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White, Hearder are big winners at the Quattro ROAG Series

By: Tim Whitfield

Tyronne White and Christie Hearder left the Hilton Bush Lodge in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday night with the biggest cheques for any mountain bike series in the country after being confirmed as the winners of the season-long Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum.

Joining White and Hearder as big winners at the official series’ awards dinner were Nomore Mandivengerei and Sarah Gray who claimed the honours as the top male and female athletes in the associated trail running series.

The mountain biking and trail running series are year-long Grand Prix-style competitions which took place in conjunction with ten of KZN’s top one-day mountain bike and trail running events. The series ran from February through to September with riders earning points according to finishing positions at each event. The best six results counted toward final finishing positions.

Top men’s rider, White, and the women’s winner, Hearder, who both ended the season with a perfect score of 600 points after winning six of the series events during the season, each picked up a cheque for R25 000 for their efforts.

White started the year strongly with wins at the opening three events — the Illovo Wartburg, Kamberg and Husqvarna Classics. He followed up later in the year with victories at the Gooderson Drak Gardens, Scottburgh and Tour de Krantz and finished in the top four at every one of the ten series events.

Hearder also started with wins in Wartburg and Kamberg, before adding victories at Sugar Rush and Drak Gardens, but then needed to win the final two events of the season, the Tour de Krantz and Safire Baynesfield, to wrap up her perfect score. Hearder also finished second at Scottburgh and the Illovo Eston.

Previous winner Andrew Hill (452 points) and Andrew Johnson (440) were second and third men in the MTB series respectively, while Brenda Potts (422) and Nadine Nunes (415) filled the minor placings in the women’s series.

Mandivengerei and Gray, who ended the year on 514 and 572 points respectively, received R10 000 each and faced much stiffer competition to claim their victories.

Zimbabwean Mandivengerei only finalised his title in the final event of the season and he was chased hard by Linda Zondi (476) and Mdu Zondi (428).

Gray ended up with a deceptively large victory but only confirmed her title at the penultimate event of the year, the Tour de Kranz. Nokukhanya Memela (498) and Apiwe Gaga (496) were second and third in an incredibly tight battle for the runner-up spot.

Guest speaker at the function on Saturday night was sports psychologist Dr Kirsten van Heerden. Van Heerden is one of only a handful of people to have represented South Africa as an athlete and then use that knowledge in conjunction with her PhD in sports psychology to help Olympians, world champions and South African sports teams achieve their goals.

The Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum is organised and administered by the Race Organisers Admin Group (ROAG) which is one of South Africa’s biggest entry and event administration systems for participation sports.

FINAL RESULTS

MTB

Overall – Male: 1 Tyronne White; 2 Andrew Hill; 3 Andrew Johnson.

Overall – Female: 1 Christie-leigh Hearder; 2 Brenda Potts; 3 Nadine Nunes.

Youth – Male: 1 Daniel Van der watt; 2 Nicholas  Burczak; 3 Sven Van zuydam.

Youth – Female: 1 Amy jade Boik.

Juniors – Male: 1 Johandre’ Marx; 2 Kusaselihle Ngidi; 3 Ethan Jackson.

Juniors – Female: 1 Sarah Ryan.

Senior – Male: 1 Mazwi Smimango; 2 Dean  Van dyk; 3 Jedson Tooms.

Senior – Female: 1 Christie-leigh Hearder; 1 Tyronne White; 2 Andrew Hill.

Sub-Vets – Male: 1 Tyronne White; 2 Andrew Hill; 3 Byron Ekerold.

Sub-Vets – Female: 1 Ilse  Longmore; 2 Alison Wasserfall.

Vets – Male: 1 Andrew Johnson; 2 Carl Adendorff; 3 Markus Kaumpek.

Vets – Female: 1 Nadine Nunes; 2 Debrah Thomas; 3 Belinda Mason.

Masters – Male: 1 Jeremy Thomson; 2 Deon Le roux; 3 Neil  Crosthwaite.

Masters – Female: 1 Brenda Potts; 2 Linda  Erskine; 3 Wendy Corkin.

Grand Masters – Male: 1 Peter Corkin; 2 Raymond Mc callum; 3 David Davie.

Grand Masters – Female: 1 Marion Sykes.

Nippers – Male: 1 Cade Smith; 2 Troy Cole; 3 Max Johnson.

Nippers – Female: 1 Madison Bateson.

Sprogs – Male: 1 Joshua Johnson; 2 Matthew Horter; 3 Mitchell Boik.

Sprogs – Female: 1 Errin Mackridge; 2 Jodi  Mackinnon; 3 Chloe Allison.

Sub-Juniors – Male: 1 Sean Yelland; 2 Omar Wilson; 3 Justin Swanepoel.

Sub-Juniors – Female: 1 Emily Van heerden; 2 Riley Smith; 3 Amber Cole.

Trail Running

Overall: Male: 1 Nomore Mandivengerei; 2 Linda Zondi; 3 Mdu Zondi.

Overall: Female: 1 Sarah Gray; 2 Nokukhanya Memela; 3 Apiwe Gaga.

Senior: Male: 1 Nomore Mandivengerei; 2 Linda Zondi; 1 Sarah Gray.

Senior: Female: 1 Sarah Gray; 2 Nokukhanya Memela; 3 Apiwe Gaga.

