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Riverlea Sani Transfrontier Epic

[image] 28 January 2015

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Despite a gloomy, overcast, and drizzly day, the 2012 edition of the Riverlea Sani Transfrontier Epic welcomed a field of just over 100 keen mountain bikers to the foot of the Sani Pass in KwaZulu-Natal to enjoy one of two unique and challenging mountain bike rides.

Starting from the Sani Pass Hotel the riders attempted either the 42km Epic ride to the top of the Sani Pass and back, a mighty climb of 1307m, or the shorter 26km Fun ride to the South African border post and back, not to be dismissed lightly with an undulating and hard outbound climb of 402m!


The Epic riders were pushed to their limits in less than perfect conditions attempting to conquer the Sani Pass and with an official cut-off time of 4hrs to reach the top some would return beaten, but certainly not ashamed, back to the safety and comfort of the Sani Pass Hotel.


The eventual winner of the Epic, 24-year old Greig Knox, fairly roared to the top and back in a shade over 2 hours and 30 minutes, a whole 10 minutes quicker than his nearest rival, Wayne Tarr. A feat to be hugely admired, even though he looked like he had drained every ounce of energy from his body to achieve it! The first lady home was Nicci Grobler in an impressive 3 hours and 15 minutes.

The first male and female finishers in the Epic were awarded stunning photographs of the Sani Pass, and all who conquered the pass and returned received a unique commemorative cap. The last man to reach the top, before the official 4 hour cut-off, and return was Dave Mingay (final time of 5 hours 7 minutes), who was rewarded for his efforts also with a photograph of the pass.


In the shorter Fun ride local MTB legend Ed Smith rocketed to victory in a mere hour and 33 minutes, closely followed just 5 minutes behind by 15-year old Samuel Shire, a mightily impressive ride. Third place was taken by Eileen Downing in 1 hour 40 minutes.

For all who entered it was an amazing experience in a breath-taking location, and a ride that is unique, challenging, and rewarding. If you were not there to attempt it this year and with the threat of tarmacking the pass looming make sure you add this event to your 'bucket list' as there is only one Sani Transfrontier Epic!

Selected Results (1st / 2nd / 3rd Male and Female):


42km Epic


26km Fun





Greig Knox




Ed Smith



Wayne Tarr




Samuel Shire



Charles Mansfield




Eileen Downing







Gina Ryan



Nicci Grobler




Frank Kraupner








Gina Treleavan




Sue Preston









Paula de Wit







The full results are available at www.drakmtbclub.co.za


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