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  1. The SSMTBL has set itself some exciting transformation goals. The SSMTBL is striving to achieve 20% PDI participation in the League Finals by 2022 based on merit and would thus require that PDI schools build teams to participate and eventually qualify. To achieve these goals, the SSMTBL has established a Development Fund to facilitate the creation of talent identification programs in new regions and to provide general support to our transformation program. For the 2018 season the League allocated over R250 000 to development initiatives. It is therefore exciting for us to announce our first official partners who have signed up for the 2019 season. Named after Cape Town’s iconic Signal Hill, drawing its inspiration from the Mother City’s unique energy and rugged outdoor lifestyle, Signal Bikes was launched in 2018 to cater for the ever-growing South African cycling community. Signal Bikes has partnered with the Spur Schools MTB League in an effort to help support and develop cycling from a grass roots level. Core to the League is of course the competitive racing element, which Signal encourages, but where the League truly shines is in its inclusiveness that allows children of all abilities and backgrounds to participate. Signal Bikes looks forward to working alongside the League and its partners to create a brilliant sporting experience for kids throughout South Africa. Oli Munnik, Marketing Manager, Signal Bikes. Anatomic Sportswear & Spur Schools Mountainbiking: 13 years ago Deon Steyn invited the editorial team of Ride Media (part of the Anatomic Group) to cover and hopefully support his efforts to establish a High School MTB Series. Adele Tait attended the small affair with a 2 figure attendance. The passion of the parents, the schools and the kids was infectious. A little recognition was all the team needed to get the ball rolling. The very next event attracted 230 kids! Some traveled from as far as Makhado and Tzaneen in Limpopo and Grey College in Bloem. In 2008 Anatomic Sportswear joined in as a title sponsor to the Gauteng High School MTB Series. A year later Anatomic's holding company got involved in the physical organising of the events. We are today very proud to be involved in the larger nationwide Spur Schools League with the same passion as before, focusing on our core business - delivering quality, affordable cycling clothing to the people of Africa. We strive to give the schools identity and style. Our team of designers have offered a service to the schools and we are proud to manufacture some of the coolest cycling kit around. The introduction of league leaders jerseys has all along been an exciting affair. Those jerseys are prime possessions through-out the country. We have seen a full 12-year generation pedaling their way through school and some of the riders are no standing on top stairs of podiums around the country, the continent and the world. Thanks Spur for driving participation in our beloved sport! Attie Koekemoer, Anatomic Sportswear SRAM has a long and proud history with their World Bicycle Relief program. They accomplish their mission by providing simple, sustainable bicycle transportation to people in rural and emerging regions of the world with the vision to eliminate distance as a barrier to education, healthcare and economic opportunity. It is WBR’s mission is to mobilize people through The Power of Bicycles®. Compared to walking, bicycles increase carrying capacity and distance traveled while decreasing the time it takes to get to and from schools, clinics and markets. Bicycles are simple, sustainable and appropriate technology to bridge the transportation gap between needs and resources, empowering individuals, families and communities. To date, WBR has distributed more than 400,000 specially designed Buffalo Bicycles and they have now decided to support grass roots cycling and development in South Africa by partnering with the SSMTBL. SRAM (through its distributing partner Cape Cycle Systems) has been supporting local events and athletes for many years and for 2019 we have decided to throw our weight behind the Spur Schools Series. We wish to do this as we are firm believers in being part of the process of finding and developing current and future talent and giving back to the very riders who support us and the SA cycling community.Currently, SRAM supports some of the biggest and most recognized riders and events on a global platform and we have no doubt that South Africa can compete on an international level, but to do so need support and investment from the industry role players. For that reason, we would like to thank Spur and all the other sponsors and parents for their support as we race towards an excellent series. Warren Lamb, Cape Cycle Systems (SRAM) The Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, now in its 11th year, reached a record numbers of entries of just over 16 000 in 2018 – a true testament of the growth and development shown in mountain biking over recent years. Seeing kids participating on bikes is what drives us and what the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League is all about about at the end of the day.This industry requires support from various organizational directories including corporate to reach its true potential. We are proud to announce that the Spur Schools MTB League has partnered-up with very enthusiastic brands, which will assist them in reaching their intended target market. Khakhi Diala, Spur Group Sponsorship & Events Manager Should you wish to get involved, please contact us on 082 809 9878 or send an email to info@spurmtbleague.co.za for more information.
  2. The 2018 Spur Schools MTB League teams. In addition, in the Sub Junior Boys category, Magalies Spesiale Skool’s Bertie Anderson scooped first place, followed by Potchefstroom Gimnasium’s Christiaan Smith in second place and Jordan Bold from Thomas More College in third place. In the Sub Junior Girls category, Lillian Baber from Hatfield Christian School is in first place, followed by Geane Engelbrecht from Secunda High School in Mpumalanga who’s in second and Anna Marx from Springfield Convent who’s in third. Garsfontein High School (Mixed Overall winners) Further, Justin Vosloo from Windhoek Gymnasium in Namibia is in first place in the Youth Men (A) category, followed by Kyle du Toit from Noordheuwel High School in second place, and Aidan Penfold from Paul Roos Gimnasium in third place. In the Youth Women (A) Bernice van Wyk from Lydenburg High School in Mpumalanga is in first place, tailed by Chloe Bateson from Curro Mount Richmore High School in KwaZulu-Natal, and Andrea Schofmann from Rhenish Girls High School in the Western Cape in third place. In the Youth Men (B) category, Travis Stedman from Thomas More College in KwaZulu-Natal won first place, followed by Aaron Heynecke from Jeppe Boys in second, and Parel Vallei’s Joshua Burger in third. The Youth Women (B) category saw Beani Thies from Wartburg Kirchdof High School in KwaZulu-Natal clock in first place, tailed by Jone van Eeden from Potchefstroom Gimnasium in second and Hijke Coetzee from Nelspruit High School in Mpumalanga in third place. Paul Roos Gimnasium (Overall Men winners) In the Junior Women category, Zandri Strydom from Rob Ferreira High School came in first, followed by Tiffany Keep from Thomas More College in second place and Azulde Britz from Cornwall College in Gauteng was in third. For the Junior Men category, Jamie Penfold from Paul Roos Gimnasium scooped first place, followed by Willie van Eck from Rustenburg High School in North West in second place and Keegan Bontekoning from Monument High School in Gauteng in third place. “What an incredible season, and what a fitting performance for the League’s tenth year. Our riders poured blood, sweat and tears into the regional leg of the season and came out guns blazing for the final, which is always so wonderful to see,” says Deon Steyn, race director for Gauteng. Thomas More College (Overall Women winners) The event wrapped-up months of rigorous training and hours of trail riding through mountainous terrain. The Spur Schools MTB League is the country’s largest high school cycling programme and the main nursery for talent in the sport. This year alone the event attracted over 16 000 entries from 500 schools across the country. And this figure is set to increase drastically come 2019, as more schools look to be included in what’s been described as one of the world’s largest MTB programmes. The League was launched by Spur Steak Ranches and Amarider in 2009 with the ultimate aim of promoting MTB as an official in-school sport, along with rugby and cricket; as well as to encourage mass participation among schoolgoing children. “In ten years, we’ve successfully managed to tick that box. MTB has fast become a growing phenomenon among kids at school who are realising that there’s so much more to in-school sport than rugby and cricket,” says Khakhi Diala, Spur Group’s sponsorship and events manager. The Inter-Provincial results rank participating provinces as follows: Gauteng (1); Western Cape (2); KwaZulu-Natal (3); Mpumalanga (4) and North West (5). Gauteng won the Inter-Provincial Finals at the Spur Schools MTB League Meanwhile, Meurant Botha, director of Amarider and principal organiser of the League congratulated the winning riders and schools, who he says experienced an exceptional season. Botha says he is proud to witness the development of this sporting event year-on-year and looks forward to an equally successful League come 2019. “We’ve grown in leaps and bounds in the last ten years and I am so pleased to have witnessed how well the League has taken-off. Here’s to the next decade of mountain biking magic,” Botha says. Planning for the 2019 season will get underway in earnest just a few weeks. Botha says Spur Steak Ranches, the League’s main sponsor for the past 10-years, who’s invested around R17 million into the event to-date has announced their commitment to remain the primary sponsor for the next 10-years. Overall logs and individual results for both Inter-schools and Inter-Provincial Finals can be found at www.spurmtbleague.co.za and the 2019 regional event’s provisional dates will be added to the calendar at the end of next month.