Vet: Male: 1 Mdu Zondi; 2 Carel Le Roux.

Vet: Female: 1 Patricia Dammann; 2 Hayley Mackinnon.

Master: Male: 1 Neil Mackenzie; 1 Karen Maiden.

Overall Short Course: Male: 1 Evan Walker.

Overall Short Course: Female: 1 Brigitte von Buddenbrock; 2 Hana Newlands; 3 Jana Dammann.

U/13: Male: 1 Evan Walker.

U/13: Female: 1 Hana Newlands. U/18: Female: 1 Brigitte von Buddenbrock; 2 Jana Dammann

‘Three Musketeers’ ride to victory again

By: Tim Whitfield

KZN mountain biking’s “Three Musketeers” once again led the way in the Safire Baynesfield MTB and Trail on Sunday. In the 65km race which wrapped up the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum, Stuart Marais claimed victory ahead of Andrew Hill and then Tyronne White for the third time in four weekends.

Marais eased to victory in a time of 2:22:23 to end up just over a minute ahead of Hill with White almost three minutes further back. The positions are identical to the recent Mandela Day MTB Dash at the end of September and last weekend’s GO! Durban 100.

The result did not change the top of the standings of the Quattro ROAG Series with White already sure of claiming the biggest prize for a mountain bike series after dominating events earlier in the season.

However, Hill was able to move up to second overall in the series with his runner-up finish on Sunday giving him enough points to slip ahead of Andrew Johnson, who did not race in Baynesfield. Marais did not complete the required number of series races during the season to qualify for a series finish.

The women’s series saw a minor change at the top of the table with Christie Hearder claiming the race win at Baynesfield, which also allowed her to end the season with a maximum 600 points from her best six results.

As for most of this season, Hearder was dominant winner on Sunday and her time of 2:55:19 was a massive 22 minutes clear of Andrea de Boer and Nadine Nunes, who finished second and third respectively but were credited with the same time.

In the tightly-contested trail running series, Nomore Mandivengerei secured the win in Baynesfield which ensured he kept his narrow lead in the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum. Linda Zondi, who needed to win with Mandivengerei outside the top three to claim the series title, ended second and also finished the season-long Grand Prix-style competition in second place.

Mdu Zondi slipped to third overall on the series after finishing fourth behind Khayalethu Nzala on Sunday.

In the women’s trail running, Nokukhanya Memela was the winner on Sunday and that allowed her to move up to second overall behind Sarah Gray, who was the runner up at Baynesfield. Apiwe Gaga, who did not take part on Sunday, slipped to third on the series standings.

The Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum offers the biggest prizes for any mountain bike and trail running series in the country and the top competitors will receive their rewards at the prizegiving ceremony on October 26.

Race Results

MTB 65km
Men

1 Stuart Marais 2:22:23
2 Andrew Hill 2:23:37
3 Tyronne White 2:26:15
4 Keagan Matthews 2:32:59
5 Dean van Dyk 2:35:28
6 Willie van Eck 2:36:05
7 Luke Chambers 2:36:30
8 Sthembiso Masango 2:36:51
9 Nhlanhla Mthembu 2:36:57
10 Michael Rowland 2:38:32

Women
1 Christie Hearder 2:55:19
2 Andrea De Boer 3:17:04
3 Nadine Nunes 3:17:04
4 Jean Hackland 3:21:45
5 Brenda Potts 3:23:29
6 Ilse Longmore 3:25:49
7 Belinda Mason 3:29:06


Trail Run 10km
Men

1 Nomore Mandivengerei 0:34:05
2 Linda Zondi 0:34:50
3 Khayalethu Nzala 0:35:08
4 Mdu Zondi 0:36:43
5 Carel Le Roux 0:43:12

Women
1 Nokukhanya Memela 0:43:49
2 Sarah Gray 0:45:05
3 Patricia Dammann 0:47:18
4 Yolande Boshoff 0:48:14
5 Liana Van Rooyen 0:55:53

12 September

Trail runners battle to the finish

The prestigious Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum wraps up this weekend with mountain bikers and trail runners getting their final chance to collect points in Baynesfield just outside Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.

While Tyronne White and Christie Hearder have secured the R25 000 first prizes in the mountain biking portion of the series, the Safire Baynesfield event is likely to see a massive battle for the overall men’s trail running title.

In the men’s mountain biking, White’s brilliant season is highlighted by the face he already has a perfect 600-point score from his best six series results this year and he cannot improve his total or be caught by those scrapping for the final two podium positions.

Hearder is almost as impressive with five wins and a second as her best six results. Her results over the year so far means if she is the top women on Sunday she will join White with a perfect 600-points score for the series.

The women’s trail running title has also been wrapped up by Sarah Gray who has 572 points, while Apiwe Gaga on 482 has second-position secured regardless of this weekend’s results.

However, there is plenty to run for in the men’s trail running section with the continuation of the season-long battle between defending champion and series leader Nomore Mandivengerei and his nearest chasers, Mdu Zondi and Linda Zondi.

Mandivengerei (458 points from six races) is just 43 points ahead of Mdu Zondi (415 from best six of nine races) with Linda Zondi (390 from five) deceptively far behind in third. Linda Zondi only has five results counting which means a win will add the full 100 points to his total. If he wins the single track-laden 10km race on Sunday, Mandivengerei will need to finish second to retain his title.

