The Toyota Supercycling Club confirmed its status as South Africa’s leading cycling club when it collected a total of seven gold and two silver medals at the South African Marathon Mountain Bike Championships, held in Pietermaritzburg at the weekend.
The marathon discipline is South Africa’s most popular mountain bike racing discipline, attracting thousands of riders to events around the country virtually every weekend of the year. The annual national championships attract strong fields across the Elite, Junior and age group divisions.
With the 2014 UCI Marathon World Championships being held in Pietermaritzburg on 28 and 29 June, there was increased attraction to compete in the national championships, which were held on the same course, giving local riders a taste of what to expect at the upcoming global showpiece.
The Toyota Supercycling Club was well represented at the event, which took riders on a gruelling 70km route with over 2000 metres of vertical ascent to and from the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg, via Hilton.
Toyota Supercycling’s Robyn de Groot, racing in the colours of the Biogen Toyota professional team, bagged the club’s most prestigious gold medal when she successfully retained her South African Elite Women’s title, beating her nearest rival by over nine minutes.
Yolande de Villiers was the only other Toyota Supercycling female member to secure a podium place, grabbing the Veteran women’s 40-44 year gold medal with an impressive fifth place finish overall in the women’s event.
As has become almost customary, the Age Group Men’s categories saw a dominance by Toyota Supercycling members. In fact, Toyota Supercycling members took gold medals in all five men’s age groups from 40–64 years.
Johan Labuschagne (40-44), Bruce Diesel (45-49), Andrew McLean (50-54), Paul Furbank (55-59) and Gerry de Boer (60-64) all won their category national titles. McLean (seventh) and Diesel (ninth) were most notable, finishing in the top 10 overall in a field of 105 finishers.
The club’s two silver medals were earned by Liam de Klerk in the Youth Boys division and Greg Anderson in the Master men 55-59 category.
“We’re very proud of the Toyota Supercycling Club. This was an extremely challenging course and to show such dominance in the country’s most popular cycling discipline speaks volumes for the depth of talent and the commitment of our club members,” said Andrew McLean, club co-founder.
“But it’s not only one event where our club’s success can be measured. The consistency with which our members achieve podium positions throughout the year is unmatched in this country. This is thanks to the relentless support of our main sponsors, Toyota, Supercycling and Cycle Lab and all of our loyal support sponsors as well as our highly proactive and energetic club members,” added McLean.
Toyota Supercycling Club South Africa Marathon Championships 2014 medallists:
Elite Women: Robyn de Groot (gold)
Veteran Women 40-44 years: Yolande de Villiers (gold)
Youth Boys: Liam de Klerk (silver)
Veteran Men 40-44 years: Johan Labuschagne (gold)
Veteran Men 45-49 years: Bruce Diesel (gold)
Veteran Men 50-54 years: Andrew McLean (gold)
Veteran Men 55-59 years: Paul Furbank (gold); Greg Anderson (silver)
Veteran Men 60-64 years: Gerry de Boer (gold)
Source: Release Centre