White faces tough battle at Karkloof

On 28 November 2019 by admin

By: Tim Whitfield

A puncture recently robbed Tyronne White of his perfect record in the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum, but the Ballito resident still takes a massive lead in the series into the Karkloof Classic this weekend.

White was beaten into third position at the recent Sugar Rush event after a puncture cost him his place in the leading group, but despite the minor setback he has managed to keep a lead of over 100 points on his nearest challenger. Andrew Johnson is lying second in the race for the R25 000 prize for the series winner at the end of the season.

After four events, and with six remaining, the series reaches its halfway mark this weekend at the Sappi Karkloof Classic. White is in a strong position and his rivals are going to struggle to make up the lost ground over the second half of the competition.

The Karkloof Classic is one of KZN’s major mountain bike events and as such normally draws the strongest field of any one-day event in the province. This year is no different with the cream of KZN cycling all lining up for the start on Sunday.

White will have to be at his best — and have no mechanical problems — if he wants to pick up his fourth win of the series. The strong field will include both cross country specialists like defending champion Julian Jessop, last year’s runner up Stuart Marais and Henry Liebenberg, and the riders who focus on the longer marathons, such as Sugar Rush winner Andrew Hill, David Low and Sthembiso Masango.

The longer than normal 60km distance means the marathon riders can use the extra distance to ease themselves into the racing while the cross-country specialists often find themselves fading and struggling on the small climbs near the finish.

One rider who will be need to be watched closely will be junior Travis Stedman who was second to Hill at the recent Sugar Rush. The schoolboy is an aggresive tactician who is fast making a name for himself as one of the country’s stars of the future.

In the women’s Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum, Christie-Leigh Hearder has three wins from the three events she has taken part in this year, but she will have to be at her best to hold off the talented Tiffany Keep. Keep may be in her first year out of the junior ranks, but she has already shown she can mix it with the best riders in the senior category and must be favourite to claim the race win and thus pick up her first points in the series this year.

As always the trail running series is less clear cut with four different winners in the four events so far this year. The 2018 overall champion, Nomore Mandivengerei, is over 100 points behind leader Mdu Zondi, but Zondi has taken part in all four events while Mandivengerei has only had two outings.

The women’s trail running is shaping up to be a fascinating battle with Apiwe Gaga leading Sarah Gray by 80 points, but, as with the men, they have competed in different events. Gaga has four remarkably consistent second-position results while Gray has done just three race — and collected two wins and a fourth place. That means the two are much closer than the current log standings indicate and once they start discarding results to end with their top six finishes, there could be a tense battle for the overall victory.

Latest ROAG Series powered by Momentum standings

MTB

Men

1 Tyronne White 374 point (4 events)

2 Andrew Johnson 253 (4)

3 Andrew Hill 186 (2)

4 Mazwi Smimango 162 (3)

5 Dean Van dyk 157 (4)

6 Sthembiso Masango 150 (3)

7 Jedson Tooms 144 (4)

8 Carl Adendorff 139 (4)

9 Warren Price 118 (2)

10 Matthew Stamatis 114 (3)

Women

1 Christie-Leigh Hearder 300 (3)

2 Debrah Thomas 265 (4)

3 Nadine Nunes 221 (3)

4 Belinda Mason 193 (4)

5 Ilse Longmore 157 (3)

6 Hayley Smith 150 (2)

7 Tarryn Morgan 149 (3)

8 Wendy Corkin 137 (4)

9 Linda Erskine 123 (3)

10 Brenda Potts 106 (2)

Trail Run

Men

1 Mdu Zondi 252 (4)

2 Nomore Mandivengerei 147 (2)

3 Innocent Skhumbuzo 130 (2)

4 Joe Maphumelo 111 (2)

5= Mthobisi Mzolo 100 (1)

5= Mbhasobhi Gumede 100 (1)

5= Linda Zondi 100 (1)

8 Neil Mackenzie 89 (4)

9 Dumisani Shabalala 86 (1)

9= Sphelele Gumede 86 (1)

9= Msawenkosi Mtolo 86 (1)

Women

1 Apiwe Gaga 344 (4)

2 Sarah Gray 264 (3)

3 Wendy Mills 212 (3)

4 Patricia Dammann 157 (3)

5 Hayley Mackinnon 131 (3)

6 Kirsty Scott 118 (2)

7 Karen Maiden 104 (4)

8 Erin Fleming 100 (1)

8= Jackie Moore 100 (1)

10 Theresa Hohls 88 (2)

Remaining 2019 Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum events

DATE EVENT VENUE
1-2 Jun Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival Karkloof Country Club
29-30 Jun Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Challenge Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Resort
20-21 Jul Sappi Scottburgh Scottburgh Main Beach
4 Aug Illovo Eston MTB Challenge Beaumont Eston Farmers Club
17 Aug Harburg Tour de Krantz Harburg Hall
15 Sep Safire Baynesfield MTB & Trail Baynesfield
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