Frost and Westbrook scorch at Giba Gorge Enduro

Scorching hot and sticky humid conditions greeted over 130 riders for the second round of the thrilling KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles at the popular Giba Gorge MTB Park near Pinetown on Saturday 26 March.

Hilton Frost Giba Gorge Enduro.jpg
Hilton Frost posted some quick times to take the Men's overall victory at round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series - presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles at Giba Gorge MTB Park near Pinetown on Saturday 26 March. Photo credit: Paul Botma

 

Those that know the lie of the land at Giba Gorge know that there was a fair amount of climbing to get to the top from the central point at the trail centre, but that did not deter the thrill seekers who were hungry for twisty, slippery descending trails and gripping adventure.

 

With two starts on each opposite hilltop, riders set off to begin either Stage one, two or three in any order, with everyone starting the fourth stage last. It was Hilton Frost and Kim Westbrook who would take the overall Men and Women’s titles on the day.

 

Enduro course designer, Guy Ronaldson, had a blast creating the course. “Nigel and Dave approached me about six weeks ago, because I ride the trails here a lot, and they asked if I wanted to set the Enduro course. They let me loose and it was a fun experience. There were a lot of existing trails but what we did is cut a lot of new sections as well. I think the guys really enjoyed the new stuff and had fun.”

 

Kim Westbrook Giba Gorge Enduro.jpg
Kim Westbrook enjoyed the "grippy" trails and won the Women's category overall at round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series - presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles at Giba Gorge MTB Park near Pinetown on Saturday 26 March. Photo credit: Paul Botma

 

Ronaldson enjoyed the fruits of his labour by competing as well. “I enjoyed it hey. You know, I ride the trails here so much so I thought, well it's a race I’m not going to have that much fun, but its such a great place to ride and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

 

On the competitive side in the Masters class, Con Malherbe (Pyga) shared his thoughts on this social aspect of mountain biking. “It’s really fun. I don't have a lot of time to put into my riding right now, so Enduro is really ideal. The format is great because you don't have to kill yourself up the hills; you just have to get there. And then there are fast downhills, which makes it really exciting.”

 

In terms of the strong competition in the Masters category, Malherbe said: “I came down and clocked in and I thought I was one of only two riders, but then there were five or six after us. There is a lot of competition in the over-50s. It’s really cool to start a race where the gun goes and nobody launches off at 100 kilometres per hour. It has a great social aspect and it’s a lot of fun!”

 

Greg Minnaar Cycles/Santa Cruz rider, Andre Pretorius, was thrilled with his third place overall. “I’ve been doing Enduro now for two years but it’s the first year now that I am taking it seriously. I came third overall so I’m pretty stoked about it. Hopefully I’ll get a second or a first place next time. Giba is my home town, I was expecting to get a first here but I’m still stoked with a third place in my home town.”

 

Andre Pretorius Giba Gorge Enduro.jpg
Local rider Andre Pretorius was happy with a podium position when he finished third at round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series - presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles at Giba Gorge MTB Park near Pinetown on Saturday 26 March. Photo credit: Paul Botma

 

Downhill organiser, Nigel Hicks, also enjoyed his time on the Enduro trails of Giba Gorge. “The trails here are fantastic. We had a whole lot of rain in the beginning of the week and it’s been really good to settle in the dust. The past few days it has really packed in and it got a little bit slick out there, a bit “marbley”, but it’s fantastic and everyone has had a great time.”

 

Hicks crashed heavily at the start of the fourth stage. “Except for landing on my head, it was great fun,” he chuckled. “The guys at Giba have really done a fantastic job with the trails so big up to them. It’s so nice to see them supporting Enduro. We really do need more bike parks like this to take a step forward and push the sport. It is growing exponentially – 130 riders today, it’s really good to see that many people taking part in such a fun discipline.”

 

Tammy Sturrock Giba Gorge Enduro.jpgTammy Sturrock flies into the finish area at round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series - presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles at Giba Gorge MTB Park near Pinetown on Saturday 26 March. Photo credit: Paul Botma
Young Robert Jessop recorded his second win out of two races in the sub junior category this season: “It went really well, I really flowed through the whole stage and went back to the top and started the next stage. I rode with a few friends. On stage three I got a bug in my eye and so I lost quite a lot of time there, otherwise I had really good runs. I’m really happy to be leading the series – I’m back winning again after losing it a bit in the cross-country races.”

