Calitz, Rakudza claim second stage of AfricanX | SASCOC - SASCOC

Calitz, Rakudza claim second stage of AfricanX

AJ Calitz and Bernard Rakudza (Contego K-Way) shook up the field during stage two of the ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun on Saturday, claiming the stage victory in a lightning fast time of 2hr 41min 34sec and cementing a 3:06 lead going into Sunday’s third and final stage.

According to Calitz (pictured with team-mate Rakudza), stage two, run over 35km from Sir Lowry’s Village to the Paul Cluver Amphitheatre, was good fun.┬áÔÇ£The top six teams were together up until the Grabouw Country Club.┬áKane and Thabang dropped here, but I was feeling good.┬áJust after the second climb, round about 25km into the stage Bernard and I pulled away.

“The change of the stage two route levelled the playing field as this is my kind of route and everything went according to plan.┬áWe knew that we’d have to build a good lead today, as the other teams are brilliant and stage three is shorter.┬á Going in as the leading men’s team is terrifying, but Bernard and I didn’t enter this event to come second.┬áWe’ll definitely be going for the winÔÇØ.

Michael Bailey and Ben Brimble (Nedbank /The North Face) came in second, while Kane Reilly and Thabang Madiba (Salomon Men) finished third.

Chantel Nienaber and Katya Soggot (ProNutro Ladies) claimed their second stage win for the weekend in an impressive time of 3:25:19.┬áÔÇ£This was the most phenomenal day,ÔÇØ said Nienaber. ÔÇ£Today’s stage was really well organised and featured a nice variety, but it was still really tough with gruelling hills.┬áI’ve never had such a good team mate.┬á We trained together before the race and did some good bonding.

“We’re literally at a stage where we no longer need to talk, we just gelÔÇØ.┬áRobyn Kime and Su Don-Wauchope (The North Face) came in second, while Danette Smith and Helene Roux (Team Mizuno) finished third.

Meg Mackenzie and Andrew Erasmus (Team Salomon) secured their first victory of the weekend in the mixed team category, completing the route in 3:07:07.┬áÔÇ£Today was fantastic,ÔÇØ said a very excited Mackenzie. ÔÇ£There was lots of single track and climbing, this suited us.┬áAndrew and I really make a good team, we pull each other through.

“We took it slow on Stage One, which was good as we had fresh legs for today.┬áOur goal was to close the gap.┬áThis is my first AfricanX and I absolutely love it.┬áI’m never going to miss another AfricanXÔÇØ.

Landie and Christiaan Greyling (Salomon Mixed) came in second, while Marie Wessels and Eddie Lambert (Contego Mixed) finished third.

Sunday’s final stage sees the field taking on a 21km route, not used before and taking in a trip to the Bot River aread.

Picture: Cherie Vale/Newsport Media