Mdu Zondi is also in with a shot at the overall title, but even if he wins he will need his namesake to finish outside the top two and Mandivengerei must end up far down the order.

The Safire Baynesfield MTB and Trail taks place at the Baynesfield Club with mountain bikers having the choice of the long 65km event, or shorter 45km, 20km or 10km while trail runners can take part in the 10k or 5km runs.

This event is always considered to be one of the best-organised events on the KZN calendar with riders and runners able to enjoy a mix of forest running and riding with some district road sections and lots of purpose-built single track. A highlight is a section of narrow, winding single track near the finish which takes competitors through some riverine forests.

After the completion of the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum, the top competitors will receive their rich rewards at the prizegiving ceremony on October 26. The series offers the biggest prizes for a mountain bike and trail running series in the country.

MTB
Men
(only best six results count)
1 Tyronne White 600pts (9 events)
2 Andrew Johnson 440 (7)
3 Andrew Hill 366 (5)
4 Mazwi Smimango 251 (6)
5 Carl Adendorff 248 (7)
6 Jedson Tooms 246 (7)
7 Dean Van dyk 245 (7)
8 Brad Thompson 222 (7)
9 Thomas Cheatle 167 (6)
10 Ernest Franzsen 165 (5)

Women
1 Christie Hearder 586 (7)
2 Brenda Potts 413 (7)
3 Nadine Nunes 388 (6)
4 Debrah Thomas 368 (8)
5 Belinda Mason 309 (8)
6 Isabel Moolman 235 (5)
7 Ilse Longmore 231 (5)
8 Tarryn Morgan 220 (5)
9 Wendy Corkin 218 (7)
10 Donna Winter 211 (5)

Trail Run
Men
1 Nomore Mandivengerei 458 (6)
2 Mdu Zondi 415 (9)
3 Linda Zondi 390 (5)
4 Carel Le Roux 274 (6)
5 Neil Mackenzie 173 (8)

Women
1 Sarah Gray 572 (7)
2 Apiwe Gaga 482 (6)
3 Patricia Dammann 358 (6)
5 Hayley Mackinnon 222 (5)
6 Karen Maiden 199 (7)

ROAG Series contenders running out of time

By: Tim Whitfield

The penultimate event of the lucrative Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum takes place this weekend with the men’s trail running battle continuing to build to a thrilling climax.

With three of the four major categories already decided before Saturday’s 20th anniversary Harburg Tour de Krantz, all eyes are on the men’s trail running where three athletes are still locked in a battle to claim the overall series title.

Linda Zondi is currently leading the pack with 416 points from five events. Mdu Zondi is just 26 points behind from his best six results off eight races, while Zimbabwean defending champion Nomore Mandivengerei is third, 55 points behind the leader from his five events.

There are just two rounds remaining in the 10-event series, and with 100 points up for grabs for each race winner there are plenty of points available for any one of the top three runners to secure victory. The best six results count which means Linda Zondi and Mandivengerei can each still collect maximum points from one more event before they have to start discarding points from previous results.

In the mountain bike and the women’s trail running categories the respective winners are already decided.

Tyronne White (574 points) cannot be beaten in the men’s mountain bike and his biggest challenge now is to record one more race win which will ensure he discards a third-place finish and completes the series with a rare perfect score of 600 points. Andrew Johnson is currently lying second but faces a stiff challenge from Andrew Hill, who has only completed five events and has finished in the top two of every race he has entered.

The women’s series winner will be Christie-Leigh Hearder who has four wins and two seconds to her name. She will need two wins in the final two races to claim that perfect 600-point score. The battle for second could not be tighter with Debrah Thomas and Brenda Potts both on 368 points, while Nadine Nunes is fourth from just five results and any two of these three still finish in the top three.

In the women’s trail running Sarah Gray has secured a big enough lead to ensure she will emerge as the champion while Apiwe Gaga is assured of second spot. Nokukhanya Memela is currently fourth from just four events and after winning the recent Scottburgh event looks like a good bet to overtake third-placed Patricia Dammann, if Memela takes part in the final two events.

The Tour de Krantz is one of the grand old races on the KZN mountain biking calendar and the slick organisation, combined with some wonderful trails makes it a popular event that has ironically outlasted the reason for its original existence.

The event was started as a fund raiser for the Harburg School. Since the school was closed all funds raised during the event now go to local charities in the area. The Tour de Krantz was also one of the first events in KZN to add a trail running option to a mountain bike event and riders and runners.

The 15km trail run starts at 7.30am on Saturday and the 45km mountain bike event sets off at 8.30.

Latest Quattro ROAG Series standings
(best six results if more than six events completed)

MTB
Men

1 Tyronne White 574 (8 events)
2 Andrew Johnson 413 (6)
3 Andrew Hill 366 (5)
4 Mazwi Smimango 251 (6)
5 Carl Adendorff 248 (7)
6 Dean Van dyk 236 (6)
7 Jedson Tooms 226 (6)
8 Brad Thompson 206 (6)
9 Sthembiso Masango 197 (4)
10 Thomas Cheatle 167 (6)

Women
1 Christie-Leigh Hearder 572 (6)
2 Debrah Thomas 368 (8)
2= Brenda Potts 368 (6)
4 Nadine Nunes 324 (5)
5 Belinda Mason 297 (7)
6 Rouxda Grobler 283 (4)
7 Ilse Longmore 231 (5)
8 Tarryn Morgan 220 (5)
9 Wendy Corkin 218 (7)
10 Linda Erskine 198 (5)

