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MiWay Big 5 Series #2 - Pick n Pay Elephant Classic Eshowe

[image] 26 February 2016


Overall Rating  (You must be logged in to Rate the event - rating form after the article)

Mike Vom Bargen and his Gratton Team used every bit of their experience in Triathlon events to put together an event that has made Eshowe and the Miway Big 5 series very proud an after an absence of 7 years Eshowe welcomed back the MiWay Big 5 Series in fine style.

Gareth Chittenden put the bogey to rest that races in Eshowe were too tough and produced a route that whilst still tough was very rideable for all. The 25km route skirted the big hills, albeit a few mean and nasty ones having the back riders gasping, meandered around dams and through natural bush and single track along the uMlalazi river. For the most part the riders with acknowledging that this route was tougher than what the MiWay Big 5 series is used to the compliments at the finish flowed.  Despite the toughness the 25km leader, Joshua Nelson came flying in with a time of 1h.01, followed by Brett Swanepoel 8 minutes later and Bradley Stevens behind him at 1.10.

The ladies 25km race was won by Tracey Van Zyl in a time of 1h.26. In second, local Eshowe rider, Sharon Louw came in 4 minutes later and chasing in just seven seconds behind was Tracey Coetzer .

The 50km route split at the 19km mark and headed off to the hills with names like the New Neverest and Sorry Hill. Even with the additional climbing but riders were all very complimentary and were rewarded with some stunning scenes of the Eshowe farming valley.

Sean Merredew was back on form with a win in the 50km race followed by Werner Moolman 6 seconds behind and Sipho Khusipo 9 minutes later a marked improvement on his race positions from last season.

The 50km womens race saw top SA rider Chirese Stander competing for the first time in the Series and coming second to local Empangeni rider Desiree Vervey with third place going to Heidi Dalton, great to see her back on her mountain bike after competing internationally on her road bike.

The 10km Challenge is making its mark on the series and it’s wonderful to see and to give recognition to these riders who’ll very soon be competing in the main races. In number one  position was Gratton Schools very own champion Sibonisewe Maphumulo followed by Mtunzini rider Emrick Bornman and in third another Gratton Schools rider Jiyane Mlungisi. Well done Gratton on producing some very fine up and coming riders.

As always the family were well catered with a huge kidz zone, chill zones for Moms and Dads, a great day out for all.

 

2 comment(s)

Scott Pearmain
Event was very well run, great course, kept us honest (and knackered). Well done (in that regard) to the organisers!!!

However, I do have to agree with Marshona. No goodie bag was a little disappointing, especially for my son who did the 10km challenge. I understand that only the first 300 registered will get a goodie bag, so, after the expo (the day before the Zini race) I assume all of the 300 places have been taken by those who 'bought' the 5 races for 4 offer. The 10km challenge is to encourage the next genration of MTBers, I get that, but they really look forward to the good bag as part of the whole day package.

I didn't comit to all 5 races, but, barring injury, I too, will be doing them all.

Scott Pearmain
Event was very well run, great course, kept us honest (and knackered). Well done (in that regard) to the organisers!!!

However, I do have to agree with Marshona. No goodie bag was a little disappointing, especially for my son who did the 10km challenge. I understand that only the first 300 registered will get a goodie bag, so, after the expo (the day before the Zini race) I assume all of the 300 places have been taken by those who 'bought' the 5 races for 4 offer. The 10km challenge is to encourage the next genration of MTBers, I get that, but they really look forward to the good bag as part of the whole day package.

I didn't comit to all 5 races, but, barring injury, I too, will be doing them all.