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Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge & Trail Run

[image] 26 February 2016


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Andrew Hill Wins Successful Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge 2013

With sunny skies ensuring perfect race conditions, Andrew Hill was crowned overall winner of the 2013 Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge, finishing the 40km MTB men’s race in an impressive time of 1:43:00. World-class athletes, excellent tracks, top-notch organisation and a fun-filled vibe made the mountain bike race and trail run a resounding success.

Racing in TIB Insurance colours Hill, who also won in 2009, set a blistering pace from the word go and broke away from the chasing pack, closely followed by BMC junior rider Alan Hatherly. “The pace at the front was reasonably fast for a classic in the first couple of kilometers” commented Hill. “As we hit the first hill I accelerated a little and Alan came with me, but I managed to get away from him in the Gwahumbe Reserve just before the water point.” Hill was followed by Alan Hatherly in 1:46:53, with David Low coming in third at 1:47:23.

Passing through two game reserves, the race is renowned for its scenery and tracks. “These were some of the best conditions and track I’ve ridden in a while and it keeps getting better every year. As for the scenery, we are seriously lucky to live in such a great area with such amazing trails.” Hill said.

The course has also become known throughout the province for providing true mountain biking pleasure, with just the right mix of tough climbs, fast open sections and sublime single track, including Hill’s favourites, the rockslide and the mineshaft.

Now in its 6th year, the 2013 race attracted its highest number of entrants yet. The trail run is also growing in popularity as this year’s event doubled the number of entrants from last year. Mountain biking (MTB) is one of the fastest growing sports across the globe and South Africa is no exception. Over the past weekend in KZN alone a number of world class events took place, including the 6th edition of this popular race. The Nedbank Sani2C, another massive race on the MTB calendar, finished the day before the Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge & Trail Run and several top competitors headed straight from one race to the next, eager to test their skills and prove their endurance.

Professional world-class athlete Eszter Erdelyi was one of those competitors. Originally from Hungary, Erdelyi has lived, and raced, in South Africa for the past five and a half years. Finishing in 4th position at the Nedbank sani2c with teammate Melanie Palframan, she then went on to win the women’s race in the Husqvarna MTB 40km Classic the next day in a time of 2:09:13. Named Female Mountain Biker of the Year at the 2010 KZN MTB Awards, Erdelyi gave birth to a baby girl five months ago, making her back-to-back finishes even more outstanding. She’s a big fan of the Husqvarna race, saying it is one of the best courses she has ever ridden. She went on to add that it was a ‘special race and experience’.

Yvette Roberts came 2nd in the women’s 40km MTB race with a time of 2:20:02, while Landy Puddu claimed third in a time of 2:20:57.

Exceptional organisation and dedicated support from the organisers and sponsors were vital to the success of the day’s events and Both Hill and Erdelyi praised the world-class track, route marking and organization. Race organiser Brett Austen-Smith said “what a fantastic event - great turnout, weather and sponsors, who really got involved and embraced the day.”

John Ntuli and Jeannie Dreyer from RMB Change a Life Academy’s came 3rd in the Mixed race in Sani2C. John placed 13th overall at the Husqvarna Classic 40km. This is the second time John has ridden the race and he was quick to praise the organisers and enjoyed seeing the giraffes again.

The Gwahumbe Family 18km MTB men’s race was won by Jason Lewis in 0:48:53 and sprog Sabine ‘Beani’ Thies threw down the hammer in the women’s race, winning in a time of 0:58:18 that saw her place first in the women’s race and third overall in the 18km MTB.

Gareth Harrington took the win in the iNsingizi 18km Trail Run/Walk men’s race in 1:22:10, while Meggan Mackenzie won the women’s race in 1:49:26 and placed 6th overall, with the top three women placing in the top 10 overall.

Girl power was once again in evidence as Daneil Feldmann won the iNsingizi 9km Trail Run/Walk women’s race in 0:41:09, beating the men’s race winner Patrick Wynne into second place overall as he took the men’s race in 0:42:45.

This year’s Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge & Trail Run was described by entrants as a fantastic race. With Husqvarna staff members providing moral (and liquid) support at the GU Energy sponsored water points and boasting some top quality mountain bike and trail run tracks, it has become one of the most popular MTB and trail running challenges in the country.

For race results, log onto www.roag.co.za and for more information, visit Husqvarna South Africa on facebook.

