An early crash ruled overnight leaders Team TIB out of contention on the final stage of the 2017 dusi2c mountain bike race and opened the door for the RMB Change a Life team of Ndumiso Dontso and Mboneni Ngcobo to held their nerve in a tense three team duel and claim a memorable title on Sunday.
The the race was over for Team TIB within the first 10km as Henry Liebenberg hit a rut after he tried to avoid a snake and had a serious fall. Unfortunately for him and four-time champion partner Andrew Hill they could not continue as the abdominal injury to Liebenberg was too severe.
Despite taking the overall lead early in the 60km final stage, the Change a Life 1 pair of Dontso and Ngcobo had a lot of pressure on them from the Think 360 duo of Brennan Anderson and Jason Davies, who were just under two minutes behind them.
It was another solid day of racing from the Think 360 pair who showed some fine form and finished second overall.
Also in the leading pack of riders was the ever-dangerous Bluff Meat Supply duo of Trevor Rowe and Warren Price. The veteran pair have historically been strong on the second stage of the dusi2c and this year was no different as they claimed the stage win after a bunch sprint, but it was not enough to deny Martin Dreyer’s charges the memorable win.
“We know that we are usually stronger than the Change a Life guys on the final stage but they were full value today,” Rowe said.
“When we get on the tar we are a bit heavier so have a bit more power than them and there are quite a few flat, smooth sections on the stage so we knew that if we hung in through the single track then we had a chance.
“It’s great to get another podium but it’s very bitter sweet when you get on the box after a team has to pull out with an injury.”
The highlight of the day’s action was undoubtedly the result of Martin Dreyer’s charges as they showed how much they have improved to take a historic first dusi2c title.
“It’s such an incredible feeling for me and I just want to thank my partner Mboneni (Ngcobo),” Dontso said after their win.
“He was so strong for two days and I really don’t have words at the moment, I’m just so happy about this win!
“I want to thank Farmer Glen for hosting a race in the valley that is so close to home for us,” a grateful Dontso added.
The pair were never out of the woods as the chasing pairs were putting them under pressure throughout the stage, however they were able remain calm and composed and consolidate their lead to take a famous victory.
“To get a win in a race that goes through our backyard is really special,” Ngcobo commented.
“I have been trying to win this race for four years and so to finally be able to say I am a winner is incredible.
“There was so much support for us through the valley on both days and to get a win for them and for the rest of our supporters and team is a great feeling.”
Speaking after the race Team TIB’s Andrew Hill was very diplomatic in the assessment of Sunday’s events.
“I was on the front and Henry was just behind me when he veered off the track after a snake had turned towards him and he rode into a rut and fell really hard.
“Even if Henry was fine to continue his bike was trashed so we wouldn’t have been able to finish the race. These things happen in racing.
I’m happy for Mboneni and Ndumiso, they raced really well and deserved the win today.”
The mixed category was a one-sided affair as the Coach Pupil team of Wesley and Candice Parker-Dennison continued their dominance of the category when they powered to another stage victory on Sunday. Their ride was so impressive that the pair managed to ride their way into tenth overall.
Second and third in the mixed category remained the same with the Bigg Brown duo of Craig Carter-Brown and Susan Machpesh finishing in second and Team Expresso’s Emma Pons and Grant Johl claiming third.
The ladies race saw Drop off Daisies’ Rialette Kruger and Sarah Matcher continue their dominance to claim the overall title, however behind them there was a shake up with the Wandering Wheel’s pair of Liz Botha and Marlene Conradie falling off the podium completely.
In second place in the ladies race overnight was the Rolling Thunder team of Esther Venter Ferreira/Natasha Jansen van Vuuren, but in an inspired ride the FC Girls combination of Sarah van Eeden and Mandy Joyce came out of relative obscurity to leapfrog them into the runner-up spot.
More information can be found at www.dusi2c.co.za
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – 2017 dusi2c Stage Two
1.RMB Change a Life 1 (Ndumiso Dontso/Mboneni Ngcobo) 2:17:35 4:48:13
2.Think 360 (Brennan Anderson/Jason Davies) 2:17:47 4:49:56
3.Bluff Meat Supply (Warren Price/Trevor Rowe) 2:17:31 4:50:37
4.RMB Change a Life 2 (Bongumusa Zikhali/Sipho Kupiso) 2:25:19 4:59:12
5.RMB Change a Life 3 (Mazwi Smimango/Scelo Mhlongo) 2:48:06 5:31:10
6.Justdale (Justin Lange/Douglas Drysdale) 2:35:59 5:37:32
7.Mflua Store 4 (Sihle Mathe/Kusaseline Ngidi) 2:38:43 5:40:04
8.Mfula Store 1 (Nkululeko Pewa/Bongukkuphiwa Ndlovu) 2:48:20 5:45:35
9.HIDDENHUNGER (Sean Henderson/Russell White) 2:42:32 5:48:24
10.Coach Pupil (Wesley Parker-Dennison/Hayley Parker-Dennison) 2:47:41 5:49:39
1.Coach Pupil (Wesley Parker-Dennison/Candice Parker-Dennison) 5:49:39
2.Bigg Brown (Craig Carter-Brown/Susan Machpesh) 6:21:39
3.Team Expresso (Emma Pons/Grant Johl) 6:58:04
1.Drop off Daisies (Rialette Kruger/Sarah Matcher) 7:58:22
2.FC Girls (Sarah van Eeden/Mandy Joyce) 8:06:32
3.Rolling Thunder (Esther Venter Ferreira/Natasha Jansen van Vuuren) 8:19:24
Source: Gameplan Media