Trail Run
Men

1 Linda Zondi 416 (5)
2 Mdu Zondi 390 (8)
3 Nomore Mandivengerei 361 (5)
4 Innocent Skhumbuzo Bhengu 260 (4)
5 Carel Le Roux 221 (5)
6 Grant Humphrey 169 (4)
7 Neil Mackenzie 153 (7)

Women
1 Sarah Gray 572 (7)
2 Apiwe Gaga 482 (6)
3 Patricia Dammann 358 (6)
4 Nokukhanya Memela 316 (4)
5 Hayley Mackinnon 222 (5)
6 Karen Maiden 199 (7)
7 Juanita Ugljanin 75 (4)

Remaining 2019 Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum events

DATE EVENT VENUE
17 Aug Harburg Tour de Krantz Harburg Hall
15 Sep Safire Baynesfield MTB & Trail Baynesfield

ROAG Series running toward a thrilling finish

By: Tim Whitfield

The trail running portion of the lucrative Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum is building to a thrilling climax with four athletes still in with a realistic chance of overall victory, all of which makes Sunday’s Illovo Eston events crucial to the final outcome,

Tyronne White has ensured he will claim the R25 000 first prize for the men’s mountain bike series with three events still remaining, and Christie-Leigh Hearder is virtually certain of claiming the equivalent women’s MTB award.

Sarah Gray looks to have taken control of the women’s trail running series and, although mathematically not confirmed, it is hard to see her being beaten to that prize. However, every point will count in the fascinating race to the men’s trail running title.

Leading the battle for the men’s title is Mdu Zondi, but crucially he has taken part in all seven of the series races so far in 2019. That leaves him with 409 points from his best six results, 48 points ahead of the 2018 champion Nomore Mandivengerei with Linda Zondi another 31 points further behind.

Adding to the intrigue, fourth-placed Innocent Skhumbuzo is on 260 points which puts him 70 behind Linda Zondi and not out of contention if he can produce three good results. Last week at the Sappi Scottburgh event Skhumbuzo beat all three of the runners above him on the series standings which makes him the form runner among the contenders and means he could still claim the title, but he needs other results go his way.

Mandivengerei has only taken part in five events while Linda Zondi and Skhumbuzo have competed in just four which gives them extra opportunities to add to their points tally — and means the first four positions could potentially be reversed at the end of the series once the best six results are calculated according to the series rules.

At Scottburgh, Skhumbuzo, Mandivengerei and the two Zondis finished one after each other in third to sixth positions, so it is clear that none of the four can afford to be complacent over the final three races. The remaining events in the series are the Illovo Eston this weekend, Harburg Tour de Krantz on August 17 and the Safire Baynesfield on September 17.

On Sunday, the 18km trail running event kicks off the proceedings at the Eston Farmers Club at Eston at 6.30am with the 60km Eston MTB Marathon starting at 8.30am. There is also a shorter 9km trail run and MTB events of 40km, 18km and 10km.

Latest Quattro ROAG Series standings
(best six results count to final score)

MTB
Men
1 Tyronne White 574 points (7 events)
2 Andrew Johnson 339 (5)
3 Andrew Hill 280 (4)
4 Carl Adendorff 234 (6)
5 Mazwi Smimango 207 (5)
6 Sthembiso Masango 197 (4)
7 Jedson Tooms 195 (5)
8 Dean Van dyk 194 (5)
9 Brad Thompson 177 (5)
10 Henry Liebenberg 172 (2)

Women
1 Christie-Leigh Hearder 486 (5)
2 Debrah Thomas 368 (7)
3 Brenda Potts 302 (5)
4 Belinda Mason 297 (6)
5 Nadine Nunes 277 (4)
6 Hayley Smith 250 (3)
7 Rouxda Grobler 219 (3)
8 Wendy Corkin 209 (6)
9 Linda Erskine 198 (5)
10 Ilse Longmore 195 (4)

Trail Run
Men
1 Mdu Zondi 409 (7)
2 Nomore Mandivengerei 361 (5)
3 Linda Zondi 330 (4)
4 Innocent Skhumbuzo 260 (4)
5 Carel Le Roux 177 (4)
6 Neil Mackenzie 126 (6)
7 Grant Humphrey 122 (3)
8 Craig Houston 113 (3)
9 Kelvin Borland 87 (3)
10 Leon Smith 64 (3)

Women
1 Sarah Gray 550 (6)
2 Apiwe Gaga 408 (5)
3 Patricia Dammann 294 (5)
4 Nokukhanya Memela 216 (3)
5 Wendy Mills 212 (3)
6 Karen Maiden 179 (6)
7 Hayley Mackinnon 171 (4)
8 Brenda McCann 86 (3)
9 Juanita Ugljanin 47 (3)

Remaining 2019 Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum events

DATE EVENT VENUE
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

Quattro ROAG Series gets tight at the top

By: Tim Whitfield

SATURDAY’S trail run in the Sappi Scottburgh MTB and Trail Weekend looks like being the next thrilling chapter of a tight battle for honours in the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum.

The lucrative series provides one of the biggest prizes for a trail running series in the country and there is a three-way fight for honours, with every point in the battle between Mdu Zondi, Nomore Mandivengerei and Linda Zondi becoming crucial.