Watch the YouTube Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ECk0o32VdI&feature=youtu.be

Results:

Husqvarna 40km Men’s Mountain Bike Challenge

  1. Andrew Hill in 1:43:00
  2. Alan Hatherly in 1:46:53
  3. David Low in 1:47:23

 

Husqvarna 40km Women’s Mountain Bike Challenge

  1. Eszter Erdelyi in 2:09:13
  2. Yvette Roberts in 2:20:02
  3. Landy Puddu in 2:20:57

 

Gwahumbe Family 18km Men’s MTB

  1. Jason Lewis in 0:48:53
  2. Axel Collyer in 0:55:44 (Junior)
  3. Travis Stedman in 0:57:47 (Sprog)

 

Gwahumbe Family 18km Women’s MTB

  1. Sabine Thies in 0:58:18 (Sprog. 4th overall)
  2. Sarah Gray in 1:01:52
  3. Tanah Rivalland in 1:04:50

 

iNsingizi 18km Men’s Trail Run/Walk

●      Gareth Harrington in 1:22:10

●      Sanele Lembede in 01:36:25

●      Peter Garthwaite in 01:38:39

 

iNsingizi 18km Women’s Trail Run/Walk

  1. Meggan Mackenzie in 01:49:26 (6th overall)
  2. Danielle du Toit in 1:53:49 (7th overall)
  3. Corinne Thompson in 1:54:46 (8th overall)

 

iNsingizi 9km Men’s Trail Run / Walk

  1. Patrick Wynne in 0:42:45

 

iNsingizi 9km Women’s Trail Run / Walk

  1. Daneil Feldmann in 0:41:09 (1st overall)

10 comment(s)

Warren Guerin
Absolutely loved this event, brilliant organisation, water tables were perfectly placed and stocked, venue / view was amazing! Will be back next year for sure!

Nick Cook
Well organised, Rhino, Zebra, amazing views... couldn't ask for more!

Paddy Bomford
A great event, really well organised and a tribute to those who lay out the course and keep it ship shape.

Gavin
Absolutely fantastic event, great course which was scenic and well set up. The whole experience was extremely well organised and had great marshalling. To the young lady who took a tumble near the start, we are all hoping that everything is well and you will be back in the saddle soon. Only negative was the litter left behind by the cyclists after one of the watering points. Those little blue packets can be so easily be kept and thrown away at the end of the ride. I will most definitely be back next year.

Gavin
Absolutely fantastic event, great course which was scenic and well set up. The whole experience was extremely well organised and had great marshalling. To the young lady who took a tumble near the start, we are all hoping that everything is well and you will be back in the saddle soon. Only negative was the litter left behind by the cyclists after one of the watering points. Those little blue packets can be so easily be kept and thrown away at the end of the ride. I will most definitely be back next year.

Mark
It was my first husqvarna 40km and it was a great ride with one long hard hill. I broke my chain 9km's into the race and to the guy that stopped to help repair the broken chain as well as a lady that also stopped to give me a chain link i really appreciate it. I did thank them when i passed them but wish i got their details. The guy that helped said he was "just paying back to someone as he had the same problem in another race where a stranger helped him". So my next race i will be prepared and pay it forward to help a stranger in need. So thank you to both of you that helped. Great people and a great race.

Niel
What a fantastic race. Thank you to the organizers.

Zelda
This is a firm favourite with me and one I simply have to do come hell or high water. Sadly I skipped last year, but have done it every years since inception as the Juicy Lucy classic. One of the best courses and very well organized. Always gets a thumbs up from me. I have to agree with Gavin that the littering was alarming...very sad for the people who have to clean up afterwards and shameful of the riders, but worse still is that some of these will realistically be overlooked along single tracks.

Zelda
This is a firm favourite with me and one I simply have to do come hell or high water. Sadly I skipped last year, but have done it every years since inception as the Juicy Lucy classic. One of the best courses and very well organized. Always gets a thumbs up from me. I have to agree with Gavin that the littering was alarming...very sad for the people who have to clean up afterwards and shameful of the riders, but worse still is that some of these will realistically be overlooked along single tracks.

Daphne
Wow! Best race of all! An amazing event....well organized, fabulous water tables, great route with amazing views! Well done to an outstanding event! Did the 18 km, and will definately return next year! Thank you sponsors and organizers....a really super ride!