Gibbons was in a serious battle against time to try and fix his bike, whilst knowing the battle will be lost. It was his friend and training partner, Dylan Rebello, who came to his rescue. “You are welcome to use my spare bike,” said Rebello (ASG Eagle Canyon Cycles), fully realising that if Gibbons would ride, his own chances of winning the race or the series overall were really slim.

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Crossing the line second overall Gibbons wins the Series as well at 2012 Nissan Ride Crater Cruise

Photo credit: Zoon Cronje - www.zcmc.co.za

Gibbons managed to outride Rebello in each of their previous encounters in the Nissan Series.

For Rebello it will always be about fair play. He makes it clear that if he wins he wants to know that he really was the best, hence the fact that he had no problem helping Gibbons.

“It is also what is best for the team. Everything worked out perfectly. Between Dylan and me we pretty much won all the important titles. I am the South African junior half marathon champion and Ryan won the Nissan half marathon Series overall. So it has been a good season. Next year I will be stronger and more experienced. Hopefully I will win more races in the Nissan Series and even take the overall victory.”

The Nissan Ride Crater Cruise boiled down to a titanic battle during the last few kilometers between Rebello, Gibbons and Arno du Toit, a first year u/23 rider. Going into the last kilometer Gibbons was the first to attack. Unfortunately for him, Du Toit managed to catch up and pass him.

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The leading bunch on route at 2012 Nissan Ride Crater Cruise

Photo credit: Zoon Cronje - www.zcmc.co.za

The result had no influence on the outcome of the final overall standings of the Nissan National Half Marathon Series as Du Toit is not a junior rider anymore.

By finishing second Gibbons secured his overall victory.

Rebello was third and second overall.

Gibbons’ ride deserves a special mention. He rode with a dislocated shoulder.

“My doctor definitely disapproved of my decision to ride, but there was no way that I was going to miss out racing the Nissan Ride Crater Cruise, especially since it is possibly the last time for a while that I will be competing competitively in a mountain bike race.”

Gibbons plans to go to Europe in February next year to try build up a reputation in road racing.

He admits to being in some pain during the race, although it was bearable.

Mariske Strauss (Contego) won the women’s half marathon quite convincingly. As with the men’s results, her victory had no influence on the outcome of the overall standings as she is also an u/23 rider.

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Linda van Wyk in action at 2012 Nissan Ride Crater Cruise

Photo credit: Zoon Cronje - www.zcmc.co.za

Linda van Wyk, who finished second, won the series overall for the second consecutive year.

It is the ideal way to end the first chapter of her cycling career. As from next year Van Wyk will be studying chemical engineering at the University of Stellenbosch.

“For the next four years my main objective will be my studies, but once I am finished I want to make a comeback to mountain biking.”

For full results and more info visit www.advendurance.com