Giba MTB Park is renowned for its amazing trails and once again did not disappoint with the KZNMTB organisers throwing in a host of steep technical trails which were unknown to many of the park regulars. Lack of rain over the 3 weeks leading up to the event had left the trails exceptionally loose with a fine layer of marble-size gravel overlying the hardpack. This changed very quickly into deep sandpits as practice got underway on Saturday morning.
Giba Cafe at Giba Bike Park teeming with riders and spectators alike.
Giba patrons enjoying the days vibe.
The climb up to SP1 and SP2 was a tough slog.
Coming into the race, Hilton Frost (PYGA) had the overall series lead after the first two rounds and looked comfortable just needing a top 3 position to take the overall. There was no holding back however as Frost had to hold off a charging Tim Bentley (Fox Head) who was relishing the steep and technical DH orientated trails. Frost and Bentley traded first place times on the first two stages, but Frost took over on Stage 3 and put in a commanding 13 seconds into Bentley which was enough to help Frost to the win and the overall with a time of 12:29. Bentley had to settle for second on the day, 10 seconds adrift. Third place was hotly contested by Jedson Tooms (ROAG) and Veteran rider (40-49 age group) Craig Seaward, with Seaward putting in a phenomenal ride to take 3rd place overall for the day by only a few splits of a second. Sub-Veteran rider and Giba local Craig Scott rounded out the mens podium in 5th.
Hilton Frost sets off on SP3, while Craig Seaward send the roots at the end of SP4.
Jedson Tooms and Chris Pearton powering the final corner of SP1.
In the ladies an interesting battle was set to ensue as a number of the top competitors were carrying injuries from an event 2 weeks prior. Kim Westbrook, winner of the first two rounds was carrying a recently dislocated elbow which was heavily strapped for the event by event sponsors Elite Athlete Performance. Westbrook however did not let her injuries get the better of her and powered to another win, with Sabine Thies being the only lady to take a Stage victory away from her on SP3. Westbrook waltzed home in a time of 16:51, 31 seconds ahead of second place Thies. Giba MTB park seemed to favour the older riders with Veteran riders being third in both mens and ladies, as Veteran Lady Nicky McLeod pipped Sub-Vet downhiller Kathryn Fourie for third overall. The top five were rounded out by Charne Dreyer.
Kim Westbrook reigning supreme for a third time.
The rest of the field had an awesome time sliding and skidding their way down the 4 technical stages.
Marc Price (160) and Nigel Hicks (78 ) showing some different styles to manage the lower roots on SP4.
Some local support at the top of SP2.
The amazing park grounds at Giba MTB Park.
Although the KZNMTB Series presented by NMI-DSM has come to a thrilling close, racing is not done as the riders will converge once more at Cascades Bike Park in Pietermaritzburg for the stand-alone KZN Championship Event sponsored by NMI-DSM on the 6th and 7th June. Race director Dave Drummond and his team at KZNMTB did an amazing job of putting together a smooth and successful event. And a big thank you goes out to the Series Sponsors:NMI-DSM, Shreddtech, Elite Athlete Performance, Pyga, and of course Giba MTB Park. Thanks to the photographers Nick Ferreria (NMI-DSM), Kevin Bender, and Paul Botma for the images.
Results available here: KZN_Enduro_Race_3_Results.pdf