Sportsmanship triumphs in Scottburgh MTB classic



Scottburgh – In a rare feat for a race that has a habit of attracting the most competitive mountain bikers in the region the Sappi Scottburgh MTB classic on Sunday ended in an amicable dead-heat between defending champion Andrew Hill and Tyronne White.

The duo were inseparable over the demanding hilly and untamed 45km race before they approached the finish at Scottburgh’s main beach. After racing across the pallets laid out across the beach sand they had to deal with the Mpambanyoni lagoon crossing, and as the first riders home they were uncertain about the water depth.

Hill, fresh from an impressive win at the Imana Wild Ride managed to cross the shallow water safely while White opted to stop, remove his cycling shoes and then wade across the river.

Instead of racing away to claim a fourth successive win, Hill waited for White and the pair crossed the finish line together to share the spoils.

“That’s proper mountain biking. There wasn’t any difference between us on the bike out there today, so we reached a gentleman’s agreement that we would finish together” said Hill.

“It shows sportsmanship and I hope it sets an example to the younger mountain bikers,” the TIB Insurance athlete added.

White (Ballito Bicycle Co.) scored handsomely out of the deal as he gets maximum points towards the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum and now has one hand on the trophy after seven races in the series.

Brad Thompson wrapped up third, seven minutes off the pacesetting pairs lead.

The tough first climb quickly separated the podium contenders from the rest of A batch, but it nearly went very wrong for White and Hill when they took a wrong turn and had to back-track to return to the 45km route.

Hill was feeling the effects of four tough days riding on the Wild Coast and said the ‘raw and untamed’ nature of the Scottburgh route had challenged him.

“I was feeling it in my legs,” he admitted. “Once we got away again we worked really well, almost as if we were partners on a stage race.”

“This is such great riding. You have sand, some good climbs, river crossings, single-track, berms, and it keeps you thinking all the time,” he added.

The women’s race proved to be a popular home-coming for former South Coast resident Hayley Smith, posting an impressive three and a half minute win over ROAG Series leader Christie-Leigh Hearder, with Natascka Mowat alone in third place. It was Smith’s third win at the Scottburgh event.

The Wardkiss 28km title fell to youngster Sean Yelland, holding off another promising young talent Omar Wilson. The women’s title went to the impressive Riley Smith.

The event wrapped up the well-supported Sappi Scottburgh MTB and Trail Running Weekend that got under way with the Funky Pants Trails Runs in windy conditions on Saturday.

Since its inception in 2012 the Sappi Scottburgh MTB race raises funds and awareness for the Cycling4Mobility project and the QuadPara Association’s Jodie Kroone was on hand to hand over the prizes after the mountain bike racing was completed.

1.Andrew Hill 1:42:39
1.Tyronne White 1:42:39
3.Brad Thompson 1:49:32
4.Carl Adendorf 1:50:34
5.Johandre Marx 1:51:36
6.Jedson Tooms 1:51:56
7.Ethan Jackson 1:52:03
8.Brent Yelland 1:52:27
9.Gregg McDonagh 1:52:30
10.Grant Lavers 1:52:33

1.Hayley Smith 2:02:11
2.Christie-Leigh Hearder 2:05:47
3.Natascka Mowat 2:11:35
4.Brenda Potts 2:12:30
5.Nadine Nunes 2:12:35
6.Shelley Higgo 2:14:04
7.Rouxda Grobler 2:14:31
8.Debrah Thomas 2:15:47
9.Karyn Southgate 2:16:02
10.Belinda Mason 2:19:16

1.Sean Yelland 1:19:56
2.Omas Wilson 1:20:08
3.Justin Swanepoel 1:21:25
4.Tyler Ekerold 1:24:28
5.Kyle Osbourn 1:28:25
6.Christo Willemse 1:29:23
7.Joshua Page 1:29:39
8.Brayden Walker 1:30:10
9.Brett Fourie 1:30:14
10.Sameul Quin 1:32:55

1.Riley Smith 1:30:15
2.Errin Mackridge 1:31:35
3.Amber Cole 1:33:35
4.Roxanne Message 1:38:40
5.Ingrid Flint 1:39:37
6.Jodi Mackinnon 1:42:12
7.Janine Macmahon 1:44:34
8.Anna Stepleton 1:45:58
9.Zinnia Freitas 1:47:47
10.Chloe Allison 1:51:03