  3. Spur Corporation’s Group Marketing Executive Sacha du Plessis and Meurant Botha of Amarider. One of the greatest successes of the initiative has been how it has inspired thousands of young people to get on their bikes. The effect of a well-developed youth initiative can be seen in the participation demographics across the sport, but especially in the Olympic cross-country format where the discipline has been transformed from a veteran-heavy environment to one where youth cyclists dominate the numbers. This not only bodes well for the development of future South African stars but also in the development of a sustainable participation base of boys and girls from all backgrounds to the sport in general. The long-term positive impact of the Spur Schools MTB League is illustrated best by the accomplishments of biking champion Alan Hatherly (22) who honed his skill in the league as a youngster. Those early years racing in the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League would build the foundations of a truly world-class competitor, allowing Alan to mix it up with the fastest riders on the planet and represent South Africa at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Alan joined Team Spur at the start of 2017 and earned a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year before claiming his first ever U23 UCI XCO World Cup in Canada in August. According to Meurant Botha of Amarider (the African Mountain Bike Association), Spur’s sponsorship of mountain biking over the past ten years has elevated the sport to a different level. “Spur Steak Ranches has been part of this journey from day one, and has to date supported the initiative with an investment of over R17 million.” Botha welcomed the announcement that Spur has committed to another ten-year sponsorship of MTB League. “Only a few sports sponsorships in South Africa equals Spur’s involvement with the League. We believe the reason for the longevity of the relationship between Spur and Amarider is the fact that the sponsorship has always been managed as an active partnership.” He added that the League’s not-for-profit status curbs the often unsustainable commercial objectives that are commonplace in the sponsorship environment. “The fact that we can now take a more long-term view gives us the opportunity to really set some exciting goals for the programme, especially on the development cycling front.” Spur Corporation’s Group Marketing Executive Sacha du Plessis highlighted the reasoning behind Spur’s continued support. “The Spur league’s primary objective has remained since inception: To gets more kids on bikes. Over the last ten years with the support of thousands of volunteers, parents, schools, partners and children, the Spur Schools League has grown to close to 13 000 participants representing almost 500 schools. We believe in the many early childhood development benefits of team sports at school level as well as the simple freedom and fun a bike gives children and are very excited about the next 10 years.” With an ambassador such as Alan Hatherly leading the way, many more young riders will have the opportunity to use the Spur Schools MTB League as a springboard to sporting glory. But even more importantly – thousands of kids will discover the thrill and joy of taking part in mountain biking.
  4. On Saturday, 27 August keen mountain bike riders in six provinces will have another opportunity to generate points to secure their spot on the team and their school’s spot in the finals. Excitement is mounting as schools battle it out for the top positions on the mixed, men’s and ladies’ logs with fierce competition and small point differences at the order of the day. The League runs on the Olympic Cross Country (XCO) lap racing format whereby participants completes a set number of laps, determined by age category, of a short mountain bike course. Lap distances vary between 3-5km and the format makes for technical riding and great spectator value. Eastern Cape MTB riders in action. The Eastern Cape Final will be hosted at Hopewell Conservation Estate with Daniel Pienaar top of the Port Elizabeth log, followed by Pearson and Grey PE. For event details click here http://eastcapemtb.co.za/schools-mtb-league-event-1/ Free State Youth Team. Ficksburg will play host to the third Free State regional race with Grey College top of the log sporting an impressive 399 points, followed by Witteberg High School with 208 points and Ficksburg High School in third place with 170 points. North West Junior Men Top 2 - Pieter du Toit (yellow) and Brandon Van der Berg. The fourth race in the North West leg will take place at Wagpos High School in Brits. Event details can be found onhttp://www.bikebeat.co.za/event/spur-tour-de-bos-presented-by-anatomic/ and the top five schools to watch are Potchefstroom Gimnasium, Rustenburg High School, Wesvalia High School, Hartebeespoort High School and Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom. Penryn College in the Mpumalanga Lowveld will play host to the third Spur Schools Mountain Bike League race, which has been dominated by Lydenburg High School sporting 292 points with closest rival Nelspruit High School in second place with 169 points, Uplands College in third place with 125 points and Rob Ferreira fourth with 105 points. Top of the Highveld log and overall fifth is Secunda High School with 71 points. Mpumalanga Spur Schools MTB League regional racing action. Schools in the Northern Cape will take to the track at 8 Mile Adventure Centre just outside of Kimberley to battle it out. Currently lying comfortably first is Diamantveld High with 369 points, Northern Cape High follows in second, Blinkklip High third and Landboudal High School in third with 26,25 and 24 points respectively. For event details contact Wimpie on 082 899 8970 or click on https://www.facebook.com/150942738293335/photos/a.184664168254525.54719.150942738293335/1070034123050854/?type=3&theater Junior Boys winner from the left Christaan Lampbrecht of Diamantveld first, Jonathan Khoane of Blinkklip High School in second and Olaf Kruger of Diamantveld in third. Top Western Cape schools to watch this weekend are Paul Roos Gimnasium, Parel Vallei High School, Montana High School, DF Malan and HTS Drostdy. Registration for Saturday’s Western Cape event at Montana High School in Worcester will be open from 08h00 to 13h30 and riders must enter 30-40 minutes before their race. The course will be open for practice from 08h10 to 08h50 with the first primary schools race setting off at 09h00. Western Cape Cycling action. Riders will have a second opportunity to test the course between 11h10 and 12h00 when the Sub Junior Boys will start followed by the Youth Men B at 12h40 and the Youth Men A at 13h30. All the girls (sub junior B, youth A & B, junior) will set off at 14h15 with the Junior Men wrapping up racing at 15h00. For more information visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za or contact Amarider’s Michelle du Preez at 021 8844547 or michelle@amarider.co.za League director, Meurant Botha of Amarider said that the league has been growing at a steady pace with a marked improvement in rider skills as well as a large number of first time participants, which according to him shows that the league is achieving its goals of more kids on bikes as well as competitive participation. Follow us on face book at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague.
  5. Girl power in Limpopo during first Spur Schools MTB event. The Spur MTB League consists of 11 South African regions including neighbouring African countries Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho who compete for a spot in the season-ending National Final in Magaliesburg in October. High flying at Spur Schools MTB League race in Limpopo. Passionate coach and track builder, Tiaan Fullard have dished up a challenging track amidst the picturesque terrain. Starting at the top sports fields, the track goes down into the valley on the Northern side though the pine plantations. Down in MTB terms means single track, jumps,drop-off’s, rock gardens and river crossings, while the uphill to the finish promises to be a challenge.The 2 lap short course for the Nippers and Sprogs is less technical, but still demanding placing the emphasis on fun and technique. The Sub Juniors will also do a shorter course than the big guns racing the final two races. Louis Trichardt High School is leading the log with 119 points, followed by host school Stanford Lake College in second with 79 points and Merensky High in third with 64 points. Piet Potgieter High School and PHS Pietersburg High take up fourth and fifth spots. Pietersburg East is lying first on the primary school log with 122 points. Registration on Saturday opens at 07h00 and the track will be open for practice from 07h15. The Nipper Boys will start of the day’s racing at 08h00 followed by Nipper Girls, Sprog Boys and Girls 11 and 12 years old, Sub-Junior Boys and Girls 13 and 14 years old, Youth Boys and Girls 15 and 16 years old with the Junior Boys and Girls wrapping up the day’s racing with an 11h00 and 11h05 start. Prize giving will be at 12h30. More info available at Limpopo Schools Cycling – MTB on facebook. According to league director, Meurant Botha of Amarider participation at local events has been growing at a steady pace as schools accept mountain biking as a recognized sport. He also stated that although many kids are finding their competitive edge on their bicycles, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League’s focus is still to encourage more kids on bikes, more schools in action. “It is important for all children to enjoy participating whether only starting out or having participated for a couple seasons. We also urge the regions to support local cycling development programmes and assist more kids to get out and ride,” says Botha. For more information on the 2016 edition of the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za, or contact Amarider’s Michelle du Preez at 021 8844547 or michelle@amarider.co.za Follow us on face book at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleagueand @spurMTBleague.
  6. For riders in Limpopo, Mpumalanga Lowveld, Port Elizabeth and Kwazulu Natal this will be their first 2016 league racing opportunity, while schools in Gauteng, Western and Southern Cape will be looking at logging more points and firming up their positions going into the second race in these regions. Races will take place on Saturday, 23 July in all regions except KZN, which will be hosted on Sunday, 24 July at Thomas More College in Kloof. Parel Vallei High School is currently lying overall first on the Western Cape log, with Paul Roos Gimnasium second, DF Malan third, Montana High School in fourth place and HTS Drostdy in fifth. In Gauteng it is Menlopark High School retaining their top spot as defending champions followed by Afrikaans Hoër Seunsskool overall second, Transvalia High School third, Waterkloof High School in fourth and Midstream College in a close fifth. York High School is leading the pack in the Southern Cape, followed by Outeniqua High School second, Greenwood Bay College third, Murray High School fourth and Knysna Montessori High in fifth position. For those new to the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, the League is a programme focused on growing the number of children on mountain bikes by running interschool mountain biking races around the country as well as in Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho. The League is facilitated by Amarider, a trails advocacy organization aimed at improving trail opportunities in Southern Africa. The organization uses the League not only to introduce young riders to trails, but also to develop the technical trail riding skills that will make the trails environment a safer and more enjoyable space. First time league participants in the Western Cape between the ages of 15 and 17 who are keen to give the league a try, will have the unique opportunity this weekend to compete in a fun MOB RACE at Bloemendal Wine Estate at 11h10 before the course practice for competing high school riders at 11h40. Riders can enter on Saturday at a cost of R50. For entry and event details in the respective regions, visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za, or contact Amarider’s Michelle du Preez at 021 8844547 or michelle@amarider.co.za. You can also keep up to date by following us on Facebook at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague.
