ccs-62657-0-08069800-1431193016.jpgIt was two titles in two years for Tiaan Odendaal when he produced the fastest overall time and won the 2015 STIHL Enduro on day two of the 2015 Sappi Karkloof MTB Festival on Saturday. // Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media.

ccs-62657-0-50457400-1431193031.jpgWith the 2014 title out of her mind defending champion Kim Westbrook managed to repeat the feat as she powered her way to the win at the 2015 STIHL Enduro on Saturday. // Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media.


Odendaal was put under pressure throughout the race and with another Karkloof win under his belt the youngster is seriously considering the enduro discipline as a potential career but is taking one race as at a time.

“I am really happy to get another win here and I used to use enduro as training but with its growing popularity there is a chance I might think about taking it on as a career.

“There were some changes in the course this year and Hylton (Turvey) has been putting in so much effort and he really has paid some awesome track. It was pretty dry but that’s just because there hasn’t been any rain,” Odendaal mentioned.

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Riders had the chance to take in some of the breath-taking scenery around the Karkloof during the STIHL Enduro. // Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media.

It was quite a tricky day for the downhill specialist who found the going tough on the second leg of the race on the Rene’s Rumble section of the course as he took a few tumbles but managed to keep it together to cross the line in the quickest time overall.

“It was getting really loose during the second downhill and I fell but then I tried to go as fast as I could and I took another fall because of it so I was under a bit of pressure from them on but I managed to hold my nerve which I was happy about.

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After putting in a top performance during the 2015 STIHL Enduro Craig Paul had to settle for second place overall in the well subscribed event. // Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media.

“There were some long climbs today and it was quite hot so I am really happy that I was able to defend the title that I won last year,” an elated Odendaal mentioned.

Ladies winner Westbrook was her usual bubbly self when reflecting on her performance and having a clean run throughout was the order of the day for her as she powered her way to a good win and a retention of the crown she won in 2014.

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The track was quite blown out due to the lack of rain the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and Mike Murdoch negotiates some of the tough terrain during the STIHL Enduro. // Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media.

“I just went out there trying to have as much fun as I can,” the Pyga rider said. “I made sure that I didn’t think too much about last year and I just wanted to keep myself in my bike throughout the race and I managed to do that which I am really happy about!”

Westbrook hit the Gauntlet section of the course with some speed and with only a few seconds before the end of the race she nearly came unstuck however she managed to keep the bike upright and sprinted her way to the finish.

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Team ROAG star Jedson Tooms negotiates one of the corners during the STIHL Enduro at the 2015 Sappi Karkloof MTB Festival on Saturday. // Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media.

“Apparently I nearly took a fall at the Gauntlet!” she exclaimed. “I felt it a little bit but I was happy that I kept it together because I knew that I was being chased hard by the other girls and I just wasn’t sure if I was ahead or not.

“There are some great lady riders coming up and Sabine ‘Beanie’ Theis is really one to look out for and she is still so young! There are also girls that come from out of town so you really never know what to expect,” she added.

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It was a day full on spills as one rider found out on the infamous Gauntlet section of the course during the STIHL Enduro on day two of the Sappi Karkloof MTB Festival on Saturday. // Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media.

The Sunday's action kicks off with the Sappi 60km Marathon starting at 07:30 followed by the aQuellé 40km Half Marathon at 08:30 with the aQuellé 20km Family Ride starting at 09:30 and the aQuellé 10km Kids Ride beginning at 10:00.

Riders and spectators can follow news and developments via the event’s Facebook page (Karkloof Mountain Bike Club) or on Twitter (@KarkloofMTB) while more information can also be found at www.karkloofmtb.co.za and entries can be submitted via www.roag.co.za.

ccs-62657-0-60682800-1431193440.jpgIt was a welcome dip on a hot day for Chris Pearton at the end of the first leg of the STIHL Enduro. // Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – 2015 SAPPI KARKLOOF MTB FESTIVAL
STIHL ENDURO

Overall
1.Tiaan Odendaal 12.39
2.Craig Paul 12.42
3.Tim Bentley 12.48
4.Hilton Frost 13.07
5.David Hogan 13.27
6.Jedson Tooms 13.29
7.Travis Browning 13.53
8.Harry Orr 13.54
9.Mark Malherbe 13.56
10.Shane Martin 14.07

Women
1.Kim Westbrook 16.48
2.Sabine Theis (U13) 17.14
3.Kathryn Fourie 17.23