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  1. Sunny KwaZulu-Natal put on a spectacular display of sunshine and great weather for the second round of the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series, which took place at Mazarat MTB Park in Waterfall on Saturday 5 March. Click here to view the article
  2. In the U23 Men’s race, the first place title as well as overall first finisher on the day went to Kargo Pro MTB Team’s Alan Hatherly, just ahead of Elite Men’s winner and teammate, Brendon Davids. Fastest man on the track on the day, Alan Hatherly (Kargo Pro MTB Team) took the U23 Men's title at the second round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO at Mazarat MTB Park on Saturday 5 March. Photo: Supplied Hatherly, whose season has gotten off to a great start, was extremely happy with his win and shared his story: “We started three minutes behind the Elites, which is not the normal thing we do here at the provincials, but it was great training for me – it’s always motivation to try and close the gap. Marco (Joubert) and I started off at the front and went pretty hard. Unfortunately he had a fall at the top of the climb so I got the gap there on him and then pretty much rode solo. I progressively got into a good rhythm and began to close the gap to the Elites slowly but surely. I ended up winning overall by about six minutes. So a super good day!” First u23 and overall woman, Frankie du Toit said: “The last National wasn’t too great for me, so I had to come back this weekend and just hope it would be a better race. I went hard from the start and managed to pull a gap on the rest of the ladies field in the first lap and maintained that for the rest of the race. I got to then kind of race at my own pace, and I’m a bit sick so I didn’t push myself too hard. But it was great, I really enjoyed the ride and the course and the venue was such a treat. It was quite tight and there were a lot of turns but there was just such a good vibe out here today. “It was also so great to see some of the GO! Durban guys out here today. I have met with them and ridden with them but never actually seen them race. And let me tell you, they gave some of the others a run for their money. It’s such an amazing initiative and such well mannered youngsters.” Elite Men’s winner, Brendon Davids (Kargo Pro MTB Team) suffered an injury to his knee on the course, but did his utmost to push through. “The new venue is really cool. Pretty tight racing in the singletrack made for some interesting tactical kind of racing between the riders,” he said. Davids added that the no-over-taking option in the single tracks made for tough and hard pushes to get out front and make it count. “Other than my knee going bang three laps in I think the form is really good going into the Cape Epic but I have a scan on Monday just to see where I’m at and see if the damage isn’t too serious and if I can actually take part,” he added. 2015 SA Junior Women’s XCO National Champion, Frances du Toit (Kargo Pro MTB Team), took the overall and U23 Women's title at the second round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO at Mazarat MTB Park on Saturday 5 March. Photo: Supplied Elite Women’s winner, Johannesburg-er, Mandy de Beer (Team Jordana) said: “The track was quite technical to get going and to see what it was all about. But at the end of the day it was an amazing event. I raced against the u23 ladies and a very strong field. I had one or two crashes at the technical sections but all-in-all, coming here for training it was absolutely fantastic. Great race, great event, great vibe. A huge thank you to KZN MTB for such a great event.”Cian Leveridge (Team PAW) took the Youth Men’s title, and enjoyed the twists and turns of the Mazarat course. “I like this track because it’s tight and twisty, and has a really great climb at the back. In the forest you’re just going flat-out, and trying hard to stay on the line that you practiced,” he said. Leveridge said that he wasn’t happy with his start, but managed to get going in the singletrack and stay ahead for the duration of the race. “Luckily they didn’t catch me,” he added. Youth Women’s winner, Tiffany Keep (Team PAW) spoke about the Mazarat course: “Racing at this venue was a great new experience. This course was extremely tough to race. It’s very tight and twisty and riding with bigger 29-er wheels made it even more tough.” Keep mentioned that the ladies field is extremely tough this year. “It was just great being able to race with them and get that experience from it