The Nissan TrailSeeker Diamond Rush took place in Cullinan on 4 November. The event is an old favourite in the Gauteng Series, and drew close to 3000 adventure-seekers.
With many of the seasoned campaigners racing elsewhere and taking their season’s break, it was a race of first-time victories and podium finishes.
Declan Sidey stepped into the spotlight when he snatched up the men’s elite title and walked away with his first Nissan TrailSeeker win this year. It was a defining moment for the Kavuki Investment’s rider, who had planned to retire from his cycling career after the Diamond Rush event.
A few days before the race, however, he was offered an unexpected professional contact for 2018 that sent him off the startline on Saturday morning with a new purpose and revived sense of confidence.
It is no surprise then that he walked away from Cullinan victorious: “Until Thursday I thought this would be my last race as a professional. To have won the event is just confirmation that there are bigger and better things in store next season,” said an elated Sidey.
Shaun-Nick Bester crossed the finish line less than a minute behind Sidey. The 2017 season has not been easy for Bester, who has had many curve balls to deal with like crashes, illnesses and injuries.
He has remained positive, however, and proved his determination as he finished the event in second.
Jan Monshioa was the third man to step onto the podium, a first time achievement in the rider’s cycling career:
“I’ve done a lot of road races and wanted to try something different. This is the first time I’ve achieved something like this, and I am very proud to take my place on the podium,” said Monshioa.
A similar story unfolded in the women’s elite category. Johandri Leicester crossed the finish line first, which is a maiden Nissan TrailSeeker victory for the rider this season.
“Although the leading women weren’t riding, it was by no means an easy race. I didn’t have any expectations coming into this event and thought I’d just do it for the exercise,” said an exhausted Leicester.
Commenting on her strengths that lead to a well-deserved victory, she added, “I love technical riding, so I really enjoyed getting to the lava section and taking on that rough terrain.”
She was followed by Monica Glover in second and Cindy Porobich in third.
As the popular series ends on a high, Porobich concludes, “This is definitely one of my favourite mountain bike series, the routes never fail to surprise me. To take a top spot in the Nissan TrailSeeker is really something special.”
More results can be found at http://advendurance.com/