  7. Eight years into the League organisers are anticipating that more than 500 Southern African schools will be represented in the 2016 season from May to October. Riders from as young as 5 years, will take to the track on Saturday, 3 September. For primary school participants it is all about developing their skills and having loads of fun, while the competition is more serious for high school learners that can qualify for the national finals. The League runs on the Olympic Cross Country (XCO) lap racing format whereby participants completes a set number of laps, determined by age category, of a short mountain bike course. Lap distances vary between 3-5km and the format makes for technical riding and great spectator value. FREE STATE: Free State riders will compete at State de Gold (Stonepark) with registration from 08h00- 09h15 and course practice from 08h30-09h15. The Sprogs and Nippers will do the short course and set off at 09h30 and 09h34 respectively. A staggered start with see the sub-junior girls, youth boys and girls and junior girls starting from 10h00-10h05. At 11h15 and 11h18 the junior and sub-juniors boys will start the final schools races of the day. Prize giving is from 13h00-14h00 followed by a senior fun ride at 14h00 to wrap up the day. Spur Free State Schools MTB 2016 series leaders (left to right) Simone Farber (Youth), Marnus Prinsloo (Sub-Jnr), Simone Grove (Sub-Jnr), Wynand Brits (Youth men). The current Free State Spur Schools MTB League leaders are Simone Farber of Jim Fouche High School (youth ladies), Marnus Prinsloo of Grey College (sub-junior boys), Simone Grove of Ficksburg High (Sub-junior girls), Wynand Brits of Grey College (Youth boys), Jana Michau of Voortrekker High School (Junior women) and Rinus Maarsingh also of Grey College (Junior men). For more information click on the following link https://www.facebook.com/SpurSchoolsLeague/photos/a.361542583889439.79447.114066021970431/1200824183294604/?type=1&theater NORTHERN CAPE: In the Northern Cape, riders will head out to the popular Marrick Safari about 10km outside Kimberley towards Douglas. This popular mountain bike route on challenging mountain bike terain, will require great skills and will make for great spectator value. Riders can register between 08h30 and 09h45 at the venue and entry fee is R80 for primary school and R90 for high school riders. Moms and dads will also be able to participate in a special 30km or more challenging 60km MTB race on the day. All finishers in the schools category will receive a Spur Schools MTB League medal as well as a Spur burger sponsored by the local Spur. Diamantveld High School is currently top of the leader board in the high schools division and Newton Primary School for the primary schools. For more information contact Wimpie Geyer on 0828998970 or Erika Venter on 0845522063. LIMPOPO: Tour de Plot in Limpopo will take place in the Zoological gardens on the Northern edge of Mokopane town. Riders can look forward to a fast and flat track. Minimal climbing on loose rocky terrain will make it very interesting. Organisers are expecting a nice big field as pre-entries are already close to 270. Registration opens at 07h00 and the track will be open for practice from 07h15. Loading shoot opens for first race (Nipper Boys and Girls 8 to 10 years old) at 07h40 with the racing starting at 08h00 and 08h05. At 0815 the loading shoot opens for the Sprog Boys and Girls (11 and 12 years old) with the race start at 08h30. Find more information, results and photographs on https://www.facebook.com/groups/598073653631919/ KZN: Kearsney College will host Saturday’s event with the course incorporating some of the school buildings, sport fields and their conservancy single track for the longer race. Primary schools registration will be from 12h30 to 13h15 with racing starting at 13h30 and prize giving at 15h35. Entry fee is R50. High school riders can register between 12h30 and 15h15 with course practice scheduled for 15h00-15h20. Racing starts at 15h30 and prize giving will be at 17h00. For more information visithttps://www.facebook.com/KZNschoolsMTB/ For those new to the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, the League is a programme focused on growing the number of children on mountain bikes by running interschool mountain biking races around the country. The League consists of 11 South African regions including neighbouring African countries Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho. Around 60 events take place leading up to the season-ending National Final in Magaliesburg in October. Follow the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League action on FB at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague or visit www.amarider.co.za
  8. Junior Men Top 2 - Pieter du Toit (yellow) and Brandon Van der Berg. Rustenburg High School is currently lying second on the log with 140 points, followed by Hartebeespoort High School in third with 121 points. Westvalia High School and Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom are in a close fourth and fith with 88 and 86 points respectively. North West province does not have the largest numbers, yet they deliver the strongest riders and are currently the national defending provincial champions. They also boast the South African XCO Youth Men’s and Junior Women’s Champion - Ryan Conradie of Potchefstroom Gymnasium and Kristen Louw of Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom. Junior Women top 2 - Danille Strydom and Kristen Louw. Spur Tour de Dam drew in 176 riders for the day. The course was only 3km resulting in an extra lap for all categories - a tough day of racing on challenging route with long drags and some loose rocky and sandy corners. The sub junior boy’s category got underway with riders having to complete 4 laps. John-William Lang of Rustenburg HS broke away in the first lap with a 40 second lead over his teammates to win in a time of 00:48:38. Theo van Zijl and Hanro Vermeulen finished second and third in 00:51:08 and 00:52:24 respectively. Jone van Eeden from Potchefstroom Gimnasium extended her overall series lead in the sub junior girls’ category by speeding through the two laps to win in 00:24:19. Ilke Botes of Transvalia High School came in second in a time of 00:25:10 with Natasha Roets of Potchefstroom Gymnasium in third in a time of 00:29:03. Junior Boys Podium. The youth boys’ racing was fierce! A total of 5 laps awaited the riders and from the whistle a battle was on amongst the three-man breakaway consisting of Ryan Conradie (Potchefstroom Gymnasium), Brendan Van Eeden (Potchefstroom Gymnasium) and Stehan Wolmarans (Hartebeespoort HS). Stehan got dropped on the second lap and Ryan launched an attack, which Brendan could not match to take the win and increase his overall series lead. Sub Junior Girls podium. In the youth girls Andrea De Waal from Potchefstroom Girls High went hard in the start sprint securing her front position before they entered the single track. On her wheel was Kaylin Prinsloo from Hartebeespoort HS, but not for long as Andrea dropped back giving Kaylin the opportunity to break away and take the win as well as the leader jersey. Sub Junior boys podium. An exciting battle in the junior men’s race saw two Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom riders, Pieter Du Toit and Brandon Van der Berg, break away in the first lap. After taking a strong lead, Pieter was hit with a mechanical problem causing him to drop back 10 positions before fighting his way back to overall fourth. Brandon Van der Berg took the win with Chad Fikkert from Midstream College (Gauteng guest rider) in third. The junior women’s race came down to a sprint between Danielle Strydom of Potchefstroom Gymnasium and Kristen Louw of Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom riding neck on neck, with Danielle just proving to be too strong in the final sprint. North West Leaders. North West Leaders Sub Junior Boys - JOHN-WILLIAM LANG - Rustenburg HS Sub Junior Girls - JONE VAN EEDEN - Potchefstroom Gymnasium Youth Boys - Ryan Conradie - Potchefstroom Gymnasium Youth Girls - Kaylin Prinsloo - Hartebeespoort HS Junior Men - Pieter Du Toit- Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom Junior Women - Danielle Strydom - Potchefstroom Gymnasium The third race in the North West leg of the 2016 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League will take place on 13 August at the Klerksdorp Show Grounds. For registration queries contact Joanita van Staden at admin@mtbza.co.za. Keep updated on the league on www.spurmtbleague.co.za and also follow the league on face book at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague. Eight years into the Spur High Schools Mountain Bike League organisers are anticipating that more than 500 Southern African schools will be represented in the 2016 season, which will culminate in the season-ending National Final in Magaliesburg in October.
  9. The Spur MTB League consists of 11 South African regions including neighbouring African countries Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho who compete for a spot in the season-ending National Final in Magaliesburg in October. Daniel Pienaar School's Team. Going into the second event of the season, Daniel Pienaar high school is leading the log with 276 points, followed by Pearson High School with 199 points second and Grey College PE with 92 points in third place. Lorraine Primary earned an impressive 326 points to secure a comfortable lead with Woodridge Primary second with 152 points and Grey College Primary third with 93 points. Enter online via the website eastcapemtb.co.za for R50 or on the day for R70. Registration will be open from 12h00-14h30 with course practice between 12h00 and 13h30. The Nipper and Sub Nipper boys and girls will kick of the day at 13h30 with two laps around the 2km short track for the girls followed by the Sprogs Boys & Girls at 13h50. Youth girls Kelsey van Schoor 1st, with Hanna Oelofsen 2nd (right) and Mischka Strydom 3rd. The high school riders will take on the longer 3km track with the Sub Junior Boys & Girls setting off at 15h00, Youth – U/15 & U/16 Boys & Girls at 15h30 and wrapping up with the Junior Boys & Girls at 15h35. The primary schools prize giving will take place at 14h45 with the final prize giving for high schools at 17h00. According to league director, Meurant Botha of Amarider participation at local events has been growing at a steady pace as schools accept mountain biking as a recognized sport. He also stated that although many kids are finding their competitive edge on their bicycles, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League’s focus is still to encourage more kids on bikes, more schools in action. “It is important for all children to enjoy participating whether only starting out or having participated for a couple seasons. We also urge the regions to support local cycling development programmes and assist more kids to get out and ride,” says Botha. For more information on the 2016 edition of the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za, or contact Amarider’s Michelle du Preez at 021 8844547 or michelle@amarider.co.za Follow us on face book at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleagueand @spurMTBleague.
