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Macdonald sprints to victory at Klerksdorp thriller


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Macdonald sprints to victory at Klerksdorp thriller

Press release - 2 October 2011

 

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Neil MacDonald sprinted to victory at the B-Sure Life's a Journey Mountain Bike Race in Klerksdorp at the weekend.

 

Team RE:CM’s Neil MacDonald used his extensive road cycling experience to beat some of South Africa’s top mountain bike racers to win the inaugural B-Sure Life's a Journey Mountain Bike Race in Klerksdorp at the weekend.

 

With a generous prize purse, the relatively short 68km race attracted the some of the sport’s biggest names, including multiple South African marathon champion, Kevin Evans (Team 360Life), current MTN National Series leader, David George (Team 360Life), former South African Under-23 champion, Philip Buys (Garmin adidas), multiple African champion, Mannie Heymans (Garmin adidas), Max Knox and Jock Green (both DoItNow Ghost) and 2011 joBerg2c champions, MacDonald and Waylon Woolcock (both Team RE:CM).

 

The race was held over four laps of a 17.4km course around the Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve just outside the North West Province mining town. The lack of singletrack and technical terrain was compensated for by the intense race pace.

 

The one steep climb on the course had a King of the Mountains prize on laps 2 and 3, making it the decisive obstacle in the event, which most of the top racers used to fine tune their form ahead of next week’s MTN Crater Cruise, the final event in the 2011 MTN National Series.

 

Evans won the dash over the summit of the climb on Lap 2 to claim the first KOM prize and MacDonald attacked shortly after, taking four riders with him, including George and Buys.

 

“The King of the Mountains primes opened the racing up. It was more like a dirt road race, but it was very intense,” explained MacDonald. “In the beginning, I wasn’t feeling too strong so that attack on Lap 2 was really just meant to be a way to shake up the race before I was going to drop back and switch to survive mode. But it actually stuck and I had no choice but to go for the win.”

 

Buys drove the pace hard on the front for a while, which only George and MacDonald were able to match, leaving just three in the front going into Lap 3. George pushed the pace up the climb on the third lap, which put Buys in trouble forcing him to lose contact on the ascent.

 

“I managed to stay with David up and over the climb and going into the last lap it was just the two of us. I really didn’t think it would split up as much as it did, but I did anticipate a sprint finish of some sport and had checked out the finish before the race and made some visual markers,” said MacDonald, who timed his dash perfectly to claim the win. George was second and Buys third.

 

“It was good to win a race against a whole lot of top riders. Good for me and good for Team RE:CM,” smiled MacDonald. “This wasn’t the toughest race technically, but the pace was really hard. Some say it’s a good indicator of form ahead of the Crater Cruise, but I’m not so sure. The Crater Cruise is much longer and harder with more depth in the competition.

 

“Thanks to the organisers of this event for making the trip worthwhile with good prizemoney and organisation. It’s great to see the enthusiastic support of the communities in the country areas when it comes to mountain bike events.”

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I road this race but I only did the 30km, these guys pasted me twice and when they did it looked like I was standing still...lol it was a good race and very fun.

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