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Momentum Health XCO Internationals

[image] 28 January 2015

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World Class racing at Momentum Health XCO International, Round 3
The third and final event of the Momentum Health XCO Internationals raised the bar on the international racing front to a level not seen at the first two events. Being one week prior to the Rocky Roads UCI MTB World Cup on the same course at the Cascades MTB Park meant that every top team competing in the World Cup was out the test the course, their rivals and their own form. The racing was intense and brilliant.

Swiss rider Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) edged home six seconds ahead of South Africa's Olympian Burry Stander (Specialized) to take the win in a time of one hour, forty-four minutes and 14 seconds. Florian Vogel (SUI) claimed third ahead of Moritz Milatz (GER) and Patrik Gallati (SUI) with the top five riders all finishing within two minutes of each other.

Cecile Ravenel (GT Skoda) made it two in a row as she claimed the honours in the Elite Women's race over five laps. Her winning time of one hour, forty-nine minutes and 58 seconds put her fifteen seconds clear of Great Britain's Annie Last with Natahalie Schneitter (SUI) claiming third place. A broken wrist while practicing on the course earlier in the week put pay to Yolande Speedy's hopes for a top 20 finish at the World Cup. Samantha Sanders was the highest placed SA rider in tenth position.

Superb racing was seen in the Junior categories. Anton Cooper (NZL) proved to be on a different level to his counterparts as he smashed the win in one hour, twenty-nine minutes and 4 seconds - over eleven minutes clear of second placed Nicolas Sessler (BRA) in 1h41.12 with South African Paul Rodenbach third in 1h45.12. Amonsgt the Junior Women, Hayley Smith took the victory in 1h17.05, followed by Linda van Wyk and Nicole Erasmus.

Event organiser Max Cluer took a wrap on the Momentum Health XCO Internationals saying, "KZN Mountain Biking has achieved exactly what it set out to do and that is to make cross-country racing more accessible to riders of all ages. By having three Category 2 UCI events in the lead up to the first Rocky Roads UCI MTB World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, KZN mountain biking has created and opportunity for our country's elite riders to gain the necessary UCI points so that they can be competitive on the world stage. At the same time the younger riders have seen first-hand what is required to race at this level and can dream big about the day that they too will one day be on the world stage."

Charles Roberts, Chairman of the KZN MTB Commission had the following comments; "We have never experienced such an uplift in the "KZN MTB" brand before and I know from personal calls all over the country that the series has been a resounding success. Something has been created here in KZN that is desirable and envied." He added "The bar has been raised yet again and if the comments and feedback are anything to go by, from riders and their support teams, Cross Country racing is alive and well in South Africa, spearheaded right here in KZN. Thanks especially to Momentum Health and all the other sponsors that have made it possible. We have had a Cross Country season like no other on record in history in South Africa and we have now established a standard that we look forward to beating in 2013."

Elite Men: N Schurter (SUI) 1h44.14, B Stander (RSA) 1h44.20, F Vogel (SUI) 1h44.59, M Milatz (GER) 1h45.50, P Gallati (SUI) 1h46.06.
Elite Women: C Ravenel (FRA) 1h49.58, A Last (GBR) 1h50.13, N Schneitter (SUI) 1h51.50, L Davidson 1h52.49, R Katayama (JPN) 1h54.33.
Full results: www.elitetiming.co.za

Day 1 : Pro-Elite Men & Junior Men
Day 2 : Non UCI Categories:

The MOMENTUM HEALTH XCO INTERNATIONALS are proudly brought to you by KZN Mountain Biking and Max Cluer Sports Marketing.

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