Women’s defending champs show the way in 2020 Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum

On 20 February 2020 by admin

The top women from last year’s Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum have immediately stamped their authority on this year’s competition with defending champions Christie Hearder and Sarah Gray claiming early victories in their respective opening events of the 2020 series.

Hearder emerged as a comfortably winner in the women’s mountain bike race at the Illovo Wartburg MTB Classic & Trail Run while Gray had to work a bit harder before seeing off the challenge of Apiwe Gaga in the equivalent trail running event.

Both the men’s races saw slightly different early leaderboards with Tyronne White unable to hold the pace of Stuart Marais and Andrew Hill and finished a distant third in the MTB race. In the men’s trail running Linda Zondi showed he wants to improve on his narrow runner-up position in the overall 2019 series as he claimed a two-minute victory over Wiseman Vezi to take an early lead on the 2020 log.

White, Marais and Hill, the past three champions of the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum, were the early protagonists in the mountain bike event and their early battle was a continuation of the final few races of 2019 when the three were the dominant force in men’s marathon racing in the province.

White looked to have gained an early advantage when he opted for a different line into one of the early dual single track sections which litter the superbly prepared route through the Wartburg forests. Marais’ and Hill’s mistake meant they had to work a bit harder early on but with about 15km of the 62km race remaining, the explosive power of cross country specialist Marais paid off as he made the decisive split from a struggling White.

Hill lasted a bit longer, but still had to settle for second as Marais powered away over the closing kilometres and Marais proved he must be the early favourite to regain the series title he won in 2018.

Hearder was never seriously challenged as she raced to a massive 19-minute win over Nadine Nunes and at this early stage it is hard to see the talented Pietermaritzburg rider failing to claim the women’s title once again.

In the trail running events Zondi was too strong over the closing kilometres and he built a two-minute gap over Vezi with Themba Dlamini finishing third, just 20 seconds further back.

Zondi left things late to mount a challenge for the overall series title last year and was still in contention to unseat Zimbabwean Nomore Mandivengerei as they went into the final event in 2019, but it seems he wants some early points in the bag this season.

Mandivengerei traditionally skips the season opener which could prove to be a costly decision this year and Zondi’s full house of points from this weekend’s racing could prove decisive once the calculators come out to determine the winners at the end of the year.

Sarah Gray has put down an early marker in the women’s event and her two-and-a-half-minute win over Apiwe Gaga sets up what could well be a season-long battle between the two.

Illovo Wartburg MTB Classic & Trail Run Results
1 Stuart Marais 2:24:39
2 Andrew Hill 2:27:42
3 Tyronne White 2:32:39
4 David Low 2:33:58
5 Andrew Johnson 2:35:26
6 Dean Van Dyk 2:35:27
7 Mboneni Ngcobo 2:41:19
8 Mazwi Smimango 2:42:17
9 Nkululeko Pewa 2:43:34
10 Nhlanhla Mthembu 2:44:29

MTB Women
1 Christie Hearder 3:02:02
2 Nadine Nunes 3:21:48
3 Jean Hackland 3:23:23
4 Tarryn Morgan 3:25:21
5 Rethe Mostert 3:28:14
6 Karyn Southgate 3:31:26
7 Elmarie Thole 3:37:43
8 Isabel Moolman 3:37:53
9 Belinda Mason 3:39:29
10 Ilse Longmore 3:44:34

Trail Run Men
1 Linda Zondi 1:00:06
2 Wiseman Vezi 1:02:26
3 Themba Dlamini 1:02:47
4 David Lamont 1:07:28
5 Smiso Sikhakane 1:09:31
6 Carel Le Roux 1:09:34
7 Nkanyiso Sibiya 1:14:56
8 Jarid Sherwood 1:16:25
9 Darren Berriman 1:16:29
10 Jacques Pretorius 1:17:27

Trail Run Women
1 Sarah Gray 1:12:47
2 Apiwe Gaga 1:15:14
3 Sarah Mthembu 1:16:13
4 Patricia Dammann 1:20:00
5 Hayley Mackinnon 1:25:42
6 Esther Van Der Merwe 1:26:20
7 Michelle Corns 1:31:40
8 Jane Dickinson 1:34:58
9 Nosipho Khanyile 1:35:40
10 Gillian Tredgold 1:37:05

2020 Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum events

15 FebIllovo Wartburg MTB & Trail RunWartburg Kirchdorf School
14-15 MarFuel & Gas Kamberg ClassicGlengarry, Kamberg
5 AprHolla Trails Sugar Rush ClassicSugar Rush Park, Ballito
19 AprHusqvarna Mid Illovo ClassicGwahumbe Game & Spa
30-31 MaySappi Karkloof Classic Trail FestivalKarkloof Country Club
27-28 JunGooderson Drakensberg Gardens ChallengeGooderson Drakensberg Gardens Resort
18-19 JulSappi ScottburghScottburgh Main Beach
2 AugIllovo Eston MTB ChallengeBeaumont Eston Farmers Club
15 AugHarburg Tour de KrantzHarburg Hall
13 SepSafire Baynesfield ClassicBaynesfield
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