all,” she added. The 16-year-old said that it was very hot, and that the dust made for an even tougher experience, but that she really enjoyed her race. “I think the last round will be very interesting with all of the ladies competing to gain those vital points for the last little one, so it’s going to be tough,” she concluded. “The race was super hard,” said Junior Men’s winner, Thomas Jessop (Specialized Concept Cyclery). “The first lap was really tough on the climb. There is no shade and about 23 switchbacks I think. Every time you got a gap someone closes down really easily. The singletrack was also just about being smooth rather than stop-starting so that’s where I got away I think,” he said. The bionic-legged youngster sported a red leg brace (after two ACL reconstructions) throughout the race wasn’t going to (and didn’t) let anything stop him. The Junior Women’s title went to an always-smiling Chriestie-Leigh Hearder, close to nine minutes ahead of Sabrina van Wyk (BestMed ASG). The third round of the KZNMTB XCO takes place at St. Ives in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Saturday 22 April 2016. For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde info@kznmtb.co.za. Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series #2 – 5 March 2016 Full results will be available soon at www.elitetiming.co.zaSprog Boys 1.Nicholas de Bruin 00: 33:15 2.Jonathan Watts 00:34:58 3.Liam Richard Theunissen 00:35:21 Sprog Girls 1.Emma Clipstone 00:44:15 2.Riley Smith 00:49:25 Nipper Boys 1.Connor Wright 00:24:07 2.Logan Stander 00:26:37 3.Luca Zietsman 00:28:23 Nipper Girls 1.Hannah Elliot 00:30:35 Youth Men 1.Cian Leveridge 01:11:23 2.Aaron Michell 01:14:29 3.Hayden Vinnicombe 01:15:35 Youth Women 1.Tiffany Keep 00:53:44 2.Courtney Smith 00:58:56 3.Megan Bircher 01:05:16 Junior Men 1.Thomas Jessop 01:04:41 2.Kelvin Green 01:06:04 3.Felix Manke 01:07:21 Junior Women 1.Chriestie-Leigh Hearder 01:18:54 2.Sabrina van Wyk 01:27:27 U23 Men 1.Alan Hatherly 01:25:23 2.Marco Joubert 01:30:48 3.Devon Smith 01:42:35 U23 Women 1.Frances du Toit 01:10:59 2.Hayley Smith 01:12:00 3.Genevieve van Coller 01:20:14 Elite men 1.Brendon Davids 01:32:16 2.Stuart Marais 01:33:14 3.Jedsom Tooms 01:35:34 Elite Women 1.Mandy de beer 01:23:12 Sub Vets Men 1.Sean Merredew 01:18:15 2.Duane Stander 01:18:47 3.Carl Calverley 01:21:26 Sub Vets Women 1.Nadine Nunes 01:26:59 Vets Men 1.Warren Price 01:24:41 2.Hendrik Bester 01:25:08 3.Tim Keep 01:29:22 Vets Women 1.Natalie Bergstrom 01:19:36 2.Landy Puddu 01:26:46 3.Belinda Mason 01:34:18 Masters Men 1.Charles Young 01:12:45 2.Brian Magor 01:16:07 3.Tony Stark 01:18:26 Masters Women 1.Marie du Toit 00:52:50 Grand Masters Men 1.Charles Stander 01:02:28 2.George Eybers 01:09:05 3.Mike Staphorst 01:26:34 Grand Master Women 1.Frances Marsburg 00:47:05
  3. The 40-year-old has not always been a cyclist. “I have only been cycling for about five years and of those five, competitively for four of them,” he said. “I have however been a competitive sportsman for almost twenty years now. I used to be a very keen canoeist, where I earned six gold medals at the Dusi Canoe Marathon,” he added. KZN XCO Champion, Warren Price (Jowetts Cycles) is ready to head to Mazarat Farm for the second round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial on Saturday 5 March. Photo credit: Paul Botma After a few years of Adventure Racing, getting married, and starting a family, Price took up cycling. He has many accolades under his belt for cycling, including winning the Imana Wild Ride from 2012-2015, and is the current SA Masters Marathon Champion, as well as the 2015 KZN MTB XCO Veteran Champion, to name only a few. Cross-country hasn’t been his only discipline, however, as he also enjoys longer distances and endurance-like stage races. The KwaZulu-Natal community seem to always highlight the importance of family at these events, and Price could not agree more. The family man of four puts family above everything. When asked about how he balances work, family time and training, Price said: “We are fortunate enough to self-educate our children, well my wife does 99.9% of the work. But it’s great because I get up and ride from 04:30 to 06:30 in the morning and the children only start waking up. They then only start learning at around 9:30 so I get to spend time with them in the morning and in the evening after work.” Price loves cycling for the balance that he is able to put into it. “There are so many things I wished I had known back in my days of competitive canoeing that I have learned from