Rudolf, Carla rule the roost | SASCOC - SASCOC

Rudolf, Carla rule the roost

Rudolf Naude and Carla Van Huysteen lead the Sasol Cross Triathlon series, but only just. After their Sunday win in Vanderbijlpark the pair are two points ahead of Nico Sterk and Heide Marie Meiring respectively.

With one more race to go (Abrahamsrust, Sasolburg on March 27), the overall title is far from concluded in both categories, as a mere two points separate Naude from Sterk and five points separate Naude from overall third-placed Philippe van der Leeuw. In the ladies race the difference is two and 7 points between leader Van Huysteen, Meiring and Diana Van Rooyen.

Naude clinched his third win on the trot after having won in Buffelspoort (16 January), Roodeplaat (13 February) and then in Vanderbijlpark. In theory one would expect him to have a substantial lead over the man who is chasing him, Nico Sterk, as the latter did not race in the first event; yet Sterk is only two points adrift of Naude.

On paper Naude is the favourite to take overall honours, providing there are no hiccups, after comfortable wins over Sterk (one minute in Roodeplaat and three minutes in Vanderbijlpark). However there are no guarantees in triathlon, a bad swim, cycle or run and things can change completely.

Then there is always the possibility of a mechanical problem or puncture on the bike leg, which could also eat up valuable time.

Van Huysteen won in Buffelspoort and Vanderbijlpark, opting out of the race in Roodeplaat. The off-road nature of the series suit her too a tee and she goes into the final race as favourite.

Current standings after three events are as follows.
Overall         Races         Total Points
Rudolf Naude                   1                           3         40
Nico Sterk                           2                           2         38
Phillipe van der Leeuw          3                           2         35
Piers Pirow                            4                           2         33
Mark Talmud                   5                           2           30

Carla Van Huyssteen           1                            2          40
Heide Marie Meiring           2                            2         38
Diana Van Rooijen            3                            3          33
Alison Lailvaux                     4                            2          28
Helena Pienaar                    5                            3          23