Candice Neethling writes about - World Cup Marathon #1- Sabie
The MTN Marathon in Sabie this weekend acted as the first UCI World Cup Marathon of 2012. Sabie has always one of my favourite places in South Africa. A beautiful small town located at the bottom of Long Tom Pass in the Lowveld. One just has to roam the streets or walk alongside the river to feel the peacefulness and friendliness of the town. The basin-like town is surrounded by hectars of never-ending forests that look as if they reach to heaven itself. This (of course), would be where the riders would spend the bulk of their time while racing the marathon. The prospect was somewhat daunting, but nonetheless exciting. I had spent the month of December riding the endless hilly roads in the area. But now it was time for a true mountain biking experience.. I couldn't wait. Read more...
Cross Country Nationals in Cape Town
The BMC-SA team made the long trip from KZN to the Western Cape to take part in the 1st leg of the SA XCO Series. This was a very important race for all as it was the only selection race to make the SA team for the World Cup taking place in Pietermaritzburg in March.
The course the race took place on was in the heart of Durbanville and very spectator friendly. It was a very short course as far as XCO course goes, but it was very technical with many small, steep and loose hills and some very loose downhills and drops.
From the very first race BMC-SA was on the podium with extraordinary results. At 8h05 Saffron Vosloo, riding a BMC Team Elite, started her race and totally dominated the Sub-Junior girls race with an emphatic win of over 6 minutes from 2nd place.
Then is was the turn of her older sister, Savannah Vosloo, riding a BMC FourStroke, to start her 2012 campaign to become the SA Junior Champion. She surprised everyone, even herself, by winning the Junior ladies category convincingly. This was Savannah's first win in a national XCO race of her career and it was done in pure class, showing that the commitment to her training was paying off.
Next up were the U23 ladies with Candice Neethling, riding a BMC TeamElite, and Ashleigh Parker-Moffat, riding a BMC FourStroke. Both ladies had a tough day at the office with Candice crashing heavily in the 1st lap, resulting in her loosing her rhythm and finding the going hard thereafter. Ashleigh was bitten by a spider earlier in the week and she started her race with a swollen leg and glands. These girls are tough and they stuck it out to show the rest of the country that it will take much more than these "hick-ups" to stop them and the finished 1st and 2nd with Candice coming over the line 1st followed by Ashleigh.
After the girls it was the turn of the boys to show what they can do.
Jaco Pelser, riding a BMC FourStroke started in the Junior Men category. This was his 1st race in this category as he raced in the Youth category last year. Jaco rode a sensible race and managed a very credible 9th against some very competition. This result should earn Jaco a place on the start line at the MTB World Cup In Pietermaritzburg in March.
Then it was the turn of the Youth Men with Alan Hatherly and Carlo Marzoppi, both riding BMC FourStrokes, competing. Alan rode a fantastic race setting some blistering fast lap times and he was unlucky not to finish in 1st place. Alan came in 2nd and we are very excited about what the future holds for him. Carlo, who is more comfortable in racing the longer distances held his own beautifully against a class field and finished 8th, within "shooting distance " of the winners.
Next stop for the BMC-SA team is the Giba Gorge Mountain Bike park next weekend where they will compete in the 1st of the Momentum Health International XCO events.
Candice Neethling writes about her win at the EP Herald MTB race in PE
1. Candice Neethling 4:06:35
2. Heidi Koen 4:26:12
3. Andrea von Holdt 4:41:37
4. Bridgette Stewart (FedGroup-Itec Connect) 4:42:51