  10. According to league co-ordinator, Meurant Botha of Amarider participation at local events is growing at a steady pace as schools accept mountain biking as a recognized sport - some going as far as building dedicated tracks on school grounds to encourage after school practices and interschool sports days as well as employing coaches and managers to oversee teams. “Word on the street has it that the top teams are in full training mode in preparation for the 2016 season as competition becomes more intense year on year. To many riders, it’s not just about hopping onto the bike anymore, but rather honing skills, upping the fitness levels and working on the mental toughness that is required to follow dreams of becoming pro riders,” says Botha. Although there are many kids finding their competitive edge on their bicycles, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League’s focus is still to encourage “more kids on bikes, more schools in action”. It is important for all children to enjoy participating whether only starting out or having participated for a couple seasons. This year has seen the introduction of Team Spur, James Reid and Ariane Kleinhans, who play the important role of encouraging League riders to follow their dreams and showing the reality of becoming sponsored athletes. Between competing at their various competitions, they have been mingling with keen riders, sharing valuable tips from how to better skills to handling pressure and form a vital part of the Spur Schools MTB League as they set the tone as role models for the young riders. For those new to the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, the League is a programme focused on growing the number of children on mountain bikes by running interschool mountain biking races around the country. The League consists of 11 South African regions including neighbouring African countries Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho. Around 60 events take place from May to the season-ending National Final in Magaliesburg in October. The racing format takes place on a marked track, generally over school fields and dedicated trails, where riders have to complete a certain amount of laps of a course that ranges between 2km-6km. The distance that needs to be covered is in accordance to the South African Schools Cycling Association rules and regulations. Each region hosts four events with the exception of the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga who each host three events in their respective regions along with a final. With the larger regions recording over 600 participants, competition is fierce to earn the coveted selection to the National Final. The League is facilitated by Amarider, a trails advocacy organization aimed at improving trail opportunities in Southern Africa. The organization uses the League not only to introduce young riders to trails, but also to develop the technical trail riding skills that will make the trails environment a safer and more enjoyable space. In addition Amarider also provides the necessary support to build local advocacy capacity and develop the regional coordinator teams. The founding sponsor of the League, Spur Steak Ranches has again committed to a bigger and better season. “Seeing the continued growth of the program is something we as Spur Steak Ranches are very proud of and we are committed to ensure the further development of the League going forward,” said Adam Deane, Brand Activation Manager. For more information on the 2016 edition of the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za, or contact Amarider’s Michelle du Preez at 021 8844547 or michelle@amarider.co.za
  11. East London MTB riders lined up and ready for action at regional league race. Going into the last event of the season, Selbourne College is in a comfortable lead with 270 points, followed by Grens High School with 130 points and Stirling High in third place with 128 points. Hudson Park Primary is first on the primary schools log with 838 points with Selbourne Primary second with 270 points and Nahoon Primary third with 248 points. The East London District Final will take place on Sunday, 14 August at the Hillview mountain bike track at Hillview Farm. Registration will be open between 09h00 and 11h30 with the first race for the Sub-Nipper and Nipper girls setting off at 12h00 followed by the Nipper, Sprogs and Sub-Junior primary school boys at 12h45 and all high school categories at 14h00. Entry is R50. Luke Pankratz - SJ Boys. While the girls and Sub-Nipper boys will take on the 1.04km track with 35m elevation, the Nipper, Sprogs and Primary School Sub Juniors boys will have to face the 2.5km track with 85m elevation and all the high school riders will have to tackle the 3.1km track with 99m elevation. The lap-race format will see the respective categories complete a set number of laps. The track will be open on Saturday and until 11h00 on Sunday for practice. According to league director, Meurant Botha of Amarider participation at local events has been growing at a steady pace as schools accept mountain biking as a recognized sport. He also stated that although many kids are finding their competitive edge on their bicycles, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League’s focus is still to encourage more kids on bikes, more schools in action. “It is important for all children to enjoy participating whether only starting out or having participated for a couple seasons. We also urge the regions to support local cycling development programmes and assist more kids to get out and ride,” says Botha. Elne Owen - Jnr ladies. Eight years into the Spur High Schools Mountain Bike League organisers are anticipating that more than 500 Southern African schools will be represented in the 2016 season.This year has also seen the introduction of Team Spur, James Reid and Ariane Kleinhans, who play the important role of encouraging League riders to follow their dreams and showing the reality of becoming sponsored athletes. Between competing and preparing for the Olympic Games, they have been mingling with keen riders, sharing valuable tips from how to better skills to handling pressure and form a vital part of the Spur Schools MTB League as they set the tone as role models for the young riders. The League is facilitated by Amarider, a trails advocacy organization aimed at improving trail opportunities in Southern Africa. The organization uses the League not only to introduce young riders to trails, but also to develop the technical trail riding skills that will make the trails environment a safer and more enjoyable space. For more information on the 2016 edition of the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za, or contact Amarider’s Michelle du Preez at 021 8844547 or michelle@amarider.co.za
  12. Grabbing water in the feedzone at the Spur Schools MTB League race in Worcester. Defending Western Cape champions, Parel Vallei High School holds the top spot on the mixed and women’s logs. Their men’s team is currently lying in second position after Paul Roos, who has been dominating this category since the inception of the league. Parel Vallei secured a number of podium positions in the third race of the season recently hosted at Montana High School in Worcester. Mikayla Forrester finished third in the sub-junior girls, while Carla Steyn and Jana Barry won the youth women and junior women’s races respectively. Team mates Joshua De Freitas and Matthew Keyser secured second and third place in the junior men’s race, which was won by Johann Trotzky of Montana High School in what proved to be the tightest race of the day. Hatrick for Paul Roos in youth men 15 years race. Ben Puddu - a proud team manager. Paul Roos showed their class winning podium spots three of the four men’s races. Matthew Lochner finished second in the sub junior boys, while team mates Jamie Penfold, Joshua Laughton and George Ducharme finished first, second and third in the youth men 15 years. Kevin Long secured second place in the youth men 16 with Ilan Meintjes in fourth. The race was won by Mulder Oosthuizen of DF Malan High. Southern suburbs riders Courteney Webb of Westerford High School, Saskia Van der Merwe of Rustenburg Girls High School and Jessi Nixon of Fishhoek High School finished second, third and fourth in the junior women’s race, while Byron Munton of Wynberg Boys delivered a stellar performance to finish fifth in the junior men’s race. Johan Trotzky of Montana High School wins the junior mens race. Siblings Jamie Penfold of Paul Roos Gimnasium, Aidan Penfold and Olivia Penfold of Durbanville Primary School all won their respective races and are hoping to clinch the overall first position in the 2016 Western Cape leg of the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League. Montana High School in Worcester took home five medals on the day with WG Van Der Walt and Samuel Swart finishing first and third in the sub junior boys’ race, Jean Estherhuyse and Juarnett West clinching third position in the youth men (15 years) and youth women (16 years) and Johan Trotzky delivering a stunning performance to win the junior men’s race. Parel Vallei Riders in blue off to a fast start in the junior men's race. Two other Worcester riders, Nienke Mostert of Worcester East Primary School and Surine van Tonder of HTS Drostdy clinched second place in the sub junior girls’ and youth women’s races. Line honours also went to Stefke Tolmay of DF Malan High schools in the sub junior girls and Michaela Beaton of Rhenish Girls High School in the youth women’s races. Online entries for the final race of the season can be done on www.amarider.co.za until Wednesday, 14 September at a cost of R60 for primary school and R70 for high school riders, while late entries will also be accepted on race day at an additional R10. Registration can be done between 08h00 and 13h30. The course will be open for practice between 08h10 and 08h50 and again from 11h10 to 11h50. The sub nippers will set of the primary school racing at 09h00, followed by the nipper boys and girls at 09h30 and 09h35, sprog boys and girls at 10h00 and 10h05 and the sub junior boys and girls wrapping up the primary schools’ competition at 10h30 and 10h35. High school racing starts at 12h00 with the sub junior boys. The youth men 15 and 16 years will start at 12h40 and 13h30 respectively, followed by the girls’ race at 14h15 and the junior men setting off at 15h00. Spur vouchers to the value of R1000 are up for grabs for the best dressed school team, best dressed team supporters and best school team war cry. Youth Men in action at the third event in the Western Cape leg of the Spur Schools MTB League. Riders will also have the opportunity to meet Team Spur riders - Swiss XCM National Champion and multiple Absa Cape Epic winner Ariane Kleinhans and South African XCO National Champion and Olympian, James Reid. For more information visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za or contact Amarider’s Michelle du Preez at 021 8844547 or michelle@amarider.co.za Follow the league on face book at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague.
