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Sappi Scottburgh MTB Race

28 January 2015


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Porteous and Haw crowned 2011 Sappi Scottburgh MTB champs

Scottburgh - The flying Nick Porteous was simply unstoppable as he made his way around the incredibly fast forty five kilometer course of the Sappi Scottburgh MTB race and despite a strong challenge from UCT student Bruce Hughes it was Porteous who crossed the finish line in first place and claimed the 2011 title.

Hughes, back from the cycling wilderness, surprised many when he pushed the pace from the outset and as the rest of the field fell by the wayside it was only the courageous Porteous who managed to dig deep and go with Hughes and soon it was a two horse race.

With the lead going back and forth and neither rider able to break the strangle hold of the other it was Porteous' move up Fidelity Hill which ultimately proved to be the decisive one and saw the 29 year old claim the victory.

"It's fantastic to have won!" said a visibly satisfied Porteous. "Bruce (Hughes) was really strong out there today and he fought really hard so to have snuck in ahead of him was great!"

"He (Hughes) went hard up that first hill which is a big one and I had no choice but to go with him. He got away from me a little through the single track, which is his strength, but I worked hard and fortunately I managed to haul him in."

"As we came up to Fidelity Hill I knew I had to go for it. Thankfully I managed to get ahead and then hold him off until the end," said Porteous.

The result is particularly pleasing for the former Port Shepstone resident and semi pro rider who now spends the majority of his day as a sales rep for Merida Bicycles.

"It's tough to compete with the top guys who are often able to train all day every day and so to have won today means a lot to me," said Porteous. "I've always loved Scottburgh so the fact that it's here is even sweeter."

Hughes only recently returned to the sport of his senior years of high school after a two year sabbatical and the UCT law student surprised even himself with how strong he felt throughout the race.

"I haven't raced in ages so coming into this race things were always going to be interesting to say the least and so to have felt so strong was really great," said Hughes.

"I thought I'd give it a go on the first hill and only Nick (Porteous) came with me. He's so strong on the climbs though so he dropped me every time up the hills and then I'd have to work hard to try catch him. When he went on Fidelity Hill I just couldn't stay with him."

"The South African Student Champs are coming up shortly so I'm really chuffed with this result, especially considering how long I've been out for," he added.

Hughes' fellow UCT rider Greig Knox finished in a highly commendable third place ahead of former Springbok rugby player and veteran mountain biker Jeremy Thompson who narrowly edged out fellow veteran Richard Grant.

In the ladies race it was the teenage duo who stole the show. Bianca Haw, daughter of Sani2C legend Glen Haw, showed great tenacity and determination as she pedaled her way to victory ahead of exciting young talent Hayley Smith and the experienced Sarah Gray.

"With me being at boarding school it's been quite tough to do much training but I just gave it my all today and I'm really happy with the win," said Haw. "It was fast and furious and loads of fun out there."

"I'm definitely more of a paddler than a rider but I'm really enjoying my mountain biking at the moment so we'll just see where things go," she added.

Hayley Smith, having recently undergone two major surgeries, admittedly came into the race a little undercooked however this wasn't going to prevent this talented young lady from giving things her best shot.

"I didn't come here with any expectations so to have finished second isn't too bad at all," said Smith. "It was just good to get some more mileage under my belt again."

The twenty seven kilometer race belonged to veteran Johan Meintjes who put in a great performance to finished two minutes ahead of sub vet Simon Michel whilst junior rider Keaton Korevaar claimed the final spot on the podium.

The ten kilometer option was massively popular with both families and novice alike with participants walking away all smiles and full of praise for the event.

The Sappi Scottburgh MTB race forms part of the two day Scottburgh Winter Solstice Festival along with the Sunrise Run ten kilometer trail run, also staged on Saturday morning, and the Island Tribe Scottburgh Surf Classic surfski race which gets underway on Sunday 19 June.

More info can be found at www.surfski.co.za

RESULTS OF THE SAPPI SCOTTBURGH MTB RACE

45km Men - Overall
1.Nick Porteous 1:38.10
2.Bruce Hughes 1:38.53
3.Greig Knox 1:42.57
4.Jeremy Thomson 1:45.01
5.Richard Grant 1:45.01
6.Willie Brink 1:46.28
7.Derrin Smith 1:46.39
8.Terence Robertson 1:47.31
9.Paul Lancaster 1:48.06
10.Marc Adam 1:48.09

45km Women - Overall
1.Bianca Haw 2:05.06
2.Hayley Smith 2:05.33
3.Sarah Gray 2:05.57
4.Beverley Wood 2:06.52
5.Nedene Cahill 2:07.09

45km Junior Boys
1.Brandon Venter 2:03.51
2.Traverss Pellew 2:10.57

45km Junior Girls
1.Bianca Haw 2:05.06
2.Hayley Smith 2:05.33

27km Men - Overall
1.Johan Meintjes 1:28.21
2.Simon Michel 1:30.22
3.Keaton Korevaar 1:30.38
4.Deon Pretorius 1:30.43
5.Brian Buys 1:30.59

27km Women - Overall
1.Bronwyn Evans 1:36.25
2.Yvonne Dupont 1:39.57
3.Sabrina Ward 1:42.10

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