute was spared between the two events as officials and riders maximised their time throughout the day.

 

Because of the tight schedule, Enduro competitors were afforded the opportunity to make use of the uplift vehicle once only during the four-stage event; normally riders have to make their own way to the stage starts during the untimed liaison.

 

Attached Image: Sabine Thies KZN Gravity series.jpg14-year-old Sabine Thies threw down the gauntlet to a much larger women’s field that participated in the Enduro and Downhill races to claim both prizes at the opening round of the 2017 KZNMTB PROVINCIAL GRAVITY SERIES at St. Ives in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Sunday 12 February.
Overall Men’s winner in the Enduro race was Tiaan Odendaal, who managed to ward off an eager Craig Paul to hold the overall winning time after four stages by 21 seconds. “I really enjoyed it – the tracks are fun,” said Odendaal. “St. Ives is such a great place to ride, and it is a fantastic venue because you can see the tracks on the hillside and all the stages finish close together, yet they utilise a lot of the property for the trails. It is especially great for the spectators and family.”

 

14-year-old Sabine Thies threw down the gauntlet to a much larger women’s field that participated in the Enduro race. Thies’ overall time of 16 minutes 43 seconds after four stages was 10 seconds faster than Charne Dreyer, also competing in the Youth category, while the remaining podium places clocked over the 17-minute mark.

 

“The Enduro went well. I took it easy so I thought I was slow because I didn't want to crash for the downhill,” she said. Thies also clocked the fastest descent in the women’s class for the Downhill race. “That was a really good run. I got the fastest time on the first run so I’m pretty happy with that.”

 

The larger-than-normal field of women didn’t deter Thies. “I have raced against these women before so I knew what to expect,” she said.

 

Shortly after the Enduro, those competing in the Downhill class made their way to the start at the top of the hill. In a race where the best run of two counted, an eminent storm was brewing which eventually put paid to many of the riders’ second timed run, which meant that only their first runs counted.

 

Christopher Philogene, who has made the leap from the Junior class to Elite this year, took the top honours in the Downhill race. “I knew that I had to put everything together in the first run because I could see the weather forecast and that the rain was on its way,” he said. “Everything had to go into that first run and I think the other riders realised that as well. The race run was good and I wouldn’t have changed much if I’d had the chance in a second run.”

 

Attached Image: Dorette Crous KZN Gravity Series.jpg
Dorette Crous took full advantage of the new event format when she entered both the Enduro and Downhill races at the opening round of the 2017 KZNMTB PROVINCIAL GRAVITY SERIES at St. Ives in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Sunday 12 February.

 

Ex-local and now visiting rider Nikki Alvin netted a third place overall in the women’s race. “It was an awesome track and I absolutely loved it!” she said. “It’s a really great course for girls because we can hit all the jumps whereas some of the other tracks are a little big for us.”

 

Alvin travelled from Gauteng with friends for the races– some new to the sport. “They are definitely into it now – the bug has bitten,” she said. “I didn't expect to finish where I did on my first run (in second place) and then I think there was too much pressure on me so I messed that up a bit on my second run,” she laughs. “But Kath (Fourie) and Beani are absolutely awesome and it’s great to be up there with them. I will definitely be at the next event at Giba.”

 

KZNMTB’s Gravity Commissioner Marc Philogene said that the new format worked well on the day. “Our whole aim was to unite the two groups, and I think we achieved that. They are both gravity sports and there is a lot of crossover and a big percentage crossed over. We need to tweak the format for future events – we will look at each event as a whole as there will be challenges at different venues.”

 

The second round of the 2017 KZNMTB PROVINCIAL GRAVITY SERIES takes place at Giba Gorge MTB Park on Sunday 26 March.

 

Attached Image: Men podium KZN Gravity Series.jpg
Christopher Philogene, who has made the leap from the Junior class to Elite this year, took the top honours in the Downhill race at the opening round of the 2017 KZNMTB PROVINCIAL GRAVITY SERIES at St. Ives in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Sunday 12 February. He is flanked by (on left): Cullen McMaster, Tiaan Odendaal and on right: Jonathan Philogene and Struan McMaster.