  13. 1. What do you enjoy most about mountain biking? I find most joy in the silence when I am on my bike. At the same time it also very enjoyable to share that experience with my friends and family. 2. How has the Spur School Series motivated you to ride? The Spur Series introduced me to the competitiveness of mountain biking as a sport. It combined elements of fun whilst also being serious enough that you have to really plan and race hard. 3. Do you enjoy the lap racing format of the Spur School series? Yes, the speed and consistency required with the great crowd support all over the track, is what I enjoy most. 4. Which trail feature/ obstacle do you enjoy most? I am very fond of single tracks, rock gardens and well placed berms; anything that makes the race more challenging. 5. Which was your favourite race last year and why? The first race of the season at Meerendal last year. This race was the first indicator of the season in terms of my own fitness and overall standing in my age group. 6. What are you looking forward to most in the 2016 season? I look forward to the interaction and inter school spirit; we’re all great friends outside of racing as well. 7. Has riding mountain bikes taught you any important life skills? Yes, what you put into life is also what you get out. You have to learn how to do this within the framework of effective time management between school, training and family responsibilities. 8. What are your cycling goals after school? I would like to venture into the local and international cycling scene and, if given the opportunity, start racing professionally. My dream is to one day win a world class race such as the Trans Alp or ABSA Cape Epic.
  14. Racing began with the Sub Juniors where Miguel Moutinho of Midstream College pulled away with a 54 second lead over Christiaan Klopper of Waterkloof High School and Francois Botha of Rustenburg High School in third. In the girls race it was Jade Slabbert also of Midstream College took line honours with Transvalia team mates Kaylin Gombos and Natalie Long finished second and third. Youth 15 boys’ race was won by current Series leader, Hennie Van Wyk of Garsfontein High School with DJ Kruger of Transvalia taking second after an exciting sprint finish with Matthiam Hofmann of Waterkloof. Monique du Toit of Menlopark took her second win of the Gauteng Series and extended her overall Youth 15 category lead. Robin Stewart of Waterkloof was second and Nikola von Staden of Helpmekaar College took third place. In the Youth 16 girls race Midstream College brought home their third win for the day as well as their third leader’s jersey in the form of Thana Groenewald who amazed everyone by beating the lap times of the top junior women. Azulde Britz of Cornwall Hill College and Rimari Sutton of Garsfontein finished second and third respectively. JP Lloyd from Zwartkop High School won the Youth 16 boys’ category and received the leader’s jersey for the first time. The battle was on for the leader jersey in the Junior men’s race with Henry Liebenberg of Menlopark taking the overall lead in the series with his win, followed by Marc Pritzen of Kempton Park High School in second and Jason Abbot of Woodhill College in third. Saffron Vosloo from Menlopark led from lap one in the Junior Women’s race as she opened a gap over Lynette Benson of Waterkloof High School. She managed to hold that lead during all three laps to take the win and holds on to her Junior Women’s leader jersey. Menlopark High School are still top of the log with 242 points, followed by Afrikaans Hoër Seunsskool with 234 overall second, Midstreaam overall third with 207 points, Waterkloof in fourth with 192 points and Transvalia in 5th. Rounding off the top ten schools on the leader board is Garsfontein High (117 points), Montana High School (99 points), Monument High School (96 points) and Zwartkop High School (93 points). Spur Gauteng Leaders after Tour de Plaas Junior Men: Henry Liebenberg - Menloparks HS Junior Women: Saffron Vosloo - Menloparks HS Youth 16 Boys: JP Lloyd - Zwartkop HS Youth 16 Girls: Thana Groenewald - Midstream College Youth 15 Boys: Hennie Van Wyk - Garsfontein HS Youth 15 Girls: Monique Du Toit - Menlopark HS Sub Junior Boys: Miguel Moutihno - Midstream College Sub Junior Girls: Jade Slabbert - Midstream College Gauteng Series Leaders. The third race in the Gauteng leg of the 2016 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League will take place on 20 August at St Sithians Colleage in Sandton. For registration queries contact Joanita van Staden at admin@mtbza.co.za. Keep updated on the league on www.spurmtbleague.co.za and also follow the league on face book at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague.
  15. Local riders will pull out all the stops on Saturday (17 September) when they take to the track at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch for the 2016 Western Cape regional finals to qualify for a spot in the national finals and the chance to compete against the top schools from around South Africa. Fast start for the junior men in the Spur Schools MTB League. Parel Vallei High School is top of the mixed and women’s logs and second on the men’s log, which has been dominated by Paul Roos Gymnasium since the inception of the league. DF Malan High School is holding the second position on the mixed and women’s logs, while Montana High School in Worcester is third in all three categories. Since its humble beginnings with approximately 900 riders in 2009, the league has grown beyond expectations and featured 45 events, an estimated 500 schools and 10 000 MTB enthusiasts competing nationwide this year. A joint initiative between Spur Steak Ranches and trail advocacy group Amarider, the League provides a powerful platform for promoting mountain biking at school level and beyond. The League is affiliated to South African Schools Cycling (SACS), which in turn is affiliated to Cycling SA as a development initiative particularly geared to create a platform for schools to compete against each other and, in doing so, raise the profile of the sport at school level. According to league director, Meurant Botha of Amarider, participation at local events has shown a steady growth as schools accept mountain biking as a recognized sport - some going as far as employing coaches and managers to oversee teams and even building dedicated tracks on school grounds to encourage after school practices and interschool sports days. “Although there are many kids finding their competitive edge on their bicycles, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League’s focus is still to encourage more kids on bikes, more schools in action. It is important for all children to enjoy participating whether only starting out or having participated for a couple seasons,” says Botha. The League runs on the Olympic Cross Country (XCO) lap-racing format whereby participants complete a set number of laps, determined by age category, of a short mountain bike course. Lap distances are between three and five kilometres. A large number of league participants competed against each other in the 2016 XCO Championships, adding even more suspense to the upcoming Spur Schools MTB League Finals. Over the years the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League facilitated various rider development programmes, has seen a definite increase in the number of female riders as well as logged an increased number of primary schools supporting the league. This year has also seen the introduction of Team Spur, James Reid and Ariane Kleinhans, who play the important role of encouraging League riders to follow their dreams and showing the reality of becoming sponsored athletes. The founding sponsor of the League, Spur Steak Ranches has again committed to a bigger and better season offering a R10 000 rand contribution to school teams that win their respective age categories at the National Inter-schools Finals. “Seeing the continued growth of the program is something we as Spur Steak Ranches are very proud of and we decided to offer this bonus to foster healthy competition and promote teamwork between riders and within schools, as well as increase increase participation across all skill levels and abilities, ” said Andrew Cronje, Spur Market Development Manager. For more information and results visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za and be sure to follow the League on face book at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague.
  16. More than 60 schools participated in the 2016 season and a good turn-out is expected for the finals that will once again be hosted at Mankele Mountain Bike Park outside Nelspruit on Saturday, 24 September. The League runs on the Olympic Cross Country (XCO) lap-racing format whereby participants complete a set number of laps, determined by age category, of a short mountain bike course. Lap distances are between three and five kilometres. Youth riders Ruben Helberg (1002) of Nelspruit High School and Damion Gomez (248) of HTS Witbank sprinting for the finish. Registration will start from 07h00 with course open for practice until 08h45. The first race for the little 7-year old sub nipper boys and girls at 09h00, followed by the 8 to 10 year old nipper boys and girls at 09h20 and the 11 to 12 year old sprog boys and girls wrapping up the primary school races for the day at 09h45. High school racing will start at 10h30 with the sub junior boys and girls (13 to 14 years) who is expected to complete the track in an estimated 35 to 45 minutes. The youth women (15 to 16 years) and junior girls (17 to 18 years) will race together at 11h30 and should complete the race in between 40 to 50 minutes. Exciting racing is expected in the final race of the day and Mpumalanga season, when the youth (15 to 16 years) and junior (17 to 18 years) boys at 12h30 take to track. Heading into this weekend’s final, Lydenburg High School is in a comfortable lead with an impressive 821 points and likely to defend their title as regional champions. Lydenburg High School has also been the proud winners of the “geesbeker” at the Spur High Schools MTB Final two years running. Schools earn points for every single participant, but better results earn more points, which add team spirit and boosts the determination of most riders. Nelspruit High School is currently lying second with 454 points, Uplands College third with 342 points, Secunda High School fourth with 276 points and Rob Ferreira filling the fifth spot with 264 points. Since its humble beginnings with approximately 900 riders in 2009, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League has grown beyond expectations. This year it featured 45 events, an estimated 500 schools and 10 000 MTB enthusiasts competing across the country. According to league director, Meurant Botha of Amarider, participation at local events has shown a steady growth. He further states that although there are many kids finding their competitive edge on their bicycles, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League’s focus is still to encourage more kids on bikes, more schools in action. “It is important for all children to enjoy participating whether only starting out or having participated for a couple seasons,” says Botha. This year has also seen the introduction of Team Spur, James Reid and Ariane Kleinhans, who play the important role of encouraging League riders to follow their dreams and showing the reality of becoming sponsored athletes. Local riders will have the opportunity meet these amazing athletes at Saturday’s Mpumalanga final. For further information follow us on @SpurMTBleague, log on to SpurSchoolsLeague on facebook or visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za.
