Uvongo ace Hayley Smith became the first person to defend her title when she walked away with the spoils in the 2014 Scottburgh MTB Race presented by Sappi on Sunday.
The much anticipated 42km marathon started in blustery conditions but Smith made the most of her opportunity and snapped the defending champion’s curse.
“It was pretty tough out there with the wind and the soft sand but I really enjoyed it and the conditions were tough but they were good for racing.
“There was a group of three of us at the beginning of the race but I managed to get ahead of them on the first climb and win the Queen of the Mountain and from there I got away from them for the remainder of the race,” the Bell Equipment star said.
Having soldiered away from the rest of the ladies field on Sunday it was a satisfying finish for her to cross the line first and she was elated with her victory.
“Being able to win the race two years in a row is really great, I am extremely happy with my ride today!” she mentioned excitedly.
White knight dethrone’s Van der Spuy
The event gone with the slogan ‘Raw and Untamed’ and welcomed a number of late entries, one of which – Tyronne White – stole the show in the men’s 42km race.
The Team Thule star made the decision that he was going to enter the South Coast showdown following a race in the Midlands on Saturday and used the logic that with a few multi-stage races approaching it was good to get in two days of racing but admitted that the fatigue was a bit of a problem.
“Yesterday definitely took it out of us but likely all three of us who were out front rode yesterday so we were all on an equal playing field which was quite nice so it did make today interesting,” White said.
“You couldn’t just attack from the beginning and you had to box clever.”
The conditions were fair with a bit of a wind blowing but it was nothing that deterred White too much with the front group of three being well shielded.
“It was a little bit windy out there but it wasn’t as bad as I initially expected because we were fairly protected in a lot of the areas.
“There were three of us riding together, myself, Josh and Tyron [Bird]
so it was nice that we all took a turn at the front,” a satisfied White added.
The race was a close affair with the top three working together to keep themselves clear of the rest of the field and ultimately it came down to a sprint finish to see who would take the overall crown along the beach.
“We started off at a fairly good pace for the first 10 or so kilometres, up until the hotspot where Tyron Bird put in a hard effort and so it ended with just the three of us.
“From there we had a lot of fun riding together and unfortunately Tyron punctured so Josh and I just rode on easily waiting for him to catch back up which he did and from there rode together and just left it down to an end sprint finish,” White concluded.
Defending champion Evan van der Spuy couldn’t escape the curse and finished just off the podium in fourth place.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – SCOTTBURGH MTB RACE PRESENTED BY SAPPI:
1. Tyronne White 01:44.32
2. Joshua Nelson 01:44.33
3. Tyron Bird 01:45.44
4. Evan van der Spuy 01:46.13
5. Phillip Marais 01:47.05
6. Travers Pellew 01:47.19
7. Craig Russell White 01:48.08
8. Werner Moolman 01:49.51
9. Grant Langley 01:56.07
10. Simon Rollo 01:56.13
1. Hayley Smith 02:03.21
2. Julieann Hampson 02:10.06
3. Isabel Moolman 02:11.33
4. Candice Parker-Dennison 02:16.23
5. Tanya Nadauld 02:35.26
1. Joshua Nelson 01:44.33
2. John Cele 02:15.15
3. Luke Bester 02:25.48
28km Intermediate Event
1. Gage Hanson 01:23.18
2. Jean Dreyer 01:28.43
3. Jett Bradshaw 01:29.10
4. Richard Thompson 01:33.00
5. Mark Fourie 01:35.46