Strauss tops podium in SA MTB champs in PMB | SASCOC - SASCOC

Strauss tops podium in SA MTB champs in PMB

Durbanville’s Mariske Strauss (Novus OMX Pro Team) put in a dominant performance to claim the 2016 South African cross-country championship title in the Pro-elite Women’s category at the STIHL 2016 South African National Mountain bike Championships at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.
Strauss, who represented Team SA at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, crossed the finish line in a time of 1hr 40min 24sec, with a cushion of seven-and-a-half minutes to second placed rider and teammate Cherie Redecker. Kargo Pro MTB Team rider, Hayley Smith, rounded out the podium in 1:50:16.
The dry and dusty technical course provided challenges in all of the right areas and tested each rider to the best of their abilities. The Elite Women completed six laps of the 4.6 kilometre track with 160-metres of climbing in fantastic weather conditions.
Looking back to her top form, Strauss said: ‘It was a fabulous day out there, I really enjoyed myself. My legs felt a little bit heavy after the 20-hour trip from Europe, which was to be expected.
‘I was really fortunate to remain injury-free and to race my bike to the top again, and fortunate to be back on form. The XCO season is pretty much done now, yet I’m still feeling excited and happy to take the jersey home.’
Kristen Louw (Kargo Pro MTB Team) put in a solid performance in the Junior Women’s race over four laps, finishing in 1:16:06. ‘It was a hard race for me today, I had to push hard because last time I raced here I fell very hard on my face. This time, I was very positive, thinking that “I can do this” and I had to take revenge. The most challenging part of the course was the climbs, because that was my strong point and I nailed it today.’
The stacked Youth Men’s class saw 39 riders take to the start to get the best of the four-lap race. Sixteen-year-old Ryan Conradie (LCB Racing) from Potchefstroom led the race from 100 metres in until the finish, always looking over his shoulder to see who was catching him but noticing that the gap he had was ever-increasing with each lap.
The 2016 African Continental Champion and 2016 STIHL SA MTB Cup Series Champion said: ‘It was really fun and really hard. The climbs made it super hard and the descents were fun and flowing.
‘The rock gardens were super hard as well. I had a little fumble with Daniel van der Walt at the start but I managed to get around the first corner in front. I’m very happy with my finish and my bike carried me through to the end without any hassles.’
Tiffany Keep (Team PAW) claimed the Youth Women’s title in the three-lap race in a time of 53 minutes. She was followed home by Zandri Strydom (56:48) and Courtney Smith (1:00:23).
Forty-year-old Diana Carolin (Cyclelab Tokai) claimed the Veteran Women’s title: ‘I didn’t know if I would be fit enough for this as I have been battling with illness on and off since March. I was really worried about racing against Natalie (Bergstrom) but I see that she sadly had an accident yesterday and didn’t start today. I was a bit scared of the course to be honest, this is my first time that I raced at Cascades.’
With the technical aspects being amongst her strengths, Carolin enjoyed the challenges of the rock gardens, managing to ride all of them in practice. ‘I thoroughly enjoyed it. My weakness is generally climbing.’
The younger age categories started earlier in the day with Luke Moir taking the Sub Junior Boys’ title in 46:30, while Sabine Thies secured her National Jersey in the Sub Junior Girls’ race in 37:14. Jooste Coetzee and Olivia Penfold won the Sprogs Boys and Girls classes respectively, while Connor Wright won the Nipper Boys race and Hannah Elliott the Nipper Girls race.
Sunday sees the Downhill Championships take place on the much talked about new track, which is guaranteed to test the riders best abilities!

Picture of a victorious Strauss courtesy of Andrew McFadden/BOOGS Photography

Pro-Elite Women (6 laps)
1.Mariske Strauss 1:40:24
2.Cherie Redecker 1:47:52
3.Hayley Smith 1:50:16
4.Sarah Hill 1:58:39
5.Rozalia Kubyana -1lap

Junior Women (4 laps)
1.Kristen Louw 1:16:06
2.Allison Morton 1:23:15
3.Sabrina van Wyk 1:26:33

Youth Men (4 laps)
1.Ryan Conradie 1:00:47
2.Brendan van Eeden 1:02:11
3.Mulder Oosthuizen 1:03:05

Youth Women (3 laps)
1.Tiffany Keep 53:00
2.Zandri Strydom 56:48
3.Courtney Smith 1:00:23

Sub Veteran Women (4 laps)
1.Nadine Nunes 1:22:03
2.Liesl Lourens 1:26:47
3.Kylie Hanekom 1:27:00

Veteran Women (4 laps)
1.Diana Carolin 1:19:02
2.Monica Glover 1:25:40
3.Landy Puddu 1:28:40

Master Women (3 laps)
1.Marie du Toit 1:19:11
2.Frances Marsburg 1:22:31

Sub Junior Boys (3 laps)
1.Luke Moir 46:30
2.Travis Stedman 50:48
3.WG van der Walt 51:29

Sub Junior Girls (2 laps)
1.Sabine Thies 37:14
2.Chante Olivier 38:25
3.Chloe Bateson 38:58

Sprog Boys (4 laps)
1.Jooste Coetzee 38:45
2.Alec Coleske 40:31
3.Nicholas de Bruin 40:35

Sprog Girls (3 laps)
1.Olivia Penfold 35:18
2.Kayleigh Scholtz 36:19
3.Madison Mann 37:17

Nipper Boys (3 laps)
1.Connor Wright 31:32
2.Francois de Jager 31:53
3.Aiden Wright 31:41

Nipper Girls (2 laps)
1.Hannah Elliott 25:10
2.Kyla Uys 27:21
3.Marili Nel 27:23

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