ccs-62657-0-31808700-1527439813.jpgKarkloof junior Keira Duncan powering downhill to take the overall honours at the STIHL Karkloof Enduro on the first day of the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media
17-year-old Duncan, who lives a stone's throw away from the Karkloof trails on which he won the title, was ecstatic to claim the overall honours, when he had been aiming for the junior laurels.
"Conditions couldn't have been any better, they were absolutely prime," he enthused.

"I was trying to go as fast as I could," said the PYGA rider. "Racing is racing and you just have to try and keep it together. Unfortunately, we didn't have Sharjah Johnson here today.

"I kept it pinned and kept focused, and it turned out to be a great day," said the Karkloof local, who is training for a number of international events in the second half of the year.

"If I can win juniors, that is great, but to win overall is even better!" he said.

His feat was mirrored by Wartburg ace Beanie Thies who snatched the overall women's crown as well as the junior title.

She said that she had started her four-stage enduro focussed on talented XCO and marathoner Bianca Haw.

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Wartburg schoolgirl Beanie Thies was flawless in racing to the overall women's title at the STIHL Karkloof Enduro on the first day of the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

"I started riding with the Pearton brothers until they got a puncture so I had to go with some other people.

"On stage two I started behind Bianca (Haw) and left quite a big gap. Halfway down I could see her in the distance and by the end, I had caught her, so I wasn't too worried after that."

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Runner up Kath Fourie in action during the STIHL Karkloof Enduro on the first day of the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media
Thies heads abroad in August for the Rookie World Champs, as this is the last year that she is eligible to race before she is forced to race in the full World Championships.

The focussed enduro and downhill specialist then wants to embark on a World Cup career abroad.

The race attracted a big field as the discipline of enduro racing continues to grow its core audience.

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Andrew Houston streaks across a bridge in The Gauntlet during the STIHL Karkloof Enduro on the first day of the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

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Airborne in The Gauntlet, third-placed junior Connor Finnis racing in the STIHL Karkloof Enduro on the first day of the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media