A record-breaking 2019 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League (SSMTBL) finished in grand style this weekend at Wagpos High School in North West with 87 schools competing for the various National SSMTBL Championship titles.
After a day of fiercely contested racing that saw 536 riders from 11 provinces and regions as well as Zambia and Namibia competing in the inter-schools competition, it was Garsfontein High School who walked off with the mixed team trophy logging 730 points. Menlopark High School claimed the girl’s trophy with 450 points and Paul Roos Gimnasium once again secured the boy’s title with 790 points. Second and third positions in the mixed, girls and boys categories went to Drostdy High School (566 points) and Transvalia High School (556 points) followed by Rob Ferreira (411 points) and Midstream College (400 points); Garsfontein High School (740 points) and Outeniqua (465 points) respectively.
The purpose-built Olympic style cross country course at Wagpos High School is more undulating and technical than previous years. Measuring 4,2km with 85m elevation per lap, the first half of the course is tight and technical with two challenging climbs, while the second half and finish area are flatter suiting the power rider. A flow line section with jumps proved very popular with the riders and figure-of-8 design meant that the riders returned to the finish area which was great for spectators.
Inter-Schools Results and 2019 League Winners
- Alec Coleske (DF Malan)- 0:36:43
- Daniel Hahn (St Pauls Namibia) – 0:36:44
- Luke Craig Kavanagh (Curro Hermanus) – 0:37:19
Youth Men 15:
- Bertie Anderson (Magalies Special) – 0:48:47
- Henning Venter (Paul Roos Gimnasium) – 0:49:05
- Vincent Buter (Parel Valley) – 0:49:07
Youth Men 16:
- Ian Else (Garsfontein) – 0:48:26
- Aiden Penfold (Paul Roos Gimnasium) – 0:48:31
- Luca Ruwiel (DF Malan) – 0:48:31
- Matteo Damilano (Reddamhouse Bedford View) – 0:46:57
- Johan van Zyl (HTS Drostdy) – 0:46:24
- Travis Stedman (Thomas More College) – 0:46:24
- Lilian Baber (Hatfield Christian High School) – 0:30:19
- Emily van Heerden (Thomas Moore College) – 0:30:20
- Olivia Penfold (Rhenish High School) – 0:30:26
Youth girls 15:
- Veronique Rossouw (Midstream College) – 0:45:05
- Geane Engelbrecht (Secunda High School) – 0:45:51
- Nicola du Plessis (Menlopark High School) – 0:46:25
Youth girls 16:
- Chante Olivier (Sentraal HS) – 0:26:57
- Bernise van Wyk (Lydenburg HS) – 0:27:34
- Chloe Bateson (Curro Mt Richmore) – 0:28:00
- Zandri Strydom (Rob Ferreira HS) – 0:26:07
- Kira Bohm (Rhenish Girls High) – 0:27:12
- Jone van Eeden (Potchefstroom Gimnasium) – 0:27:26
The SSMTBL finals wrapped up with the inter-provincial championships with all provinces pitching their strengths on the same track hoping to outwit their competitors. The top ten scores per province overall categories were added to determine the winner.
- Gauteng North – 1680 points
- Gauteng South – 1620
- Western Cape – 1530 points
- Limpopo – 1400 points
- Mpumalanga – 1131 points
According to Khakhi Diala, Spur Group Sponsorship & Events Manager, the 2019 SSMTL final was a perfect culmination of a super exciting season. “Spur honors family and togetherness and it was rewarding to see the camaraderie amongst the riders and families enjoying the bike village. As a founding sponsor of the League, Spur is invested in grass roots cycling in South Africa and it was good to see Soweto MTB Club, Tilelo High School, Go-Durban, KZN Development Trust and Tshwane Urban Riders team members at the finals as part of our development program,” concluded Diala.
Governing body Schools Cycling South Africa (SCSA) acknowledged the top riders and officials at the event awarding Matteo Damilano (Reddamhouse Bedford View) and Zandri Strydom (Rob Ferreira HS) as men’s and ladies’ Junior Riders of the Year, while Deon Steyn received the Exceptional Service Award. In addition Provincial Awards were allocated based on the following criteria: Provincial structures in place, training of team managers and coaches, social media activations, schools database, skills training, inter-schools activities and growth in terms of numbers. The category winners were: Limpopo – Administrator of the Year; Gauteng South – Upcoming Province of the Year with Western Province clinching the award as Province of the Year.