  17. North West Province crowned Provincial Spur Schools MTB League Champions. Pictured with Arianne Kleinhans and James Reid of Team Spur. The Interprovincial Competition is done under the auspices of South African Schools Cycling (SASC), which in turn is affiliated to Cycling SA as a development initiative particularly geared to create a platform for schools to compete against each other and, in doing so, raise the profile of the sport at school level. Gauteng placed second. With only the 10 best results scoring points, it was game on from the start of each race. Defending champion North West Province, in spite of its size, successfully defended their title as provincial champion logging 242 points. Gauteng finished in a close second with 240 points followed by Western Province in third place with 224 points. Western Cape come in third. Filling the rest of the spots on the log were Mpumalanga (190 points), Kwazulu Natal (182 points), Free State (160 points), Limpopo (140 points), Namibia (88 points), Eastern Cape (62 points), Northern Cape (44 points) and Zimbabwe (38 points). Travis Stedman of Thomas More College got KZN off to a great start taking line honours in the sub-junior race, with WG van der Walt of Montana High School (Western Cape) second and Miguel Moutihno of Midstream College (Gauteng) in third in spite of a very bad crash the day before. Sub junior boys: WG van der Walt (2nd), Travis Stedman (1st) first and Miguel Moutihno (3rd). Beani Thies of Wartburg Kirchdorf School logged another win for KZN in the sub-junior girls, with team mates Kaylin Gombos and Natalie Long both of Transvalia (Gauteng) taking second and third place. Sub junior girls: Kaylin Gombos (2nd), Beani Thies (1st) and Natalie Long (3rd) Adriaan Duminy of Wesvalia rode a stellar race to win the youth boys 15 years for North West, with Hennie van Wyk of Garsfontein (Gauteng) second and Jamie Penfold of Paul Roos (WC) in third. Youth boys 15 years: Jamie Penfold (1st), Adriaan Duminy (1st) and Hennie van Wyk (3rd). Zandri Strydom of Rob Ferreira logged a convincing win for Mpumalanga finishing a minute ahead of Kelsey van Schoor of St Dominics Priory (EC) second and Andrea de Waal of Potchefstroom Girls High (NW) in third in the youth girls 15 years. Youth girls 15: Andrea de Waal (3rd), Zandri Strydom (1st) and Kelsey van Schoor (2nd). In the youth boys 16 years race, Ryan Conradie of Potchefstroom Gimnasium secured another win for North West with JP Lloyd of Zwartkop (Gauteng) second and Brendan van Eeden of Potchefstroom Gimnasium (NW) in third filling the podium spots. Youth boys 16: Brendan van Eeden (3rd), Ryan Conradie (1st) and JP Lloyd (2nd). Tiffany Keep of Thomas More College won the youth girls 16 for KZN with Thana Groenewald of Midstream College securing a second and Rimare Sutton of Garsfontein securing a second and third place for Gauteng. Youth girls 16 years: Thana Groenewald (2nd), Tiffany Keep (1st0 and Rimare Sutton (3rd). The junior girls’ race increased the North West score with Kristen Louw of Volkskool Potchefstroom in first and Daniel Strydom of Potchefstroom Gimnasium in second, while Christie Hearder of Pietermaritzburg Girls High (KZN) took third. Junior women: Christie Hearder (3rd), Kristen Louw (1st) and Daniel Strydom (2nd). In the final race of the day, Pieter du Toit of Volkskool won the junior men’s race for North West with Rinus Maarsingh of Grey College taking the only podium win for Free State and Armandt Lombard of Nelspruit High School (MPU) in third. Junior men: Armandt Lombard (3rd), Pieter du Toit (1st) and Rinus Maarsingh (2nd). For overall results visit www.trailtag.co.za. Also follow us on Facebook at Spur Schools League, @spurMTBleague on Twitter #spurMTBleague.
  18. Garsfontein High School has been crowned the 2017 champions of the Spur Schools MTB League. Photo credit: Chris Hitchcock Menlo Park High School in Gauteng, as well and Potchefstroom Gymnasium scooped second and third place in the mixed category respectively. In addition, Paul Roos Gymnasium is in second place in the men’s overall category, followed by Parel Vallei High School, who tailed close behind in third place. In the women’s category, Potchefstroom Gymnasium won first place, followed by Transvalia High School and Menlo Park in second and third place respectively. The event wrapped-up the Spur Schools MTB League which comprised of months of rigorous training, hours of trail riding through mountainous terrain, 493 participating schools and 46 events across the country. Junior Men kick-off. Photo credit: Chris Hitchcock Lungani Mbambo – Mbeki High School. Photo credit: Chris Hitchcock “We are incredibly proud of all of our riders. They’ve trained hard throughout the season and their commitment to the sport has been first class. First place in the Spur MTB League Inter-Schools Final is testimony that hard work really does pay off,” says MTB Coordinator of Garsfontein High School, Jan-Albert de Kock. The Spur School MTB League covers 9 South African provinces and races take place from May to October each year. The League was launched by Spur Steak Ranches and Amarider in 2009 with the ultimate aim of promoting MTB as an official in-school sport, along with rugby and cricket; as well as to encourage mass participation among schoolgoing children. “Over the past eight years, the League has shown immense growth. More schools are adopting MTB as an official in-school sport and momentum is growing. This means we are well on our way to achieving our initial goal,” says Clare Rainey, Spur Brand Development Manager. Zandri Strydom. Photo credit: Chris Hitchcock A rider from Mamelodi High pushes his bike up the slope. Photo credit: Chris Hitchcock And Meurant Botha, director of Amarider and principal organiser of League agrees. He congratulated Garsfontein High School, as well as Menlo Park High School and Potchefstroom Gimnasium on their achievement. Botha described the 2017 League as a “great success” and commended kids and all participating schools for their commitment and dedication to the sport. “It’s been an incredible season, lots of hard work behind the scenes from an incredible team. But all credit goes to the kids who have trained so hard and sacrificed so much time, including a large portion of their weekends to ensure they do well. We are proud of each one of them and can’t wait to start planning for the 2018 season,” Botha says. The Spur Schools MTB League is the biggest high schools cycling programme in South Africa, as well as the largest feeder system for MTB in the country. The League has also since transcended South Africa to neighbouring Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho. The Inter-Provincial Final saw Gauteng taking first place with Western Cape and North West in second and third. Gauteng won the Inter-Provincial Final at the Spur Schools MTB League. Photo credit: Chris Hitchcock To wrap up a weekend of great competition, Armand Cronje (16) from Merensky High School won a bicycle, sponsored by Cycle Lab, in the Last Man Standing competition; and HS Montana from Western Cape won the 2017 War Cry Battle. Planning for the 2018 League season will get underway within the next week. Overall logs and individual results for both Inter-schools and Inter-Provincial Finals can be found at www.spurmtbleague.co.za. The 2018 regional event provisional dates will be added to the calendar by the end of November. Information on how to participate as an individual learner or as your school team can be found on the website.
