Bailey and Brimble win stage one of AfricanX | SASCOC - SASCOC

Bailey and Brimble win stage one of AfricanX

Trail veteran Michael Bailey and Ben Brimble combined superbly to win the first stage of the 2014 ProNutro AfricanX off-road event at Grabouw on Friday.

Starting and finishing at the Houw Hoek Inn, Bailey and Brimble (Ned ank/Northface) were involved in a constant tussle with rivals Kane Reilly and Thabang Madiba as the Salomen Men’s team refused to give an inch.

But Bailey and Brimble, pictured right, finally prevailed to finish the 33-kilometre route in 2hr 16min 14sec.

Said Bailey: “ÔÇ£We ran with Thabang and Kane for more than half of the route.┬áThabang is really fast on the down hills, while Ben and I kept it steady on the up hills.

“It was only when we had six to 7km to go that we broke away.┬áI love these trails, they suit our running styles.┬á Finishing first is nice as it gives you confidence.┬áWe plan on going hard tomorrow and build on our lead,ÔÇØ says Bailey.

Bernard Rakudza and AJ Calitz (Contego K-Way) finished third.

Katya Soggot and Chantel Nienaber (ProNutro Ladies) were the women’s team to beat, clocking 2:48:31.

ÔÇ£That was a beautiful route,ÔÇØ said Soggot. ÔÇ£We had so much fun out there.┬áThe organisation was stunning and I was running with a fun partner, it was just perfect.┬áOur objective today was to have fun and we did.

“Taking first is lovely. Tomorrow we’ll work hard to hold on to the leadÔÇØ.┬áReigning Dusi Marathon canoe champion Robyn Kime and Su Don-Wauchope (The North Face) came in second, while Danette Smith and Helene Roux (Team Mizuno) finished third.

The mixed team category saw Landie and Christiaan Greyling (Salomon Mixed) claim victory in 2:42:30.

ÔÇ£I didn’t think it was possible, but the trails are even better than last year,ÔÇØ said a very happy Landie.┬á Our goal was just to go out and have fun.┬á Christiaan is a great supporter, he’s a real winner.┬áThe AfricanX is such a special vibe.

“It’s something I can share with my husband.┬áIt’s really special, our happy placeÔÇØ.┬á Meg Mackenzie and Andrew Erasmus (Team Salomon) came in second.

Saturday’s second stage was scheduled for a 34km trip between Ongegund Lodge in Sir Lowry’s Village and ending at the Paul Cluver Amphitheatre.

Picture: Cherie Vale/Newsport Media

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