Mdu Zondi currently leads the standings from Mandivengerei with Linda Zondi third. The three are separated by just 84 points but Zondi has completed six events, while his rivals have only taken part in four and three races respectively. With the best six out of ten events counting to the final total, the ever-consistent Mdu Zondi needs some big results to increase his score and keep the two rivals at bay.

This weekend’s Sappi Scottbugh weekend is the seventh event in the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum. The Illovo Eston and Tour de Kranz races take place next month and the series wraps up with the Safire Baynesfield in September.

In the women’s trail running series, Sarah Gray moved into the lead at the Drakensberg Gardens race recently with Apiwe Gaga dropping to second, just 42 points behind. Gaga has not entered Scottburgh (although she may still enter on Saturday) which may allow Gray to build a healthy cushion going into the final three events.

In the corresponding mens mountain bike series, Tyronne White has been completely dominant and seems likely to all but wrap his victory in Sunday’s 45km ride. His biggest challenge for race honours this weekend is likely to come from Andrew Hill, who is likely to be fatigued after winning the tough four-day Imana Wild Ride marathon on Thursday.

In the women’s MTB race the clear favourite should be Christie-Leigh Hearder. She has been in top form all season and has a perfect 400 points from four races in the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum standings, and it seems likely only a mechanical can prevent her from making it 500 points on Sunday. Local South Coast resident Hayley Smith will be looking to cause an upset in the women’s race, but recent results suggest Hearder will have too much firepower.

Leading Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum standings
MTB
Men
1 Tyronne White 538 pts (6 events completed)
2 Andrew Johnson 339 (5)
3 Mazwi Smimango 202 (4)
4 Sthembiso Masango 197 (4)
5 Dean Van dyk 194 (5)
6 Andrew Hill 194 (3)
7 Henry Liebenberg 172 (2)
8 Carl Adendorff 170 (5)
9 Warren Price 157 (3)
10 Brennan Anderson 149 (3)

Women
1 Christie-Leigh Hearder 400 (4)
2 Debrah Thomas 364 (6)
3 Belinda Mason 256 (5)
4 Brenda Potts 238 (4)
5 Nadine Nunes 221 (3)
6 Ilse Longmore 195 (4)
7 Wendy Corkin 174 (5)
8 Rouxda Grobler 172 (2)
9 Linda Erskine 164 (4)
10 Frances Janse van rensburg 151 (2)

Trail Run
Men
1 Mdu Zondi 358 (6)
2 Nomore Mandivengerei 297 (4)
3 Linda Zondi 274 (3)
4 Innocent Skhumbuzo 186 (3)
5 Carel Le Roux 138 (3)
6 Sphelele Gumede 137 (2)
7 Grant Humphrey 122 (3)
8 Craig Houston 113 (3)
9 Joe Maphumelo 111 (2)
10 Neil Mackenzie 103 (5)

Women
1 Sarah Gray 450 (5)
2 Apiwe Gaga 408 (5)
3 Nokukhanya Memela 216 (3)
4 Wendy Mills 212 (3)
5 Patricia Dammann 208 (4)
6 Hayley Mackinnon 171 (4)
7 Karen Maiden 146 (5)
8 Kirsty Scott 118 (2)
9 Anita de Waal 106 (2)
10 Theresa Hohls 88 (2)

Remaining 2019 Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum events

DATE EVENT VENUE
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

White looking for more success at Quattro ROAG Series

By: Tim Whitfield

Tyronne White is the hot favourite to return to winning ways at the Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens MTB and Trail Running Challenge in the foothills of the Drakensberg this weekend.

The talented Ballito mountain biker dominated the early portion of the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum, but his run of three wins in a row was halted at the Sugar Rush Classic and Karkloof Classic in May and June. Despite finishing third and fourth in those two events, White still holds a massive lead over his nearest rival in the series.

His DriveTrain Academy teammate Andrew Johnson is currently lying second, 185-points behind. The pre-race entries indicate that White has a good chance of increasing his advantage on the beautiful Drakensberg Gardens Route.

The course is a compact looped route in and around the holiday resort, and the final ten-kilometre loop takes riders through the resort and up a technical climb onto a flat escarpment which overlooks the Drakensberg Gardens Valley. The climb is tough and only the best riders are usually able to get up without resorting to walking, but the views at the top are spectacular and are reward for the effort of the climb.

In the women’s Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum, Debrah Thomas has taken over as something of a surprise leader. Thomas has competed in all five events in the series and her steady accumulation of points has allowed her to move eight points ahead of series favourite Christie Leigh Hearder.

However, Hearder will probably not be too concerned, as she has only taken part in three of the five events so far and with three wins from three she is still well on target to claim the overall title at the end of the series in September.

Hearder has entered the Drakensberg Gardens event and looks like a good bet to claim win number four which will return her to the top of the standings.

In the trail running series things are far less clear cut going into the sixth out the ten events. Mdu Zondi and Apiwe Gaga are top of the men’s and women’s series respectively and both have earned their place at the top with consistent results.

Gaga has been in the top four in all six events, but is yet to get a 100-point score for winning a race. Her nearest challenger is Sarah Gray who has two wins from her four results and these two look likely to battle it out for the overall honours over the final events of the season.

