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Loerie MTB Challenge

[image] 26 February 2016

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Loerie MTB Challenge - 02 June 2013

The third instalment of the Loerie MTB Challenge took place this past weekend and saw a turnout of over 200 riders, this despite the weather forecast predicting gale-force winds.

Registration took place in the cosy Loerie Ruskamp recreation hall where coffee and rusks were served

The format of this race is somewhat different to what most riders are used to, in that it consists of 15km laps - it can be thought of as a hybrid mix of cross country and marathon racing. The terrain features gravel road, jeep track and singletrack, including a never-ending long singletrack downhill that is always a favourite year after year. The Magiclight sponsored waterpoint, situated alongside a tranquil waterfall, just before the start of the final long climb, proved very popular amongst the riders with an impressive spread of eats and drinks on offer.

The gale-force Westerly that had been predicted arrived on cue but fortunately this turned out to be a blessing in disguise due to the layout of the course. The first half saw riders climbing the Eastern slopes of a mountain with plenty of vegetation to provide shelter from the wind. After the halfway mark the wind was from behind and even helped blow the riders up the final climb.

The main event, the 45km race, was won by 16 year old Marco Joubert who stormed home in a time of 2:06, with Graham Taylor in 2nd and Manuel Hijar in 3rd place. The ladies race was won by another young rider, Michelle Reed (19) in a time of 3:02 with Sally Waterworth coming in just a minute later to claim 2nd and Vicky Laing taking 3rd place.

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