As the Under 23 riders started 2 minutes behind a strong field of Elite men, Davids had to work his way through the field of elites in the tough muddy conditions, extending his lead in his own category, as well as overall, having ridden past Olympian Philip Buys in the middle section of the race. However, Davids did not have things all his own way, with a strong field of Under 23 riders chasing hard from the gun. The top 5 positions in the Under 23 category also took the top 5 fastest times, with competitive racing throughout the field. The racing was intense and action packed, with many of the riders taking risks in the tricky conditions in order to gain any advantage possible. However Davids played it safe, which worked in his favour, whilst focusing on consistency as he accelerated in the closing stages of the race. With many crashes in the field behind him, Davids' near-flawless race showed the experience gained whilst racing in the United States during the 2012 season.

Brendon Davids battling through the tough conditions on his way to winning the Under 23 title at the African Continental MTB Champs.

Photo: Darren Goddard / www.cycho.co.za

Davids was ecstatic with his first win of the season, dedicating the result to his sponsors and the late Burry Stander, saying "It's awesome to win after being so hungry for a result the entire year! A massive thanks to everyone for the support, my sponsors, Team Jeep South Africa, and Specialized Bicycles. This one is for Burry". Ahead of the upcoming UCI World Champs to be held on a similar course in August, Davids had high praise for the organisers, KZN Mountain Biking, and course builder Nic Floros, describing it as an "absolutely brilliant course".

Brendon Davids saluting the crowd as he crosses the line first overall, taking the Under 23 African Continental MTB title.

Photo: Darren Goddard / www.cycho.co.za

Team Jeep South Africa's success at the event continued with a brilliant ride by the current South African Junior Marathon Champion, Dylan Rebello, who fought off equally tough competition to claim the junior title. This gave the team 2 out of the 3 UCI category titles in the men's competition at the championships, with only the Elite Men's title going to Scott Bicycle's Philip Buys.

In the non-UCI category racing, Team Jeep South Africa's youngsters continued to fly the flag high with Beani Thies claiming a win in the sprog girls, Travis Stedman 2nd in the sprog boys, Courtney Smith 2nd in the sub-junior girls, Julian Jessop 3rd in the youth men, and his younger brother Thomas Jessop 4th in the youth men.

Dylan Rebello tackling one of the single-track sections on his way to victory in the junior men;s race at the 2013 African Continental MTB Champs.

Photo: Darren Goddard / www.cycho.co.za

Beani Thies on the way to winning the sprog girls at the 2013 African Continental MTB Champs.

Photo: Darren Goddard / www.cycho.co.za

Courtney Smith claimed 2nd place in the sub-junior girls at the 2013 African Continental MTB Champs.

Photo: Darren Goddard / www.cycho.co.za

Travis Stedman claimed 2nd place in the sprog boys at the 2013 African Continental MTB Champs.

Photo: Darren Goddard / www.cycho.co.za

Julian Jessop on his way to 3rd place in the youth men at the 2013 African Continental MTB Champs.

Photo: Darren Goddard / www.cycho.co.za