  19. Adam Dean of Spur and James Reid of Team Spur with riders competing in the Western Cape finals of the Spur Schools MTB League. A total of 45 high schools from across the Western Cape competed for a spot in the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League National Finals, which will take place at Bekker School in Magaliesburg on Saturday, 8 October when more than 60 schools will go head to head with the top 26 riders in each category scoring points for their team. Amy Tait of York High took line honours in the junior women's race. With her are James Reid, Allison Morton of Westerford 2nd and Jana Barry of Parel Vallei 3rd. The Western Cape Schools that qualified for the finals are Parel Vallei, Paul Roos, DF Malan, Montana and HTS Drostdy, while York and Outeniqua High Schools from the Southern Cape will form part of the Western Cape provincial team. In addition to the qualifying schools the top three riders in each category also secured a spot in the finals. They are Tristan Nortje of Outeniqua (3rd youth men 15 years), Johan Krige of Durbanville High School (2nd youth men 16 years), Julia Marx of Springfield Convent (2nd sub-junior girls), Kirstin Roelofse of York High School (3rd youth women 15 years), Michaela Beaton of Rhenish Girls High (youth women 15 years champion), Mia De Villiers of Paarl Girls High (youth women 16 years champion), Amy Tait of York High (1st junior women) and Allison Morton of Westerford High School (2nd junior women). Flying high at the Western Cape Finals of the Spur Schools MTB League. South African XCO National Champion and Olympian, James Reid of Team Spur also attended the Western Cape Finals and riders had the opportunity to interact with him throughout the day. On Sunday, 9 October Western Cape schools will team up for the SASC Interprovincial Competition whereby the best 10 results will be tallied to crown the best province. The North West Province are the current defending champions. Mia de Villiers of Paarl Girls High is the Western Cape Youth Women's Champion of the Spur Schools MTB League. The following riders have been selected for the Western Cape provincial team: Montana High School’s WG van der Walt, Samual Swart and Johann Trotzky; Paul Roos Gymnasium’s Matthew Lochner, Jamie Penfold and Joshua Laughton; DF Malan’s Stefke Tolmay, Carla Hollander and Mulder Oosthuizen; Michaela Beaton of Rhenish Girls High; Johan Kruger of Durbanville High; Allison Morton of Westerford High; Julia Marx of Springfield Convent; with Parel Vallei sporting five riders – Carla Steyn, Jana Barry, Matthew Keyser, Joshua de Freitas and Ico Coetzee and Southern Cape represented by Charlissa Schultz of Langenhoven High School, Tristan Nortje of Outeniqua and York High School team mates Kirstin Roelofse and Amy Tait concluding the team. Parel Vallei were crowned mixed and girls Western Cape champions of the Spur Schools MTB League. The founding sponsor of the League, Spur Steak Ranches has again committed to a bigger and better season offering a R10 000 rand contribution to school teams that win their respective age categories at the National Inter-schools Finals. “Seeing the continued growth of the program is something we as Spur Steak Ranches are very proud of and we decided to offer this bonus to foster healthy competition and promote teamwork between riders and within schools, as well as increase participation across all skill levels and abilities,” said Andrew Cronje, Spur Market Development Manager. Paul Roos were crowned Western Cape champions of the Spur Schools MTB League. For more information and results visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za and be sure to like the League on Facebook at Spur Schools League and follow @spurMTBleague on Twitter for more information. Stefke Tolmay of DF Malan is the Western Cape sub junior champion of the Spur Schools MTB league.
  20. Junior Men's finals of the Mpumalanga Spur Schools MTB League finals. Nelspruit High School finished in second place with 549 points, followed by Uplands College in third with 409 points and Secunda High School fourth overall with 318 points. The top three Lowveld schools as well as the top Highveld entry - Rob Ferreira High that finished overall fifth with 310 points - will represent Mpumalanga in the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League National Finals on 8 and 9 October at Bekker School in Magaliesberg. Kirsty Shuttleworth of Uplands(2nd junior women), Zandri Strydom of Rob Ferreira(1st youth women 16 years) and Monique Swart of Nelspruit HS (1st youth women 15 years) with Olympian, James Reid. Penryn Preparatory walked off with the Primary Schools trophy of the 2016 Spur Schools MTB League. Competition was fierce amongst the more than 350 riders at the regional finals with very small margins separating the top riders in a number of categories and the final race determining overall series winners. Lydenburg High School retains Spur Schools MTB League title as Mpumalanga champions. Lydenburg High School secured four podium spots with Simone van Wyk winning the sub junior girls, Reinhart Viljoen finishing second in the sub junior boys, Rikus Booyens achieving second place in the youth boys 16 years and Kaylee Lindeque taking third place in the youth women 16 years. Leam de Klerk of Penry College was the junior Mpulanga champion of the Spur Schools MTB League. Nelspruit High School leads the medal count with eight podium wins. Suzanne Mare and Hijke Coetzee finished second and third overall in the sub junior girls, Jean van der Merwe won sub junior boys, Monique Swart came first in the youth women 15 years, Emile Fourie and Mike Odendaal took third place in the youth men 15 and 16 years categories, while team mates Armand Lombard and Constant Furstenberg secured second and third place in the junior men’s finals. Penryn Primary wins primary schools Mpumalanga Spur Schools MTB League Finals. Uplands College’s podium wins included Kyla Hamer who finished third in the youth women 15 years, Patricia Notten second in the youth women 16 years, Kirsty Shuttleworth and Tammy Hawley securing second and third place in the junior women’s final and Ryan Terry finished overall second in the youth men 15 years. Other podium winners that qualified for the Mpumalange Provincial Team and a spot in the national finals are Richardo van der Merwe of Rob Ferreira (third in sub junior boys), Rozel Montgomery of Curro Bankenveld (second in the youth women 15 years), Zandri Strydom of Rob Ferreira High School (winner of the youth women 16 years), Marnique de Swart of Secunda High School (winner of the junior women’s finals), Jeandre Gautier of HTS Witbank who clinched the overall top spot in the youth men 15 years and Liam de Klerk of Penryn College (junior men’s winner). Ryan Terry of Uplands College (2nd junior men), Jeandre Gautier of HTS Witbank (1st junior men), Emile Fourie of Curro Nelspruit (3rd junior men) with Olympian James Reid. Lydenburg High School has also been the proud winners of the “geesbeker” at the Spur High Schools MTB Final two years running. The founding sponsor of the League, Spur Steak Ranches has again committed to a bigger and better season offering a R10 000 rand contribution to school teams that win their respective age categories at the National Inter-schools Finals. “Seeing the continued growth of the program is something we as Spur Steak Ranches are very proud of and we decided to offer this bonus to foster healthy competition and promote teamwork between riders and within schools, as well as increase participation across all skill levels and abilities,” said Andrew Cronje, Spur Market Development Manager. Youth Women start of the Spur Schools MTB League MPU finals at Mankele Mountain Bike Park. This year has also seen the introduction of Team Spur, James Reid and Ariane Kleinhans, who play the important role of encouraging League riders to follow their dreams and showing the reality of becoming sponsored athletes. Local riders got the opportunity to get some handy hints and tips from Olympic rider James Reid at the Mpumalanga finals. For further information follow us on @SpurMTBleague, log on to SpurSchoolsLeague on facebook or visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za.
  21. Following a stellar season, the 2016 North West Series was won by Potchefstroom Gimnasium with 770 points. Rustenburg High School was second with 672 points followed by Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom with 400 points. Wesvalia High and Hartebeespoort High Schools took fourth with 377 points to secure the final slot for the Spur Schools MTB League National Finals. John-William Lang of Rustenburg High School and Joné Van Eeden of Potchefstroom Gimnasium dominated the sub-junior category winning all four regional events and the North West finals and have both been selected for the North West team. Ryan Conradie of Potchefstroom Gimnasium had another exceptional season. Although he could not compete in the final, his three convincing wins secured him a spot in the North West team. The North West finals was won by Brendan Van Eeden of Potchefstroom Gimnasium, followed by Adriaan Duminy of Wesvalia High School in second and Stehan Wolmarans of Hartebeespoort High School in third. Andrea de Waal of Potchefstroom Girls High took line honours at the finals with Kaylin Prinsloo from Hartebeespoort High fighting hard throughout the 2016 season to secure her spot in the North West team after a well-deserved second place in the finals. The Junior Men’s category was a fierce and exciting battle between two riders both from Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom. Brandon Van der Berg and Pieter du Toit put up a hard fight at each of the four events to gain that top position on the podium and ultimately the overall Junior Men’s title winner - at the end Brandon took the overall series win and will also be the North West Team captain. The Junior Women’s category saw leading ladies - Nicolene Marais from Rustenburg High School, Danielle Strydom from Potchefstroom Gimnasium and Kristen Louw from Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom, who secured the overall lead in the Junior Women’s category and was also selected North West team captain. For more information and results visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za and be sure to like the League on Facebook at Spur Schools League and follow @spurMTBleague on Twitter for more information.
