The ninth edition of Sappi Scottburgh MTB Race once again lived up to its reputation of being raw and untamed as Andrew Hill and pre-race favourite Bianca Haw took home the titles on Sunday.
It was exciting racing all the way to the finish with Hill and former riding partner Tyronne White fighting it out for the top spot with Andrew Hill winning a helter-skelter end sprint.
After some torrential rain midweek, race organizer Flavio Scarpa worked tirelessly to produce a top quality track and winner Hill appreciated Scarpa’s efforts.
“Flavio always puts in a huge amount of effort in the build up to the race,” Team TIB’s Hill mentioned.
“It was muddy in the single track and on the cane roads but besides for that it was an awesome race.
“A lot of the local community get behind and support this race. There are a lot of passionate mountain bikers in this area who put a lot of their time into track building and showcasing what they have to offer.”
With Hill’s victory came a piece of Scottburgh MTB history as he became the first rider to defend his title at the event.
“It is an honour to have been able to win this race two years in a row and to have my name on a trophy that has Burry Stander’s name on it is an even greater privilege.
“As a mountain biker we need to get down here and support races like this more often.”
Following Hill home was Tyronne White who finished second ahead of Jedson Toomes in third place just ahead of Sean Merredew with Hendrik Bester rounding out the top five.
Having made a return to Scottburgh after a number of years away from the race, 2011 winner Bianca Haw became the third women to notch up two Scottburgh MTB wins.
It was a dominant display from the Red Bull athlete who commanded the race the whole way and finished ten minutes ahead of second placed Hayley Smith.
“It was so muddy, it looked like they had 200 mills of rain!
“Well done to the organisers and Flav (Scarpa) for making the necessary changes after the rain that they had this week.
“He did really well in making little gullies where the cane roads had been washed away.
“I am really glad to be back here and I am happy with the way things went for me today,” Haw added.
Haw’s next major challenge is the UCI MTB XCO World Championships in Australia next month and with her winning two weeks in a row, first at the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge and then here, she is in good form as she prepares to jet off Down Under.
Hayley Smith has been dominated the South Coast MTB Series but Haw’s presence gave Smith more of a challenge and unfortunately for the South Coast resident she had to settle for second ahead of Desiree Chantal Verwey in third with Brenda Potts and Nataschka Mowat rounding out the top five.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – 2017 SAPPI SCOTTBURGH MTB RACE
Overall – 45km Marathon
1.Andrew Hill 1:45:44
2.Tyronne White 1:45:45
3.Jedson Tooms 1:47:34
4.Sean Merredew 1:47:52
5.Hendrik Bester 1:48:02
6.Bryan Powell 1:48:07
7.Brennan Anderson 1:50:01
8.Andrew Houston 1:54:10
9.Bianca Haw 1:54:38
10.Jeremy Thomson 1:54:49
1.Bianca Haw 1:54:38
2.Hayley Smith 2:04:44
3.Desiree Chantal Verwey 2:12:00
4.Brenda Potts 2:16:28
5.Nataschka Mowat 2:16:59
Overall – 20km Half Marathon
1.Matthew Opperman 1:20:48
2.Nicholas de Bruin 1:22:34
3.Chloe Bateson 1:22:40
4.Brent Richter 1:22:47
5.Leonard Robberts 1:29:06
6.Clinton Bullard 1:32:18
7.Sean Dunbar 1:34:56
8.Brad Viljoen 1:37:46
9.Lehan Niehaus 1:38:27
10.Lindsay Weir 1:38:30
1.Chloe Bateson 1:22:40
2.Anesca Swart 1:44:36
3.Natasha Viljoen 1:57:46
Source: Gameplan Media