 

Summary of Results – 2017 KZNMTB ENDURO Round 1 – Sunday 12 February 2017

 

Overall Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal (Senior) 12:22
2.Craig Paul (Sub Veteran) 12:43
3.Sharjah Jonsson (Junior) 12:59
4.Keira Duncan (Junior) 13:09
5.Shane Martin (Senior) 13:10

 

Overall Women
1.Sabine Thies (Youth) 16:43
2.Charne Dreyer (Youth) 16:53
3.Amy-Jane Mundy (Sub Veteran) 17:13
4.Louise Kotze (Sub Veteran) 17:24
5.Kathryn Fourie (Sub Veteran) 17:40

 

Senior Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal 12:22
2.Shane Martin 13:10
3.Wade Prinsloo 13:35

 

Sub Veteran Men
1.Craig Paul 12:43
2.Duane Stander 13:41
3.Christopher Pearton 14:09

 

Sub Veteran Women
1.Amy-Jane Mundy 17:13
2.Louise Kotze 17:24
3.Kathryn Fourie 17:40

 

Veteran Men
1.Keith Diederichs 13:55
2.Thane Archer 14:13
3.Devlin Fogg 14:50

 

Veteran Women
1.Sonja Engelbrecht 18:42
2.Pauline Rainbird 18:50
3.Nicola Nairn 20:28

 

Master Men
1.Clint Hattingh 15:37
2.Alastair Brand 16:01
3.Mike Frost 16:53

 

Master Women
1.Karen Fortune 19:13

 

Grand Master Men
1.Ashley Nesbitt 18:17
2.Mike Staphorst 20:56

 

Junior Men
1.Sharjah Jonsson 12:59
2.Keira Duncan 13:09
3.Liam Read 14:28

 

Youth Men
1.Kayle Seaward 14:13
2.Connor Finnis 15:05
3.Slade Botha 15:27

 

Youth Women
1.Sabine Thies 16:43
2.Charne Dreyer 16:53
3.Sarah Ryan 27:26

 

Sub Junior Boys
1.Ethan Goveia 17:08
2.Jordan Anastasis 17:09

 

Sprog Boys
1.Liam Tyler Hall 16:03
2.Nate Tanner Hall 16:09
3.Ross Kew 16:25

 

Sprog Girls
1.Georgia Finnis 29:27

 

Nipper Boys
1.Logan Stander 20:00
2.Cullum Finnis 22:44
3.Vaughn Preston

 

Sport Class
1.Marc Ash 16:36
2.Travis Goveia 18:56
3.Tyron Ash 18:59
4.Wayne Dos Santos 22:49

 

Summary of Results – 2017 KZNMTB DOWNHILL Round 1 – Sunday 12 February 2017

 

Overall Men
1.Christopher Philogene (Elite) 01:30.37
2.Jonathan Philogene (Elite) 01:30.98
3.Tiaan Odendaal (Elite) 01:32.42
4.Struan McMaster (Elite) 01:32.47
5.Cullen McMaster (Junior) 01:32.70

 

Overall Women
1.Sabine Thies (Youth) 01:58.88
2.Kathryn Fourie (Sub Veteran) 02:05.20
3.Nikki Alvin (Sub Veteran) 02:05.42
4.Larise Venter (Sub Veteran) 02:07.84
5.Joanne Hicks (Sub Veteran) 02:12.19

 

Elite Men
1.Christopher Philogene 01:30.37
2.Jonathan Philogene 01:30.98
3.Tiaan Odendaal 01:32.42

 

Sub Veteran Men
1.Shai Duke-Norris 01:40.83
2.Christopher Pearton 01:41.48
3.Cyril Spence 01:42.58

 

Sub Veteran Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 02:05:20
2.Nikki Alvin 02:05.42
3.Larise Venter 02:07.84

 

Veteran Men
1.Craig Seaward 01:44.92
2.Thane Archer 01:48.14
3.Grant Engels 01:52.49

 

Veteran Women
1.Dorette Crous 02:18.52

 

Master Men
1.Alastair Brand 01:55.81
2.Desmond Purchase 02:02.78
3.Leon Cronje 02:06.03

 

Grand Master Men
1.Mark Minter 02:21.24

 

Junior Men
1.Cullen McMaster 01:32.70
2.Shaun Smale 01:36.28
3.Sharjah Jonsson 01:37.72

 

Youth Men
1.Kayle Seaward 01:43.08
2.Connor Finnis 01:45.01
3.Myles Crookes 01:50.58

 

Youth Women
1.Sabine Thies 01:58.88

 

Sprog Boys
1.Nate Tanner Hall 01:59.75
2.Liam Tyler Hall 02:02.20
3.Keagan Brand 02:02.92

 

Nipper Boys
1.Logan Stander 02:35.36
2.Vaughn Preston 02:36.16
3.Cullum Finnis 02:44.87






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