First XCO Cup formed part of UCI Junior World XCO Series

The country welcomed a host of local and international riders to the first 2017 LOAD National MTB XCO Series event, which took place at Rhebokskloof Wine Estate in Paarl on Saturday 25 February. The Western Cape winds made sure to give riders more than what they had bargained for compared to an already challenging cross-country race. Both Elite Men and Women’s titles went to international racing heroes Samuel Gaze and Kathrin Stirnermann respectively.

The event also formed part of the UCI Junior World XCO Series, which saw KwaZulu-Natal’s Tiffany Keep finish as the first Junior Woman to cross the finish line. Keep finished ahead of second placed France’s Isaure Medde and third placed Danielle Strydom. In the Junior Men’s race, Germany’s Pirmin Sigel – who races for the Bulls junior feeder team – took the top honours in 01.11.22 with Johann Trotzky – new to racing on the national circuit – finishing a very close second (01.11.55) and Nico Zünd, third (01.13.16).

Blustering winds swept through the race village in the earlier part of the morning, which subsided by the time the racing began in a very hot and dusty Paarl. The field was by far the biggest entry at a National Cross-country Cup race in the past 12-13 years – not only the biggest in terms of numbers, but also the strongest field compared to any previous race with 34 of the international entries hailing from 14 countries. There were 288 riders who lined up to start in their various categories, with an impressive showing in the Youth and Junior Men categories as well, with no less than 40 riders in each category alone!

Current under-23 World Champion and u-23 New Zealand National Champion, Samuel Gaze, took the honours in the Elite Men’s race. He completed the seven laps in a time of one hour 29 minutes and 40 seconds with Swiss riders Mathias Flückiger and Nicola Rohrbach finishing in second and third places in 01.30.33 and 01.30.34 respectively. The first South African rider home was Alan Hatherly, who crossed the line in fifth place in 01.31.53.

The winner of the Elite Women’s race was Swiss mountain biker, Kathrin Stirnemann (Haibike Otzak Pro Team), who mentioned on social media that her win was a great way to start the 2017 racing season. Stirnemann completed the five laps in a time of 01.16.21. British National Champion Annie Last finished second (01.17.35) and South African Cherie Redecker crossed the line third (01.18.05).

The second round of the 2017 LOAD National MTB XCO Series takes place in Tshwane on Saturday 15 April.

Summary of Results for the 2017 LOAD National MTB XCO Series #1 (25 February)

Elite Men – 7 laps

  1. Samuel Gaze 01.29.40
  2. Mathias Flückiger 01.30.33
  3. Nicola Rohrbach 01.30.34

Elite Women – 5 laps

  1. Kathrin Stirnemann 01.16.21
  2. Annie Last 01.17.35
  3. Cherie Redecker 01.18.05

Junior Men – 5 laps

  1. Pirmin Sigel 01.11.22
  2. Johann Trotzky 01.11.55
  3. Nico Zünd 01.13.16

Junior Women – 4 laps

  1. Tiffany Keep 01.08.10
  2. Isaure Medde 01.09.50
  3. Danielle Strydom 01.12.01

Sub Vets Men – 5 laps

  1. Neill Ungerer 01.17.14
  2. Charles Mcfall 01.18.31
  3. Tristan Sandwith 01.18.52

Sub Vet Women – 4 laps

  1. Kylie Hanekom 01.20.44
  2. Leorine De Wet 01.23.21
  3. Belinda Mason 01.26.54

Vets Men – 5 laps

  1. Nico Pfitzenmaier 01.13.46
  2. Nic Lamond 01.15.20
  3. Mark Moir 01.19.08

Master Men – 4 laps

  1. Jimmy Mills 01.09.43
  2. Bob Schuiling 01.09.54
  3. Charles Young 01.19.37

Youth Men – 5 laps

  1. Luke Moir 01.11.37
  2. Jamie Penfold 01.13.42
  3. Evan Louw 01.15.35

Youth Women – 3 laps

  1. Zandri Strydom 00.55.00
  2. Stéfke Tolmay 00.59.21
  3. Julia Marx 01.02.03

Sub Junior Boys – 4 laps

  1. Luca Ruwiel 01.05.43
  2. Justin Chesterton 01.09.10
  3. Marcell Swartz 01.09.47

Sub Junior Girls – 2 laps

  1. Chante Olivier 00.36.57
  2. Chloe Bateson 00.37.50
  3. Kayleigh Scholtz 00.41.37

Sprog Boys – 4 laps

  1. Alec Coleske 00.39.15
  2. Hendre De Villiers 00.40.40
  3. Ernest Roets 00.42.19

Sprog Girls – 3 laps

  1. Olivia Penfold 00.35.35
  2. Amelie Owens 00.41.21
  3. Hayley Richards 00.42.46

Nipper Boys – 3 laps

  1. Luca Zietsman 00.32.56
  2. Robert Nieuwenhuizen 00.33.13
  3. Alessandro Fanicchi 00.33.27

Nipper Girls – 2 laps

  1. Hannah Elliott 00.25.15
  2. Chloe Chesterton 00.28.18
  3. Mieke Van der Merwe 00.31.09

 

 

Photo: DoubleST