Wednesday , 20 January 2021

 

MEN SHINE AT RAINBOW CHALLENGE

 

Pietermaritzburg – Saturday’s Rainbow Challenge got the weekend’s UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships action underway at Cascades MTB Park as a large contingent of South Africans were joined by a score of foreigners for the slippery and muddy affair.

Staged on a similar route to that which the globe’s best marathoners will be faced with on Sunday in the elite clash, the 30 year old or older competitors took to the trails of Pietermaritzburg and surrounds in search of victory in their age group.

The hotly contested men’s 30-34 and 35-39 age groups set off together and after suffering various thrills and spills throughout the 70km clash, it was national 35-39 champion Brand du Plessis who crossed the finish line first.

“I am very thrilled to have won!” said du Plessis. “It was very muddy out there and very slippery but I managed to make it home without any serious clashes and so I’m very happy!”

Brand du Plessis claimed victory in the men's 35-39 category of Saturday's Rainbow Challenge in Pietermaritzburg as he posted the fastest time of the day. Photo: Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media

Brand du Plessis claimed victory in the men’s 35-39 category of Saturday’s Rainbow Challenge in Pietermaritzburg as he posted the fastest time of the day.
Photo: Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media

 

Jan Withaar, who clinched silver in the men’s 30-34 clash of last year’s Masters Cross Country World Championships, had spent much of the encounter out in front with du Plessis however a crash two-thirds of the way into the race saw him fall off the pace slightly and so instead he turned his attention solely onto the men’s 30-34 victory.

“Brand (du Plessis) and I had said at the beginning that if the other guys joined us then we’d probably look to work together to get away and that it would be pretty cool if we, both SA Champs in our age group, could finish together,” explained Withaar.

“I came off the bike with about 30km to go though in the first really slippery section and I damaged my bike a bit so I had to let Brand go.

“I tried hard to close the gap after that but I’m still just happy to have got the win even though I’d hoped there would have been a few more foreigners here this year just as there were for last year’s cross country Worlds,” he added.

Jan Withaar overcame the mud and slippery conditions en route to victory in the men's 30-34 race of the Rainbow Challenge in Pietermaritzburg. Photo: Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media

Jan Withaar overcame the mud and slippery conditions en route to victory in the men’s 30-34 race of the Rainbow Challenge in Pietermaritzburg.
Photo: Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media

 

The large men’s 40-44 field raced off half an hour after their younger compatriots and after South African marathon champ Johan Labuschagne had to withdraw, it was Andy Davies who crossed the line first while Arno Daehnke claimed the men’s 45-49 title.

The men’s 50-54 race was fiercely contested and it was widely known cycling analysis and TV personality Andrew Mclean who eventually came home to claim the spoils as he posted the third fastest time of the day overall, just two minutes behind overall winner du Plessis and 13 seconds after Withaar.

Mclean was followed home by men’s 50-54 Swedish national champ Atle Hansen while Poland’s Jacek Brzozka added further to the international presence on the podium by finishing third.

Greg Anderson won the men’s 55-59 category before Linus van Onselen added to his masters cross-country world title he clinched at Cascades last year when he powered to victory in men’s 60-64 race, contested over a shortened but no less difficult 50km route, while Sandy Rae won the men’s 60-64 encounter.

Werner Moolman used local knowledge of the course to his advantage as he cruised to victory in the men's 40-44 race of Saturday's Rainbow Challenge in Pietermaritzburg. Photo: Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media

Werner Moolman used local knowledge of the course to his advantage as he cruised to victory in the men’s 40-44 race of Saturday’s Rainbow Challenge in Pietermaritzburg.
Photo: Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media

 

James van Rensburg and Craig Ridgard may not have been at the front of the field however the efforts by the two turned many heads and served as inspiration for all who competed and supported the event alike as the pair tackled the tough 50km course despite their disabilities.

Van Rensburg was the first para-cyclist across the line and, understandably, was thrilled with his effort. “I’m over the moon, it is a dream come true for me!” said van Rensburg.

“I’ve always wanted to take part in a Mountain Bike World Championships and I think this is now the beginning for para-cycling to become bigger and bigger, especially in mountain biking!”

“I’ve competed in the Road World Champs in Italy before but for me, this is even more special than that. My smile will stay on my face for weeks!”

Despite only having 10 percent function in his left arm, van Rensburg was determined to take advantage of the rare opportunity the event represented for para-cyclists to compete on a such a prestigious stage.

“It’s the same for myself and the able body riders, we all have to pedal with two legs and just hold on as best we can along the way,” chuckled van Rensburg.

Riders jostled for early position as they looked to assert their dominance at the inaugural Rainbow Challenge in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday. Photo: Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media

Riders jostled for early position as they looked to assert their dominance at the inaugural Rainbow Challenge in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.
Photo: Darren Goddard/ Gameplan Media

 

SUMMARY OF RESULTS

2014 RAINBOW CHALLENGE

SUMMARY OF RESULTS – 2014 RAINBOW CHALLENGE

Men 30-34 (70km)
1.Jan Withaar 3:54.39
2.Tyronne White 4:01.49
3.Craig Stone 4:06.04
4.Derrin Smith 4:10.00
5.Dion Froneman 4:10.34

Men 35-39 (70km)
1.Brand du Plessis 3:52.52
2.Grant Usher 4:03.29
3.David Cooke 4:12.41
4.Warren Price 4:14.13
5.Hennie Kriek 4:15.01

Men 40-44 (70km)
1.Werner Moolman 4:01.12
2.Andy Davies 4:16.31
3.Leon Erasmus 4:19.09
4.Lance Chapman 4:19.10
5.Dirk Barnard 4:22.24

Men 45-49 (70km)
1.Arno Daehnke 4:08.47
2.Bruce Diesel 4:09.08
3.Jeremy Thomson 4:11.57
4.Robert Sim 4:12.52
5.Petrus Swiegers 4:15.05

Men 50-54 (70km)
1.Andrew Mclean 3:54.52
2.Atle Hansen (SWE) 4:04.55
3.Jacek Brzozka (POL) 4:08.55
4.Doug Brown 4:10.16
5.William Wertheim-Aymes 4:28.22

Men 55-59
1.Greg Anderson 4:07.30
2.Paul Furbank 4:15.46
2.Norman Boy 4:26.16
3.Jimmy Redman 4:30.48
4.Kim Phillips 4:31.30

Men 60-64 (50km)
1.Linus van Onselen 3:04.56
2.Kjell Friberg 3:17.33
3.Cobus Slabbert 3:47.26
4.Sandy Kelly 3:47.46
5.John Becker 3:53.15

Men 65+ (50km)
1.Sandy Rae 3:38.29
2.Bruce Williams 4:00.57
3.Bruce Hansen 4:19.05
4.Tony Howe 4:31.31
5.Colin Mercer 5:24.51

Men Para
1.James van Rensburg 3:29.52
2.Craig Ridgard 4:16.51

 

Source: Gameplan Media

MEN SHINE AT RAINBOW CHALLENGE Reviewed by on .   Pietermaritzburg – Saturday’s Rainbow Challenge got the weekend’s UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships action underway at Cascades MTB Park as   Pietermaritzburg – Saturday’s Rainbow Challenge got the weekend’s UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships action underway at Cascades MTB Park as Rating: 0

scroll to top
css.php