  22. Ariane Kleinhans of Team Spur wishing the youth women 15 years good luck before their race. With 438 mountain bike riders representing 84 schools all chasing points and the coveted title of Spur Schools Mountain Bike League champion, racing was fierce in hot and trying conditions. Reigning Gauteng League champions, Menlo Park pulled out all the stops to win the boys’ (118 points) and mixed team (121 points) trophies and walked off with the coveted title of National Spur Schools Mountain Bike League Champions. The girls’ team from Potchefstroom Gimnasium were crowned national girls champions (72 points) with Menlo Park High School taking second place (66 points) and Midstream College claiming third (59 points). Junior men sprint for 4th position with Matthew Keyer (rider 211) of Parel Vallei pipping Rinus Maarsingh of Grey College (rider 235) to the podium with a split second separating the two riders. Only one point separated the second and third boys’ teams with Grey College second with 100 points and Paul Roos Gimnasium third 99 points. Parel Vallei High School earned 100 points securing second place in the mixed team category with Transvalia in third place with 94 points. Setting the pace for a high-speed racing day, the sub junior boys Miguel Mouthino (Midstream), Travis Stedman (Thomas More College) and WG van der Walt (Montana) broke away from the pack early in the race and the chase was on for the top spot. After leading the first two laps, Miguel crashed out on the final lap with WG van der Walt holding onto the lead to win in a time of 00:45:53 with Travis Stedman of Thomas More College in a close second in a time of 00:45:56 and Marnus Prinsloo of Grey College finishing in third in a time of 00:46:52. Stellar riding by the junior men at the Spur Schools MTB league Final. Pictured here are Wessel Botha of Menlopark (rider 299) who took line honours, Wessel Redelinghuis of Afrikaans Hoër Seunsskool (rider 301), who finished overall 11th and Pieter du Toit of Volkskool Potchefstroom (rider 293) who took second place. In the youth boys 15 years, Jamie Penfold (PRG) took the lead from the start and rode a stellar race to win in a time of 00:44:56 with Stehan Wolmarans of Hartebeespoort second in a time of 00:44:56 and Adriaan Duminy of Wesvalia taking third in a time of 00:45:11. Gauteng dominated the top end of the youth boys 16 years race in the first lap with Menlo Park High School’s Chris du Plessis, Wicus Breytenbach of Garsfontein and JP Loyd of Zwartkop leading the pack. After a very competitive three-lap race, Chris du Plessis took first place in a time of 00:43:25, with JP Lloyd second in a time of 00:43:30 and Brendan van Eeden of Potchefstroom Gimnasium in third in a time of 00:43:33 just ahead of Wicus Breytenbach who finished in a time of 00:43:41. Unfortunately, hot favourite, Ryan Conradie (SA junior continental champion) broke his chain on lap one and although it was fixed, he only managed to come in and place at 71st position. Zandri Strydom of Rob Ferreira High School took line honours in the youth girls 15 years at the Spur Schools MTB League National Finals. As was expected, the junior men’s race got off to a very fast start with a strong leader pack of eight fighting it out from the first lap. The top three positions were going to be anybody’s taking, but Wessel Botha of Menlo Park High School showcased his skills when he overtook on a single track section on the final lap to take the lead and line honours in a time of 00:58:46, with Pieter du Toit of Volkskool Potchefstroom and Henry Liebenberg in a sprint chase to the finish taking second and third place in 00:58:56 and 00:58:57 respectively. All the girls’ races were marked by strong competition amongst the front runners with Beani Thies of Wartburg Kirchdorf School winning the sub-juniors in a time of 00:35:09, Kaylin Gombos of Transvalia came second in a time of 00:35:59 and Jone van Eeden of Potchefstroom Gimnasium third in a time of 00:37:21.Zandri Strydom of Rob Ferreira High School took line honours in the youth girls 15 years at the Spur Schools MTB League National Finals. Mpumalanga youth 15 years champion Zandri Strydom of Rob Ferreira took line honours in an impressive time of 00:33:31 followed by Kelsey van Schoor of St Dominics Priory second in 00:34:58 and Monique du Toit of Menlopark third in 00:35:42. Tiffany Keep of Thomas More College rode an exceptional race. Not seeded for a good starting position she had to secure her lead before heading into the single tracks, after which she managed to retain her lead throughout to win the youth girls 16 years in a time of 00:50:29 with Thana Groenewald of Midstream second in a time of 00:50:38 and Rimare Sutton of Garsfontein third in 00:52:11. Daniel Strydom of Potchefstroom Gimnasium won the junior women’s race in a time of 00:52:11 followed by Kirsten Lous of Volkskool Potchefstroom only a split second behind in 00:52:12 and Christie Header of Pietermaritzburg Girls High in third place in a time of 00:52:17. Tiffany Keep (rider 615) of Thomas More College off to a fast start to take the lead from the start and win the youth girls 16 years race. Spur Steak Ranches handed a R10 000 contribution to school teams that won their respective age categories at the National Inter-schools Finals. “Spending the weekend at the Finals here at Bekker, with so many talented riders and seeing the ever growing support, reinforces the League as something very close to our hearts. By offering this prize money we hope it will encourage the sport within the schools and assist them in further developing their teams,” said Clare Rainey, Spur Brand Development Manager. Sub junior girls champion Beani Thies of Wartburg Kirchdorf School with Kaylin Gombos of Transvalia second and Jone van Eeden of Potchefstroom Gimnasium third. The League is affiliated to South African Schools Cycling (SASC), which in turn is affiliated to Cycling SA as a development initiative particularly geared to create a platform for schools to compete against each other and, in doing so, raise the profile of the sport at school level. On Sunday schools teamed up for the SASC Interprovincial Competition whereby the best 10 results got tallied to crown the best province. Defending champion North West Province, in spite of its size, successfully defended their title as provincial champion logging 242 points. Gauteng finished in a close second with 240 points followed by Western Province in third place with 224 points. For more information and results visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za or follow us on Facebook at Spur Schools League and follow @spurMTBleague on Twitter #spurMTBleague.
  23. Competition was fierce at all the regional events as only the top schools and individual category winners in each region could qualify for the finals. The top 436 mountain bike riders representing 84 schools will converge at Bekker School this weekend of 8-9 October for what is expected to be an action-packed final. The Spur Schools Mountain Bike League was launched in 2009 as a joint initiative between Spur Steak Ranches and trail advocacy group Amarider with 900 riders. Over the years the League has facilitated various rider development programmes, seen a definite increase in the number of female riders, as well as logged an increased number of primary schools supporting the league. This, as well as the record number of entries this year, proves that the League provides a powerful platform for promoting mountain biking at school level and beyond and is achieving its goal of getting more kids on bikes. 2015 Junior girls interprovincial start. Gauteng has seen explosive growth both in participating schools and riders and is currently the largest league in the country with more than 80 schools, close on 3 000 riders competing and regional events drawing more than 600 entries. The League runs on the Olympic Cross Country (XCO) lap-racing format whereby participants, separated into age categories, complete a set number of laps of a short mountain bike course. Lap distances are between three and five kilometres. A large number of league participants competed against each other in the 2016 XCO Championships, adding even more suspense to the upcoming Spur Schools MTB League Finals. North West Province won the 2015 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League Inter Provincial Championships. The hotly contested finals will once again see schools as well as provinces competing for the coveted Spur Schools MTB League trophy and top spot on the provincial log. On Saturday, 8 October the schools will go head-to-head with the top 26 riders in each category scoring points for their team in an effort to secure podium positions in the National Inter-schools Final. Menlo Park High School dominated the 2015 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League finals, winning the boys, girls and mixed team trophies. Registration opens at 07h00 for invited riders only and racing starts at 08h30 with the sub-junior boys followed by youth men 15 years at 09h20 and youth men 16 years at 10h00. All the girls will race together at 10h45 with a minute between category starts and the junior men will wrap up the day’s racing at 11h30. Spur Steak Ranches is offering a R10 000 contribution to school teams that win their respective age categories at the National Inter-schools Finals. “Seeing the continued growth of the program is something we as Spur Steak Ranches are very proud of and we decided to offer this bonus to foster healthy competition and promote teamwork between riders and within schools, as well as increase participation across all skill levels and abilities,” said Clare Rainey, Spur Brand Development Manager. The League is affiliated to South African Schools Cycling (SASC), which in turn is affiliated to Cycling SA as a development initiative particularly geared to create a platform for schools to compete against each other and, in doing so, raise the profile of the sport at school level. On Sunday 9 October schools will team up for the SASC Interprovincial Competition whereby the best 10 results will be tallied to crown the best province. North West Province, in spite of its size, is the current defending provincial champion. Registration will open at 07h00 and racing will commence at 08h30 with the sub-junior boys. The youth men (15 and 16 years) will race at 08h50 followed by the girls at 09h30 and the junior men setting off at 10h15. Prize giving will be at 11h30. This year has also seen the introduction of Team Spur’s James Reid and Ariane Kleinhans, who play the important role of encouraging League riders to follow their dreams by showcasing the reality of becoming sponsored athletes. Riders will have the opportunity to interact with Team Spur at the finals this weekend. 2015 Sub Junior boys interprovincial start. According to league director Meurant Botha of Amarider, participation at local events has shown a steady growth as schools accept mountain biking as a recognized sport – some going as far as employing coaches and managers to oversee teams and even building dedicated tracks on school grounds to encourage after-school practice and interschool sports days. “Although there are many kids finding their competitive edge on their bicycles, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League’s focus is still to encourage more kids on bikes, more schools in action. It is important for all children to enjoy participating whether only starting out or having participated for a couple of seasons,” concludes Botha. For more information and results visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za or follow us on Facebook at Spur Schools League and follow @spurMTBleague on Twitter #spurMTBleague.
  24. While the Team Spur duo are busy preparing for the Marathon and Cross-country World Champs in Europe, they are also hoping a series of videos they release this week will inspire the next generation of mountain biking superstars back home in South Africa to get out on their bikes more. The Spur Sizzling Skills videos will take riders from the Spur Schools League through a series of basic technical and mechanical skills, such as rolling over bumps, hitting drop-offs, mastering fast starts, tackling steep climbs as well as fixing punctures quickly and the smooth handing out of water bottles. Episode 1 features Team Spur mechanic JP Jacobs, taking viewers through a basic pre-race bike check. A Spur Sizzling Skillz video will be released each week in the build-up to the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League Final, which takes place in Magaliesburg, Gauteng on the weekend of 8-9 October, 2016. Spur Schools League ambassadors Ariane and James will be at the National Final in October and will be able to see first-hand how many scholars have mastered the basic building blocks to riding fast and having more fun on a mountain bike.
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