cycling. I wish there were people to lead me in the right direction. This is why I have begun to slowly coach a few people and assist them in terms of training and nutrition suggestions and the science of cycling, not to just go all out and tire yourself out. I feel like it’s my contribution to giving back to the sport,” said Price. Price took the win at the first provincial XCO last month, and looks carefully at his decision to ride on the weekend. “I don’t want to go all out and cause injury as I hurt my ribs a few weeks ago. I don’t want to do something silly so close to the Epic. I also, however know that I need to do this to keep my points up to get a chance at winning the series. A lot of thought is going into this decision,” he added. Price then heads to the Western Cape to take on the ever-anticipated Absa Cape Epic with his partner, Andrew Davies. “He called me up, I didn’t know him before, but he had seen my stats from last year and asked if I wanted to ride with him. Epic is totally my thing; I am more of an endurance rider and do a lot of these cross-country races to also work on my speed. But I have wanted to do it for so many years, and this year Safire has come on board to sponsor my Epic dream. It’s truly a dream come true. “I’m not a pro cyclist, I’m not anything special, I’m just a common guy living the dream,” he concluded. Warm sunny weather is headed for the province this weekend and a large crowd is once again expected to take advantage of the sunshine by either racing or supporting friends and family at the stunning Mazarat Farm. Pre-entries have closed, but late entries will be taken at registration on race day – Saturday 5 March – from 06:00 to 11:00. For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde info@kznmtb.co.za.
  4. A smashing new venue awaits the KwaZulu-Natal cross-country specialists this weekend as the second round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series takes place at Mazarat MTB Park in Waterfall on Saturday 5 March. 2015 KwaZulu-Natal Veteran Men’s Champion, Warren Price (Jowetts Cycles) will be at the next event, either racing or supporting his son, or both. Click here to view the article
  5. The second round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series takes place at a new venue this year – Mazarat MTB Park – in Waterfall on Saturday 5 March. KZNMTB saw a fantastic turn out at the first round, which took place at the forests of Hilton earlier this month. This venue will be a first for the Provincial series, as Mazarat is a brand new track. Click here to view the article
  6. Concept Cyclery Waterfall's Duane Stander and his team have been working tirelessly on the course at Mazarat Farm ahead of the second round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial on Saturday 6 February. Photo credit: Supplied. Duane Stander from Concept Cyclery Waterfall, who has been hard at work building the track, is looking forward to the weekend of solid XCO racing at the new venue. “The venue is at the local Mazarat farm, which is an absolutely beautiful place. It’s lovely and green, and a wonderful little stream flowing through the property, and even some horses. It’s just such a great setting,” he said. Riders from around the province are gearing up for the second round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial at Mazarat Farm in Waterfall on Saturday 6 February. Photo credit: Supplied. In terms of the course, Stander mentioned that it would be a four-kilometre loop of mountain bike trails with lots of exciting sections to look forward to. “There’s a nice big climb, great bridge crossing, and awesome rock gardens,” he added.The Mazarat MTB Park also plays host to XCO time trials every Wednesday evening for local riders to come and test their off-road pedal skills against the clock. “Its also great for the local riders around the Hillcrest, Gillitts and Pinetown areas to come along and ride in a great, safe venue such as this one,” he added. Stander mentioned that it was a goal to have more cyclists coming to the park to enjoy the facilities in the safe environment. Developments such as this will ultimately nurture young talent and further grow the sport of mountain biking in the province. Round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series – takes place Mazarat MTB Park, Waterfall on Saturday 5 March. Entries are open and close on Wednesday 2 March 2016. Enter here: (https://www.roag.co.za/online-entries.aspx?EventID=1732). For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde info@kznmtb.co.za.
