By Quintin van Jaarsveld
It was a super Sunday for South Coast mountain bikers as they dominated at the Ingeli Forest MTB Classic in Harding.
The race produced a South Coast winner in Uvongo rider Hayley Smith (Bell Equipment) and three additional South Coast category winners.
It was very much a family affair with both the Smiths and Standers making the South Coast proud with excellent results.
The Smith trio of sisters Hayley and Megan and father Nicky were all winners.
National star Hayley, fresh off winning a silver medal at the 2014 CSA-MTB National Championships in Gauteng, showed her class by winning the 45km women’s race for the second successive year.
It was not just the result but the commanding way in which she won that highlighted what a special talent she is.
Her time of 02:06:08 was the fourth fastest overall – bested only by the overall men’s podium finishers – and almost 12 minutes faster than that of Riana Niehaus, the runner-up in the women’s race.
Nicky finished sixth overall in the 45km men’s race and won the master category in 02:12:04, while Megan was fourth overall in the 30km women’s race and took the win in the junior girls category in 01:57:37.
Charl Stander was in special form; he placed fifth overall in the 45km men’s race and won the sub veteran category in 02:08:06.
Charles Stander was 10 places behind his son and finished second in the grand master category in 02:26:45.
Five dedicated Burry Stander Foundation team riders cycled 25km to the Burry Stander Bike Park in Umtentweni where they joined the Standers at 6.30am.
They travelled the some 100km with the family on the back of an open bakkie in icy conditions to participate in the 45km men’s race and excelled in what was just their second ever race.
Zibele Bhoyi finished 10th overall and fourth in the ultra-competitive senior category in 02:20:14, Bhekowakhe John Cele (02:33:07) and Sthembiso Ngcobo (02:45:27) placed second and third in the junior category and Sbonelo Brian Mbhele and Thabu Fhange finished in the middle of the field after they both punctured.
‘Buck Norris’ comes close
Former South Coast rider Evan van der Spuy, who became an internet sensation in 2011 when a GoPro video of him being blindsided by a red hartebeest during a race at Albert Falls dam went viral, was second overall (01:49:49) behind Kokstad’s Tyron Bird, who posted a winning time of 01:45:30.
Michael Savage (01:24:28) and San-Mari Jacobs (01:43:20) won the 30km men’s and women’s race respectively.
Anyone who can assist the Burry Stander Foundation with a sponsored van on race days is urged to contact Mandie Stander on 079 493 7499 or firstname.lastname@example.org.