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Race Report: Round 1 of the 2020 KwaZulu-Natal Gravity Series - Pietermaritzburg

Feb 18, 2020
by KZN GRAVITY  

The first race of the 2020 KwaZulu-Natal Gravity Calendar took place over the weekend of the 15th and 16th of February at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg. The event formed the first KZN Regional Round sponsored once again by Greg Minnaar Cycles.

A wet midweek had riders preparing themselves for a nail-biting slip and slide, but the baking summer sun came out to play, leading to a sweltering 37 degrees by mid-race which pushed all 130 riders to their max.

This did not deter from some heated racing however with Stage 2 of the 5 stage Enduro Round 1 using sections of the iconic 2013 World Championships track. Stage 1 from last year was used again this year, filled with fantastic flowing berms, this year the state was extended with more flow factor added.



Stage 3 challenged riders with it’s steep and sharp corners, which the midweek rain had rutted, and riders were forced to seek new lines to keep the pace going. Stage 4 and Stage 5 which wrapped up the race for both the Lite and Full version wound through trees, small rocky sections, and provided a great opportunity for the race snakes to make up some valuable time with their less technical makeup.

Gap jumping the A-line on stage 1 was the way to go if you had your eyes on the prize


Craig Scott pushing hard in the last stage which earned him the 1st Veteran title.

This year also saw the first official E-Bike Enduro class, with riders leaving 30 minutes after the pack. The chase was on, and once the dust had settled Cayle Dormehl who took the win in a time of 15m27s in a class of 6 riders.

Prizegiving was held at GM Cycles, Greg Minnaars bike shop, on the deck at The Two Wheel Inn, where the service was good and the beers were cold.




KEIRA DUNCAN 13:55 SHARJAH JONSSON 14:07 LUKE DINKEL 14:08


SABINE THIES 16:57. JULIA KOTZE 17:41 ANVIA BREDENKAMP 21:40


DOWNHILL

As is customary with the Greg Minnaar Cycles Gravity Series, the Downhill followed on the Sunday, with the riders having to negotiate a very different top of the Pietermaritzburg World Cup Downhill track. Gone were the hard pack trails used for the previous events, and in their place were countless loamy, loose flat corners that snaked their way down to the signature Cloud 9, Dr Evil and Tables.
The new kid on the block was the tail end of the trail, with dips and ups, this new rollercoaster section had everyone on their toes.
This new track mix up yielded some interesting results overall forcing riders to make use of their entire skillset to make it to the bottom rubber side down.

From Sprogs to Elites, the new track sections threw in a new dynamic that challenged even the most seasoned riders.

Hometown hero and GMC rider Sharjah Jonsson putting it down hard and using the weekends riding as some training for his EWS racing this year.

Para-Athelete Chris Hearn showing them all how it's done on his first ever Downhill Race, hailing from BMX, this Top 10 in class BMX hero who lost his lower leg to a MX accident place an outstanding 3rd in the Sub Vet category.

The womens Juniors star of SA Gravity Sabine Thies looked as graceful as her runs in her Championship jersey, making it known by her performance that she intends to hold onto it this year.

Prize Giving was once again held on the GMC compound, and we had the Two Wheel Inn spinning as the days top performers were honored.


World travelers made the most of their experience, and tied up a 1 2 3 for Cullen McMaster, Connor Finnis and Sharjah Jonsson

The roses amongst the thorns, Sabine Thies and Anvia Breedenkamp taking the womens overall 1st and 2nd respectively.


RESULTS - ENDURO:


ELITES / OVERALL
KEIRA DUNCAN 13:55
SHARJAH JONSSON 14:07
LUKE DINKEL 14:08

JUNIORS
MATTHEW MCCLEARY 15:08
SHAUN CHARLTON. 15:28
RORY KIRK 15:44

RESULTS - DH:

ELITES / OVERALL
CULLEN MCMASTER 3:26.00
CONNOR FINNIS 3:27.42
SHARJAH JONSSON 3:29.20


JUNIOR - MENS
KEAGAN BRAND 3:47.30
ROSS KEW 3:48.06
NATE TANNER HALL 3:48.10

JUNIOR WOMENS
SABINE THIES 4:30.89

KZN Gravity Commission would like to thank all their sponsors for the 2020 Season



Full Results for the event can be found at www.elitetiming.co.za
http://www.elitetiming.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/KZN-Downhill-1.xlsx
http://www.elitetiming.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/KZN-Enduro-1.xlsx


5 Comments

  • 2 0
 Nice write up KZN Gravity...
  • 1 0
 Awesome weekend of racing! Well done guys and girls.
  • 1 0
 Yeah. It's so sick that this made it to Pinkbike.
  • 2 0
 Makes it to the front page quite often. It's good stuff.
  • 1 0
 Cool!

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