In the men’s race, last year’s champion Nomore Mandivengerei has allowed Zondi to create a big lead, but the advantage may be somewhat flattering because Mandivengerei has competed in two less events, although he has not been able to dominate as he did in 2018.

Both Mandivengerei and Mdu Zondi will have to watch over their shoulders because the talented Linda Zondi is making up ground fast. His two wins in the most recent events at Sugar Rush and Karkloof have rocketed him up to second on the standings from just two races. Linda Zondi goes into the Drakensberg Gardens event as the favourite to wrap up a hat-trick of wins.

MTB
Men
1 Tyronne White 438 (5)
2 Andrew Johnson 253 (4)
3 Mazwi Smimango 202 (4)
4 Sthembiso Masango 197 (4)
5 Dean Van Dyk 194 (5)
6 Andrew Hill 194 (3)
7 Henry Liebenberg 172 (2)
8 Carl Adendorff 170 (5)
9 Warren Price 157 (3)
10 Brennan Anderson 149 (3)

Women
1 Debrah Thomas 308 (5)
2 Christie-Leigh Hearder 300 (3)
3 Nadine Nunes 221 (3)
4 Ilse Longmore 195 (4)
5 Belinda Mason 192 (4)
6 Rouxda Grobler 172 (2)
7 Brenda Potts 152 (3)
8 Frances Janse Van Rensburg 151 (2)
9 Hayley Smith 150 (2)
10 Tarryn Morgan 148 (3)

Trail Run
Men
1 Mdu Zondi 294 (5)
2 Nomore Mandivengerei 211 (3)
3 Linda Zondi 200 (2)
4 Innocent Skhumbuzo 186 (3)
5 Sphelele Gumede 137 (2)
6 Grant Humphrey 122 (3)
7 Craig Houston 113 (3)
8 Joe Maphumelo 111 (2)
9 Neil Mackenzie 103 (5)
10= Mbhasobhi Gumede 100 (1)
10= Mthobisi Mzolo 100 (1)

Women
1 Apiwe Gaga 408 (5)
2 Sarah Gray 350 (4)
3 Wendy Mills 212 (3)
4 Patricia Dammann 208 (4)
5 Hayley Mackinnon 171 (4)
6 Nokukhanya Memela 130 (2)
7 Kirsty Scott 118 (2)
8 Anita De Waal 106 (2)
9 Karen Maiden 104 (4)
10= Jackie Moore 100 (1)
10= Erin Fleming 100 (1)
10= Isla Mackellar 100 (1)

Remaining 2019 Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum events

DATE EVENT VENUE
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

White faces tough battle at Karkloof

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

Hill ends White’s run at Quattro ROAG Series

By: Tim Whitfield

A last-minute decision to compete in the Holla Trails Sugar Rush Classic mountain bike race on Sunday paid off for Andrew Hill when he held off young Travis Stedman to claim a confidence-boosting win ahead of this weekend’s sani2c.

The Sugar Rush Classic is the fourth race in the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum and Hill (Team Darkhorse Wheels insured by TIB) and Stedman (Steel and Pipes) were able to ride away from pre-race favourite Tyronne White when the winner of the previous three events had to stop and repair his tyre which developed a leak during the event.

The experienced Hill, who is still recovering after winning all seven racing stages of the recent 900km joBerg2c, and the 17-year-old Stedman built a lead of just over two minutes over the chasers before Hill managed to get the better of his young rival in the dash for the line.

White managed to fight back and claim third, a couple of seconds ahead of his Drive Train Academy teammate Andrew Johnson, with Sthembiso Masango taking fifth overall and finishing in the same group.

“It was a nice route with some well-prepared flowing single track,” said Hill. “It was a pity Tyronne (White) had tyre issues because he would have been with us at the finish I think. I am not sure what happened but it seemed to be a valve issue because his tyre lost air and he had to stop to bomb it (reinflate using a compressed air canister).

“I did sit up and slow the pace when I heard Ty was off the group with a puncture, but as the group got bigger and I realised Ty wasn’t coming back I knew I’d have to contend with more riders as we approached the first single track section

“I was not sure if I was going to ride. I was a bit tired and needed some rest after joBerg2c and I spent the week humming and hawing about doing it. On Saturday I decided to do the race. I had a session on Saturday and felt OK and then had a decision on Sunday to either do a hard ride on my own or go and do the race.

“I didn’t really know what to expect from my body after such a big load of racing heading into a quick fast race like this.

“It was nice to race with Travis. He was very strong and competitive.”

In the women’s race Christie-Leigh Hearder enjoyed a convincing four-minute win over Chloe Bateson with Hayley Smith claiming third.

Saturday’s 18km trail run was a triumph for Sylvester Maindi with Linda Zondi taking second, less than 30 seconds behind the winner, while Sphelele Gumede filled the bottom step on the podium after finishing a minute further back.

The women’s trail run saw Apiwe Gaga secure her first win of the year after three second-place finishes and she has extended her lead in the Quattro ROAG Trail Running Series powered by Momentum. Tarryn Lopez was a surprise in second while the defending series champion, Sarah Gray, finished third.

