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Five stage Enduro challenges KZN’s best

[image] 04 July 2016

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Tiaan Odendaal, Kathryn Fourie and Cherie Redecker posted the fastest times in the Men and Women’s races respectively to claim the gold medals at the five-stage 2016 KZNMTB ENDURO Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles that was held at a crispy cold Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 July.

Local rider Tiaan Odendaal was not deterred by the fact that the “top secret” stages were only revealed on race day. ENDURO route designer Mark Sydney’s approach of not revealing the routes in the lead up to the event was an effort to ensure fairness amongst all the riders, particularly to those who were not familiar with the myriad of trails that Cascades had to offer. The riders however, were able to practice the route in the morning before the racing started.

“I’m happy to take the win, but I honestly just came out here to have some fun today,” said Odendaal. “I’d probably say that stage five was my favourite because it was the shortest and there were no uphills. Stage one and stage three were quite cool as well; they were quite steep and technical.”

With riders being able to tackle the first three stages in any order they choose, almost all of the riders opted to complete the first and third stages early on in order to avoid the long trek back up to the top of Cascades – stage two started lower down the hill with its finish far down the mountain.

The second-fastest rider of the day, Tim Bentley, opted to stay at the back and start towards the end of the self-seeded queue in order to hit the trails when they were a little drier. “The top two stages we did in order so as not to waste our energy. That was a hard day; I won’t lie. There was a lot of pedalling in that Enduro. We did five stages and we normally do three or four, so it was tough. I knew the technical stuff really well so I gained all my time there but I lost a lot of time on the pedalling.”

Overall Women’s winner to tie with Cherie Redecker, Kathryn Fourie, felt that getting through five stages went a lot quicker than she expected. The race involved riding their bikes to the very top of Cascades during the untimed liaison where they started stages one and three.

“There had been some chatter about keeping the trails secret and in the end it worked out better because everyone was at the same disadvantage,” said Fourie. “My approach was to get the two furthermost stages out of the way. I had to go a bit slower in some sections because I had a few close calls early on, but stage four and five were shorter and easy to get to and they were a lot of fun.

“I feel stage one and three were my favourite. I really had a good day out and I think I tied with Cherie, which I’m happy about, because she is flipping quick!”

Current SA National XCO Champion, Redecker enjoyed her day on the bike and agreed with the sentiments that five stages created a tough day out. “It was such a great change to set off at the start and to see everyone was so chilled and chatting and it’s not a mad rush to get going, as is the case with XCO. This is my second ever Enduro because I had done one previously in Namibia. It’s such a cool vibe because when you finish a stage, you meet up and ride with your group of mates back up to the next stage start. The climbs to the start of stage one and three ere tough, but there is chance to rest in between which adds to the fun.”

Nipper winner Omar Wilson (10) has competed in four Enduro races and attests to their popularity saying that each one he has entered has been fantastic. Speaking of today’s Championship race, he said: “Stage one and two were fast and long, stage four I felt a bit tired, but stage five was my best. Everybody was on the last stage and they were all cheering and it was just brilliant.”

When asked what he most enjoyed about Enduro racing, Wilson said: “I enjoy going up and then getting the payback on the downhill – you just chillax and its fast and fun on the downhill.”

Relative newcomer to the sport, Tammy Sturrock, thoroughly enjoyed her fourth ever Enduro race. Having only started cycling two years ago, and competing in Enduro events since last year, Sturrock confirmed that fitness is required. “You definitely need fitness, which I didn't have this time. Next year I’m definitely going to plan a little more training. What’s nice about the Enduro is that you can ride with your boyfriend, you can ride with kids and it's a great way to get the families cycling. It’s great to meet up with all your friends afterwards and share stories over a beer or two.”




Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Championships – 2 July 2016

Overall Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal (Senior) 17:27
2.Timothy Bentley (Senior) 17:43
3.David Hogan (Senior) 18:03
4.Craig Paul (Sub Veteran) 18:11
5.Keira Duncan (Youth) 18:44

Overall Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 22:39
1.Cherie Redecker 22:39
3.Sabine Thies 22:43
4.Tammy Sturrock 27:08

Senior Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal 17:27
2.Timothy Bentley 17:43
3.David Hogan 18:03

Senior Women
1.Cherie Redecker 22:39
2.Tammy Sturrock 27:08
3.Lauren Hoyer

Junior Men
1.Christoper Philogene 19:02
2.Thomas Jessop 20:23

Youth Men
1.Keira Duncan 18:44
2.Kayle Seaward 19:56
3.Connor Finnis 20:00

Sub Junior Boys
1.Robert Jessop 23:02
2.Matthew Millward 25:56
3.Kyle Brand

Sub Junior Girls
1.Sabine Thies 22:43
2.Charne Dreyer 27:21

Sub Veteran Men
1.Craig Paul 18:11
2.Craig Scott 19:15
3.Andy Noble 19:46

Sub Veteran Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 22:39

Veteran Men
1.Patrick Morewood 19:20
2.Craig Seaward 19:53
3.Keith Diederichs 20:01

Master Men
1.Brian Magor 22:31
2.Michael Frost 22:46

Nipper Boys
1.Omar Wilson 24:23

Sprog Boys
1.Liam Tyler Hall 23:22
2.Nate Tanner Hall 23:28
3.Keagan Brand 25:18

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