  7. Frankie du Toit (Kargo Pro MTB Team) stamped her authority on the women's race from early on, winning the U23 and overall race at the opening round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial in the forests of Hilton on Saturday 6 February Photo credit: Gavin Ryan/Quick Pix Hatherly (U23) was in a four-way tussle with his teammate Brendon Davids (Elite), Stuart Marais (Elite) and Travis Walker (Elite) early in the Men’s race, where the U23 and Elite classes completed the same number of laps. While jostling for positions during their thrilling six-lap race, Davids suffered a mechanical and Walker crashed into a tree in the tight single track while Hatherly chiselled away at extending his lead. “I had a really big week this week,” said Hatherly. “The race started off quite hard and I took the first two laps pretty easy just to suss out the field and see where my legs were before I opened up. I managed to open a gap near the end of the second lap on the last climb up towards the finish. I got a bit of a gap with Brendon Davids and the two of us were working together. Unfortunately, because of his mechanical he had to drop back. From there I went on my own, got into a good rhythm, got all the technical sections dialled in and raced to the finish. I’m really happy to take the win.” Elite men's winner Brendon Davids (Kargo Pro MTB Team) put in a momentous performance to claw his way back into contention at the opening round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial in the forests of Hilton on Saturday 6 February Photo credit: Gavin Ryan/Quick Pix Genevieve van Coller (Absolute Cycling) finished 2nd overall in the Women's race at the opening round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial in the forests of Hilton on Saturday 6 February Photo credit: Gavin Ryan/Quick Pix Davids put in a momentous performance to claw his way back from fourth place to second overall, contending with the high race pace despite dropping his chain four times. He claimed the Elite category victory. Marais finished in third place while Walker claimed fourth overall, finishing second and third in the Elite category respectively.“I had a pretty good start,” said Davids. “Alan managed to get a gap on the second lap and I had a bit of an issue and lost some time. I managed to chase back. Every lap I seemed to have an issue at the same area, but I rode through it and managed to come right. It was good to get a hard session in while chasing through the pack and setting milestones to catch the next guy, and then the next guy.” The women’s race was a different scenario with Frankie du Toit stamping her authority from early on. With no mechanicals or crashes to contend with, her smooth run saw her take the overall women’s victory by more than two minutes from her closest rival, Genevieve van Coller (Absolute Cycling - U23) with Hayley Smith (Kargo Pro MTB Team) claiming third place (U23). “The track was a bit longer than what we’re used to and there was a lot of single track and it was quite flat,” said Du Toit. “So it was fast racing – you had to accelerate out of every corner and there was no chance to rest. But it was good, and the tracks were flowing. It’s nice to see the level of racing going up. Coming into the season I’m feeling strong and it’s always great going into a season like that.” On the importance of supporting and participating in the Provincial Series, Du Toit said: “You can’t have a national series without a provincial series and you have to start somewhere so this plays a large role in developing the riders. For me I use it as training and it’s also a great racing experience. I’m really enjoying the provincial series – KZNMTB are really doing a great job with it!” Winning the Elite Women’s race was Scottburgh’s Candice Parker-Dennison, who maintained a consistent pace despite not practicing on the course prior to the race. “I really enjoyed the race today. It was a bit muddy at the beginning and the roots were quite slippery but I did the drop off and managed the technical sections, which was really cool – it’s a very good start to the season! I just started my new job so it’s very difficult to balance my work and my cycling but I’m going to do the best that I can.” In the Junior categories, Dean Wortmann (Jowetts Cycles) and Chriestie Leigh Hearder (Absolute Cycling) claimed the men and women’s victories. “I had a very good race and felt really strong out there,” said Wortmann. “The course was tough with some very sharp corners. I did fall once in the pine forest but it was just a bit of a lack of concentration. But otherwise I overcame that and got my rhythm back and it was really good.” Alan Hatherly (Kargo Pro MTB Team) came from a four-way tussle to convincingly claim the overall Men's victory at the opening round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial in the forests of Hilton on Saturday 6 February Photo credit: Gavin Ryan/Quick Pix Stuart Marais finished 3rd overall and 2nd Elite at the opening round of the 2016 KZNMTB XCO Provincial in the forests of Hilton on Saturday 6 February Photo credit: Gavin Ryan/Quick Pix Hearder said: “I had a really good start in this race and I tried to keep up with the top ladies, but soon found that I lost the strength in my legs. I just pushed hard and worked to get a good time for myself. I absolutely loved the forest, even though it was very tight. I was worried about the trees but it was so much fun. I had practiced the day before on the A-lines, but got to the jump and panicked and then took the B-line,” she laughed.Teammates Cian Leveridge and Tiffany Keep (Team PAW) both claimed the men and women’s Youth categories. “It was a hard race, and the course was nice,” said Leveridge. “It’s really nice coming back home to race on these types of courses where it’s nice and twisty, after being in Australia for eight weeks. The race itself was quite tough, as I didn’t know where anybody was, so it just kept on pushing me to go faster.” Keep said: “There was no chance to rest on the course today. It was very tight and very hard, but it made for a fun day out. The trail flowed smoothly through the trees, and I had fun, which is all that matters.” Round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series takes place on Saturday 5 March in Waterfall (near Kloof). For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde info@kznmtb.co.za. Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series #1 – 6 February 2016 Full results will be available soon at www.elitetiming.co.zaElite Men 1.Brendon Davids 2.Stuart Marais 3.Travis Walker Elite Women 1.Candice Parker-Dennison Men U23 1.Alan Hatherly 2.Julian Jessop 3.Tiaan Odendaal Women U23 1.Frankie du Toit 2.Genevieve van Coller 3.Hayley Smith Junior Men 1.Dean Wortmann 2.Kelvin Green 3.Sharjah Jonsson Junior Women 1.Chriestie-Leigh Hearder Youth Men 1.Cian Leveridge 2.Joshua Clipstone 3.Hayden Vinnicombe Youth Women 1.Tiffany Keep 2.Megan Bircher 3.Courtney Smith Sub Junior Boys 1.Travis Stedman 2.Mitchel Potgieter 3.Campbell van Rooyen Sub Junior Girls 1.Sabine Thies 2.Chloe Bateson 3.Sarah Ryan Sub Veteran Men 1.Sean Merredew 2.Carl Calverley 3.Duane Stander Sub Veteran Women 1.Carla van Huyssteen 2.Nadine Nunes 3.Riana Niehaus Men Veteran 1.Warren Price 2.Hendrik Bester 3.Jako van Heerden Women Veteran 1.Landy Puddu 2.Belinda Mason 3.Carol Thomas Master Men 1.Brian Magor 2.Charles Young 3.Tony Stark Master Women 1.Marie du Toit 2.Ingrid Flint Men Grand Master 1.George Eybers 2.Bruce Hansen 3.Mike Staphorst Women Grand Master 1.Frances Marsburg Sprog Boys 1.Liam Richard Theunissen 2.Nicholas de Bruin 3.Jayden Moolman Sprog Girls 1.Emma Clipstone 2.Riley Smith Nipper Boys 1.Aiden Wright 2.Connor Wright 3.Omar Wilson Nipper Girls 1.Hannah Elliott 2.Jodi Mackinnon
  8. Kargo Pro MTB Team’s Alan Hatherly and Frankie du Toit were on top form claiming the overall men and women’s races at the opening round of the well-supported 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Series in the forests of Hilton at Hilton Christian Fellowship today. Click here to view the article
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