MTB 45km

Men

1 Andrew Hill 1:15:27

2 Travis Stedman 1:15:28

3 Tyronne White 1:17:08

4 Andrew Johnson 1:17:10

5 Sthembiso Masango 1:17:13

6 Keagan Matthews 1:17:58

7 Mazwi Smimango 1:18:02

8 Jedson Tooms 1:18:17

9 Dean  Van Dyk 1:18:18

10 Daniel Carleton 1:19:02

Women

1 Christie-Leigh Hearder 1:33:23

2 Chloe Bateson 1:37:27

3 Hayley Smith 1:38:18

4 Natalie Bergstrom 1:40:47

5 Frances  Janse Van Rensburg 1:40:57

Trail Run 18km

Men

1 Sylvester Maindi 0:59:36

2 Linda Zondi 1:00:01

3 Sphelele Gumede 1:01:06

4 Thandulxolo Dumobala 1:04:02

5 Joe Maphumelo 1:04:50

Women

1 Apiwe Gaga 1:17:59

2 Tarryn Lopez 1:19:50

3 Sarah Gray 1:20:21

4 Nokukhanya Memela 1:22:51

5 Kylie Keeton 1:23:42

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

Home-town hero going for win number four in Quattro ROAG Series

By: Tim Whitfield

Ballito’s Tyronne White will be hoping to use his home-ground advantage when he aims to keep his unbeaten record intact at the Sugar Rush Classic mountain bike race on Saturday.

The event on the popular Holla Trails routes is the fourth event in the lucrative Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum and White has had a perfect start at the opening three races.

The Sugar Rush Classic is a two-day festival of off-road events with the 16km and 8km trail runs taking place on Saturday afternoon, while the 45km and 19km mountain bike races are on Sunday morning.

White has not been beaten in an individual race this year and his victories include the Illovo Wartburg Classic, Fuel & Gas Kamberg Classic and Husqvarna Mid Illovo Classic — the opening thee events of the series — which gives him a perfect score of 300 points.

White’s closest challenger on the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum log is his DriveTrain Academy teammate Andrew Johnson. Although a distant 111 points behind his training partner, Johnson is sure to be in contention on trails he knows well and rides on a weekly basis.

Their biggest challenger looks likely to come from a pair of young riders. 20 year old Henry Liebenberg has been building some impressive results recently while Travis Stedman is considered to be a star of the future and with his 18 birthday coming up next week he would love nothing better than a senior win as an early birthday present. 23-year-old Keagan Matthews has also been building some form recently and along with Mazwi Shimango and Sthembiso Masango could provide a surprise.

While White has a big lead in the standings he is only two aware that the rules of the series mean there can be big changes in the standings very quickly.

As he said after his win at the Husqvarna Mid Illovo Classic recently: “I could not have hoped for a better start to the series. Three wins from the first three events is a fantastic foundation for the rest of the year, but the nature of this competition is such that somebody can skip the first four races and then win the last six and still claim the overall title.”

In the women’s series things are a lot tighter with Debrah Thomas reaping the rewards of taking part in all three events to hold a 24-point lead over Christie-Leigh Hearder, who won both the opening two events but did not take part in the Husqvarna last month. Nadine Nunes, who skipped the opening event in Wartburg, made use of Hearder’s absence to win in Mid Illovo and is just 50 points behind Thomas in third.

Hearder is favoured for the win this weekend although she could face a strong challenge from Frances Janse van Rensburg, Nunes and Ballito local Natalie Bergstrom who lives on a farm on this weekend’s route.

The Quattro ROAG Trail Runnings Series powered by Momentum sees Mdu Zondi reaping the rewards of consistent finishes with his sixth-, second- and fourth-position finishes in the opening three events giving him a healthy 101 point lead over the three race winners. Zondi has 201 points while Mthobisi Mzolo, 2018 champion Nomore Mandivengerei and Mbhasobhi Gumede are locked in a tie for second on 100 points each after winning Wartburg, Kamberg and the Husqvarna respectively.

The women’s trail running series looks to be developing into a fascinating clash with Apiwe Gaga sitting on the top of the standing with 258 points from three second-place finishes, while Wendy Mills is on 212, and Sarah Gray lurking ominously on 200 points after she won both Kamberg and the Husqvarna.

Current series standings

MTB

Men

1 Tyronne White 300

2 Andrew Johnson 189

3 Warren Price 118

4 Mazwi Smimango 115

4 Dean Van dyk 115

6 Brennan Anderson 107

7 Carl Adendorff 106

8 Luke Chambers 103

9 Jedson Tooms 100

10 Sthembiso Masango 94

Women

1 Debrah Thomas 224

2 Christie-Leigh Hearder 200

3 Nadine Nunes 174

4 Belinda Mason 153

5 Linda Erskine 123

6 Tarryn Morgan 121

7 Ilse Longmore 120

8 Wendy Corkin 119

9 Donna Winter 100

10 Hayley Smith 86

10 Shelley Higgo 86

Trail Run

Men

1 Mdu Zondi 201

2= Mthobisi Mzolo 100

2= Mbhasobhi Gumede 100

2= Nomore Mandivengerei 100

5= Msawenkosi Mtolo 86

5= Dumisani Shabalala 86

7 Grant Humphrey 85

8 Neil Mackenzie 82

9 Craig Houston 79

10= Mthokozisi Chamane 74

10= Innocent Skhumbuzo 74

10= Mzwakhe Khanyile 74

Women

1 Apiwe Gaga 258

2 Wendy Mills 212

3 Sarah Gray 200

4 Patricia Dammann 115

5 Jackie Moore 100

6 Hayley Mackinnon 93

7 Theresa Hohls 88

8 Karen Maiden 80

9 Kirsty Scott 74

10 Anita de Waal 64

Remaining 2019 Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum events

DATE EVENT VENUE
11-12 May Sugar Rush Classic Sugar Rush Park, Ballito
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

White gets it right in four-man sprint at Husqvarna Classic

By: Tim Whitfield

Tyronne White kept his unbeaten record for 2019 intact as he won a tense four-way sprint at the Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge & Trail Run on Sunday.