 

Overall Women’s winner, Kim Westbrook (Pyga/adidas Eyewear), didn’t find the going tough and had an absolute “jol” on the trails. “The trails were awesome and so grippy. Normally when you ride Giba it can be quite slick and loose because of the gravel, but today was just perfect. It was hot during the in between stages, but then you hit the stage and the wind hits you in the face and keeps you cool. But hydration was important today.”

 

Apart from technical skills coming in handy, Westbrook says that fitness is important too: “For the length of the stage, you are sprinting as fast as you can so fitness is very important. But you also need to be able to read the roots, rocks and corners so strong technical ability goes a long way.”

 

“Resident” cyclist Jason Hall (Good to Go) finds the going getting a bit tougher with his two young sons chasing him on the trails. “It’s an awesome family event, Enduro is the way forward. I ride with my two boys, Nate and Liam. It’s a race that can be easily done, as there is no racing uphill. It’s all about fun, I think more and more families should be involved.”

 

Enduro enthusiasts will gather again for the 2016 Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival http://www.cyclingsa...b-mtb-festival/ on Monday 2 May 2016 before tackling the third round of the KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles on the magnificent trails of Howick on Saturday 21 May 2016. See you all there!

 

Giba Gorge Enduro rider.jpg
Enduro riders enjoy the social aspect of the race when they ride at leisure in between each of the four timed stages at round two of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series - presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles at Giba Gorge MTB Park near Pinetown on Saturday 26 March. Photo credit: Paul Botma

 

Summary of Results – KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO Series #2 – 26 March 2016


Full results will be available soon at www.elitetiming.co.za

 

Overall Men
1.Hilton Frost 00:15:59
2.Timothy Bentley 00:16:06
3.Andre Pretorius 00:16:14
4.Heiko Redecker 00:16:15
5.Sharjah Jonsson 00:16:18

 

Overall Women
1.Kim Westbrook 00:19:23
2.Kathryn Fourie 00:19:40
3.Sabine Thies 00:20:58
4.Tammy Sturrock 00:21:15
5.Charne Dreyer 00:21:22

 

Senior Men
1.Hilton Frost 00:15:59
2.Timothy Bentley 00:16:06
3.Andre Pretorius 00:16:14

 

Senior Women
1.Kim Westbrook 00:19:23
2.Tammy Sturrock 00:21:15
3.Lauren Hoyer 00:24:11

 

Junior Men
1.Sharjah Jonsson 00:16:18
2.Dean Wortmann 00:17:57
3.Mitchell Meugens 00:18:07

 

Youth Men
1.Kayle Seaward 00:17:00
2.Keira Duncan 00:17:17
3.Liam Read 00:18:34

 

Sub Junior Men
1.Robert Jessop 00:20:25
2.Dreyer Botma 00:22:03
3.Kyle Brand 00:22:44

 

Sub Junior Women
1.Sabine Thies 00:20:58
2.Charne Dreyer 00:21:22
3.Sarah Ryan 00:29:15

 

Sprog Boys
1.Liam Tyler Hall 00:20:08
2.Nate Tanner Hall 00:20:12
3.Keagan Brand 00:21:45

 

Nipper Boys
1.Caleb Sandeman 00:23:25
2.Evan Moolman 00:23:32

 

Sub Veteran Men
1.Joe Bauckham 00:16:25
2.Craig Scott 00:16:26
3.Mark Millar 00:17:03

 

Sub Veteran Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 00:19:40
2.Nikki Alvin 00:21:43
3.Joanne Hicks 00:21:47

 

Veteran Men
1.Craig Seaward 00:16:44
2.Devlin Fogg 00:17:01
3.Keith Diederichs 00:17:52

 

Master Men
1.Con Malherbe 00:18:22
2.Guy Ronaldson 00:18:57
3.Brian Magor 00:19:48

 

Grand Master Men
1.Mike Staphorst 00:23:10
2.David Hancocks 00:25:05




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