It was a successful debut at the Sappi Scottburgh MTB and Trail Run weekend for Stuart Marais who won the coveted 40km marathon title while South Coast local Hayley Smith won the women’s race on Sunday. With crucial Quattro ROAG Series, powered by Momentum, points on the line, the Imbuko {Type} DEV rider knew it was going to be important that he rode well and he did, despite a few mishaps during the race.

Marais (pictured above) battled with his bearings which made his race more difficult however he showed his class to fight back and win the overall title by over a minute.

“There were two of us that got away early and then we took a major wrong turn,” Marais said after his win. “The marshal told us to rejoin the course and when we got back on track we were miles behind.

South Coast born-and-bred star Hayley Smith took home the women’s 40km crown at the Sappi Scottburgh MTB and Trail Run Weekend on Sunday. | Photo: Rogan Ward/Gameplan Media

“Eventually we caught the rest of the guys and were with them for a while before I managed to get away for a bit, then I took another wrong turn so the guys caught up with me. Then on one of the last climbs I managed to get ahead and then it was just me into the finish.”

Despite the mistakes along the route, Marais was full of praise for the trails that were prepared for this year’s event.

“The route was awesome and the trails around here are amazing! I should really come and ride here more often.”

Young Omar Wilson finished in second place behind Marais while Keegan Tullis rounded out the podium positions.

The women’s race was very one-sided with the South Coast-raised Hayley Smith proving that she knows the conditions and the track better than anyone else to claim the women’s honours.

One of the highlights of the MTB event is riding across the lagoon at the Scottburgh Main Beach during the Sappi Scottburgh MTB and Trail Run Weekend on Sunday. | Photo: Rogan Ward/Gameplan Media

Smith was over five minutes quicker around the 40km route than second placed Errin Mackridge while Jodi Mackinnon rounded out the podium places.

Echoing what Marais said, Smith was full of praise for the trail builders but also mentioned how her race plan panned out flawlessly.

“It was a really awesome day out and the trails were amazing,” Smith said. “I pushed from the word go and got ahead and then just managed my pace the whole way through to the end. I just went as hard as I could so I didn’t see any of the other girls.”

Having ridden in the Scottburgh MTB event on a number of occasions, Smith knew that her local knowledge would prove crucial in the race.

“I have ridden these trails a lot and done this race a lot which helps me and it’s an event that I always look forward to. When I can get down here from Durban I love to ride these trails and they were fantastic this year.”

The shorter 20km race was well supported and it was the youngster Joshua Paul who produced the fastest time winning in just over one hour. He ended ahead of another youngster Maddison Bateson who was a minute behind Paul to take second. She finished 25 seconds ahead of Cameron Mackridge in third place. Tayla-May Smale was the second female across the line behind Bateson while Runé van Zyl ended in third place.

The riders set off across the Scottburgh Main Beach during the Sappi Scottburgh MTB and Trail Run Weekend on Sunday. | Photo: Rogan Ward/Gameplan Media

SUMMARY OF RESULTS – Sappi Scottburgh MTB and Trail Running Weekend

40km Overall
1. Stuart Marais 1:52:42
2. Omar Wilson 1:53:55
3. Keegan Tullis 1:53:59
4. Brent Yelland 1:54:12
5. Tayne Drew Rudling 2:00:45
6. Jason Davies 2:02:00
7. Connor Steytler 2:02:50
8. Lindokuhle Ngubo 2:03:08
9. Nkululeko Pewa 2:03:42
10. Sthembiso Masango 2:04:21

1. Hayley Smith 2:10:36
2. Errin Mackridge 2:15:44
3. Jodi Mackinnon 2:17:18
4. Sanchia Malan 2:23:27
5. Christie-Leigh van Eeden 2:23:28

20km Overall
1. Joshua Paul 1:00:05
2. Madison Bateson 1:01:04
3. Cameron Mackridge 1:01:30
4. Luke Braedon Pretorius 1:06:16
5. Christopher Mason 1:08:31
6. Jarrett Pech 1:12:12
7. Carl Storm 1:13:48
8. Tony Perry 1:14:28
9. Stephen Pech 1:14:43
10. Sean Johnson 1:15:43

1. Madison Bateson 1:01:04
2. Tayla-May Smale 1:16:31
3. Runé van Zyl 1:18:18
4. Sophie Bircher 1:20:32
5. Wendy Corkin 1:22:46

Source: Gameplan Media