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Safire Baynesfield MTB Classic

[image] 26 February 2016

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Safire Baynesfield race attracts top riders

900 riders converged on Baynesfield Estate on June 16 to participate in the event dubbed the ‘Daddy of all Races’ – the Safire Baynesfield MTB Classic.

The popular race was the fourth race in the prestigious ROAG Series, and all the big names were there to fight for the overall titles. Claiming top spot and remaining at the top of the log was an on-form Andrew Hill who beat top rider Brandon Stewart and completed the 65km in 02:27:31, while Lyn van Breda beat Eszter Erdelyi and claimed the women’s 65km in a time of 02:59:31. The big win means van Breda takes fourth overall position in the women’s overall ROAG Series log, just behind Erdelyi.

Hill raced to his third consecutive win at the Safire Baynesfield MTB Race dominating from the front of the race, where he made his race winning move at the bottom of the notorious Baynesfield Breaker – an 8km climb just 25 minutes into the race.

“I knew what to expect from last year’s event, and I sat in the group until the bottom of the big climb,” Hill said.

“The tempo was set by Stewart Maris, and I made the move after we rounded the 45km / 65km split, and moved to the front. I knew I would have to ride hard to stay ahead of the Kargo and Fedgroup riders, who as a combined effort, would be tough to outride on the fast flats and long downhill district roads,” he said.

Commenting on the track, Hill said trail builder Devlin Fogg added more single track at the bottom of both major climbs. “The trails are running very smoothly,” he said.

Hill came into the race with three wins in three weeks of racing, but said “you never know how the legs will respond on the day!”

“I’m extremely pleased I managed to make the break and stay away for so long,” he said.

Van Breda thanked Safire and the organisers for what she said was an “awesome event!”

“All the top ladies were there for the race, and I didn’t really fancy my chances of a top three finish. Eszter and I managed to get to the front on the Baynesfield Breaker and dug really deep to get to the top ahead of the pack,” she said.

“Once we went up and over there was no looking back. We had the most amazing race together - pedal stroke for pedal stroke.  I felt stronger on the flats and knew that the last 10km’s of the race was flat which worked in my favour”, van Breda said, adding that:  “I only managed to make a clean break with about 2 km’s to go which I really had to dig deep for. Eszter rode an amazing race and was a fierce competitor. I am very happy with my result as I have been training really hard.”

Joshua Nelson, who won his age category in last year’s ROAG Series claimed a win in the 45km, while another ROAG Series category winner Frankie du Toit won the women’s 45km race.

The 20km went to Rudi Greyling, while sub-junior Tiffany Keep claimed the overall women’s win.

Event Organiser Sean Stanton said that this year’s Safire Baynesfield MTB Classic was a huge success, judging by the positive response from participants.

“A big thank you to Baynesfield Estate and club, and to all the riders, staff and family who participated,” Stanton said.

“The weather was a little nippy to start with at two degrees, but you soon warmed up at the bottom of the mighty Baynesfield Breaker!”

“The Baynesfield Estate and routes were in pristine shape, and I particularly enjoyed the views whilst climbing the Breaker and on the other side of the valley, the Fire Tower Hill,” he said.

Stanton, who completed the 65km event, said the Fire Tower Hill was tough and he underestimated the extent of the climb.

"Next year, we will be focusing on the routes and race timing to make next year even more special!” he said.

2 comment(s)

Rod Blake
Very festive and enjoyable ,well dun to the organisers . Did anybody pick up a mileage speed counter on the dirt road on the first 2kms of the 20km ride .please contact me if found 0798943556 thks Rod

Mario George
This was amazing! I had a ball on the 20km Course. The views were Outstanding! Single track was fun. The Vibe was amazing. All the warmth of the ROAG people made the chill in the morning non-existent. Great Job guys!