According to MacDonald the ISUZU Ride The Rock was tougher than expected. “I come from Johannesburg, we don’t have these type of routes to train on. I had a scare just after the first single track today when Lourens Luus’ (RE∙CM) front wheel touched my rear derailer, leaving me with limited use of my gears. The first climb felt good with Erik Kleinhans (RE∙CM ) setting the pace. I got into the single track second behind Erik and could pretty much ride my own pace. At the bottom by the first water-point Brandon Stewart (FedGroup-Itec) met up with us and set a good pace, with me pacing on the drags. I put a few good efforts in on the guys, but they stuck. So all that I could do was ride conservatively and pace myself to the end. This is my first individual stage race and I really enjoyed it, even more so with the win. I’ll definitely be back next year,” says MacDonald. Nico Pfitzenmaier took second place after three days of racing, while Louis-Bresler Knipe finished third.

“It’s always nice to have a win,” says Kleinhans. “I really liked today’s route, it was short and fast, much nicer than the 2012 route. Physically I felt good this weekend, but technically I still have a lot of work to do. All in all I am feeling very confident. The ISUZU Ride The Rock is an amazing event. It is super training for the Epic especially on the technical side, it has everything. Erik and I love this event, nice people and great set up. We definitely want to come back next year,” says Kleinhans. Catherine Williamson took second place after three days of racing, while Ischen Stopforth finished third.

Stage Three’s ISUZU King and Queen of the mountain went to power couple Erik and Ariane Kleinhans.

Ariane Kleinhans (RE∙CM) was crowned the 2013 ISUZU Ride The Rock women’s champion after completing the three day stage race (194km in total) in an impressive combined time of 09hours27minutes22seconds. Photo Credit ~ Cherie Vale / Newsport Media

Neil MacDonald (FedGroup-Itec) was crowned the 2013 ISUZU Ride The Rock men’s champion after completing the three day stage race (194km in total) in an impressive combined time of 08hours16minutes15seconds. Seen here (from left to right): Lourens Luus and Neil MacDonald. Photo Credit ~ Cherie Vale / Newsport Media

EVENT DETAILS:

The ISUZU Ride the Rock is a full service individual mountain bike stage race that offers riders the opportunity to ride on the most spectacular routes in the heart of South Africa's Cederberg Conservancy. Each stage’s route is challenging yet rewarding, while encapsulating the pristine beauty of the Cederberg.

STAGE ONE: Friday, 08 February 2013

Village: Sanddrif

Distances: +/- 81 km

Start: 06h30

Stage Winners: Men: Neil MacDonald (FedGroup-Itec) 03hours21minutes51seconds / Women: Ariane Kleinhans (RE∙CM) 03hours49minutes58seconds

STAGE TWO: Saturday, 09 February 2013

Village: Sanddrif

Distances: +/- 61 km

Start: 07h00

Stage Winners: Men: Erik Kleinhans (RE∙CM) 02hours46minutes19seconds / Women: Ariane Kleinhans (RE∙CM) 03hours15minutes46seconds

STAGE THREE: Sunday, 10 February 2013

Village: Sanddrif

Distances: +/- 52 km

Start: 07h00

Stage Winners: Men: Louis-Bresler Knipe (ISUZU Contego) 02hours05minutes54seconds / Women: Ariane Kleinhans (RE∙CM) 02hours21minutes38seconds

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For more information on the ISUZU Ride the Rock MTB Race visit www.cederbergevents.co.za or contact Stillwater Sport & Entertainment on 086 138 3591 or email entries@stillwatersports.com.