White has yet to be beaten in a dream year so far in 2019, but he thought his run of success was about to be broken as he was “under pressure” in the 60km race on Sunday before he just managed to edge out Henry Liebenberg, Derrin Smith and Stuart Marais. All four crossed the new finish line at the Gwahumbe Game Lodge and Spa within two seconds of each other.

“Stuart (Marais) and Henry (Liebenberg) went out hard from the start and only four of us managed to stay together,” said White on Sunday after finishing. “Stuart then made it hard on the climb up to the KOM (King of the Mountain) hotspot and I was definitely under pressure there while Derrin (Smith) dropped off.

“Stu won the KOM and then the three of us settled down and we all just kept it steady. Derrin rode back to us. He did really well to come back and from there we rode hard and enjoyed the route. We were all closely matched so it was some good close racing.

“It all came down to the sprint at the finish and that was a bit chaotic. It is a new finish venue and none of us knew the sprint, so we were all going and then easing up and then somebody else would go. I think each one of the four of us led at some point over the last 500m. I was just a bit lucky and managed to be in the right place at the right time as we came round the final turn.

“I came around the last corner in the lead and managed to get the win from Henry and Derrin.”

White finished in a time of two hours 23 minutes and 59 seconds with Liebenberg a second behind and Smith one second further back to claim third on the same time as Marais.

While the men’s race could not have been much tighter, Nadine Nunes was able to cruise home to an eight-minute win over Shelley Higgo in the women’s race. Nunes finished in a time of 3:09:50 with Higgo crossing the line in 3:17:41 while Debrah Thomas ended third, four minutes further back.

In the 18km Farmers Agri-Care Trail Run, Mbhasobhi Gumede managed to beat Msawenkosi Mtolo by just 13 seconds with Innocent Skhumbuzo a mere 11 seconds further back as the top three all finished within half a minute of each other.

After a tight battle for superiority on a fast downhill course, Gumede managed to edge ahead as they approached the finish and crossed the line in 1:06:25 with Mtolo just managing to hold off Skhumbuzo for second.

Sarah Gray was top in the women’s trail run. She finished in 1:16:35 to beat Apiwe Gaga by less than three minutes with Kirsty Scott third.

The start and finish of the Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge & Trail Run was moved to the Gwahumbe Game Lodge and Spa for the first time this year and the riders welcomed the move.

Race winner White was full of praise for both the new finish venue and the route.

“The Gwahumbe Game Lodge is such a nice place to ride,” said White. “The organisers put so much effort into the event and they make it such a nice race. They must have had some difficulty with all the rain over the past weeks but the route was wonderful.

“The amount of work they put in to make the trails so good is incredible. I think all the farmers get together and put in so much work … I think they must all have a competition to see who can build the best trail. They had built berms on just about every turn … the amount of effort they put into the preparation really blew me away.”

Race organiser Shanon MacKenzie was also pleased, and a little relieved, that the new venue was so well received. “We have had such good feedback from everybody. All the competitors seemed to have loved the new start and finish area.

“The feedback we have had about the 40km race was much better than in the past and we have had such good reports from everybody about the new route.

“There was something for everybody at Gwahumbe Game Lodge and Spa. There was a great kids area with a play area and trampolines, and a gin bar and plenty for the adults as well. I think changing it to Gwahumbe was a good thing. It was such a chilled environment.”

For more information, visit www.husqvarnaclassic.co.za

Results

Trail Run

18km

Men

1 Mbhasobhi Gumede 1:06:25

2 Msawenkosi Mtolo 1:06:38

3 Innocent Skhumbuzo 1:06:49

Women

1 Sarah Gray 1:16:35

2 Apiwe Gaga 1:20:07

3 Kirsty Scott 1:22:51

8km

Men

1 Hlelani Radebe 0:31:51

2 Fanele Gumede 0:31:55

3 Innocent Shangase 0:31:57

Women

1 Brigitte Von Buddenbrock 0:46:08

2 Hana Newlands  0:52:37

3 Ruth Gray 0:53:25

MTB

60km

Men

1 Tyronne White 2:23:59

2 Henry Liebenberg 2:24:00

3 Derrin Smith 2:24:01

Women

1 Nadine Nunes 3:09:50

2 Shelley Higgo 3:17:41

3 Debrah Thomas 3:21:07

40km

Men

1 Kusaselihle Ngidi 1:52:04

2 Johandre’ Marx 1:54:22

3 Nkululeko Pewa 1:56:20

Women

1 Euodia Swart 2:39:05

2 Rosemary  Smith 2:39:40

3 Jo-Anne Rogers-White 2:44:18

18km

Men

1 Rupert Taljaard 0:55:42

2 Joshua Johnson 0:55:46

3 Omar Wilson 0:56:30

Women

1 Emily Van Heerden 1:02:20

2 Riley Smith 1:04:20 3 Errin Mackridge 1:09:44