Scottburgh – Under-23 competitor Brendon Davids claimed a confidence boosting victory in Sunday’s 45km Sappi Scottburgh Classic, the feature race of the 2015 Sappi Scottburgh MTB Race, when he edged out Kargo Pro MTB team mate Alan Hatherly while young Candice Parker-Dennison claimed a memorable Women’s Day victory in the ladies race.
With things having not gone his way on the cross country circuit this season, Davids recently turned his attention to the marathon and stage racing scene for the remainder of the year and victory in hilly but fast and furious 45km Scottburgh hit-out will give him good momentum ahead of his upcoming assignments.
“It was great to race with Alan; it’s always fun to race together and I’m really happy to finally get a win!” said Davids.
“It has been a very long dry spell for me; I haven’t had a season filled with luck, so hopefully this is the turning point for the last quarter of my season!”
“It was also my first time here at the Sappi Scottburgh MTB Race and hats off to the organisers; it’s a really cool race and I’m looking forward to being back in the future!” added the Kargo Pro MTB rider.
Davids and Hatherly charged out the blocks, reducing the race for the title to a two horse affair from as early as the first climb with Davids leading the charge on the flats and Hatherly setting the pace on the descents.
A cat and mouse final few kilometers saw the pair pop out onto the J&D Scaffolding Bridge neck and neck before Davids edged in front over the brief portage that linked the two halves of the Chep SA walkway across Scottburgh’s Main Beach and charged for the finish line.
“When I was based in the States for a couple of years I raced quite a bit of cyclo-cross so when we dropped off the first stretch of the walkway I cyclo-cross dismounted and just ran as fast as I could!
“Alan tried to weasel his way through by trying to ride through the sand but fortunately I managed to get back on ahead of him and take the win,” laughed Davids.
For Hatherly, the day was a positive outing ahead of the final leg of the UCI MTB World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy in two weeks’ time and the all-important 2015 UCI MTB World Championships in Vallnord, Andorra in early September.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better final bit of preparation for Italy than I got here today!” said Hatherly.
“The pace was really hard throughout, which I’m sure will be great for the international racing that I’ve got coming up!”
“Congrats to Brendon; he was super strong, rode a really good race and deserves the win!” added the runner-up who claimed the Thule King of the Mountain hotspot prize in consolation.
Duane Stander, brother of the late South African mountain biking legend Burry, narrowly edged out Andre Grebe and Henry Mayer for the final step of the podium.
Joining the nation in celebrating Women’s Day, the field was led out through the neutral zone from Scottburgh Main Beach to the start at Renishaw sugarcane farm before the 45km event’s female competitors enjoyed the privilege of occupying the front row on the start line.
Pre-race favourite Parker-Dennison wasted little time in charging to the front of the women’s tussle and soon enjoyed a comfortable buffer over her nearest chasers, an advantage she refused to reliquish all the way to the finish.
“Being a Scottburgh local I knew exactly where to go, where the hills were and when to push it which was a big help,” explained Parker-Dennison.
“I tried to stay upfront as much as I could, I just did my best and it was a lot of fun!” she added.
Parker-Dennison’s victory extends the race’s remarkable trend of a South Coast related competitor clinching the women’s title on home turf to six consecutive years after Brenda Potts (2010), Bianca Haw (2011), Cherise Stander (2012) and Hayley Smith (2013 and 2014) claimed the women’s race spoils previously.
The 28km Dash & Splash contest saw Philip Lombard claim the men’s honours while Chloe Batesman outsprinted James Stamatis to claim second place overall and the top step of the women’s podium.
The 10km Fun Ride afforded tomorrow’s stars the opportunity to enjoy their slice of the action and the Halfway Toyota Kids Zone ensured that those not yet ready for some time in the saddle were safe and sound throughout while lucky draw prizes from Blue Marlin and Cutty Sark hotels, Thule, Bobby’s Cycles, Cadence Cycling Durban North and Funky Pants were well received by all.
More information can be found at www.facebook.com/pages/Scottburgh-Mtb-Race/221420711386243?fref=ts
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
SAPPI SCOTTBURGH MTB RACE
45KM SAPPI SCOTTBURGH CLASSIC
1.Brendon Davids 1:38.26
2.Alan Hatherly 1:38.27
3.Duane Stander 1:48.12
4.Andre Grebe 1:48.14
5.Henry Mayer 1:48.15
6.John Crabb 1:50.46
7.Wesley Parker-Dennison 1:52.46
8.Njabulo Cele 1:53.14
9.Hendrik Bester 1:53.36
10.James Theunissen 1:53.49
1.Candice Parker-Dennison 2:11.53
2.Vivian Michell 2:21.58
3.Debrah Thomas 2:27.58
28KM DASH & SPLASH
1.Philip Lombard 1:23.17
2.Chloe Batesman (1st woman) 1:27.57
3.James Stamatis 1:28.10
1.Chloe Batesman 1:27.57
2.Kerrianne Foncesa 1:37.40
3.Lize-Mari Ras 1:37.41