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Race Report: The Greg Minnaar Cycles KZN Regional Championships Come to a Head in Pietermaritzburg

Jul 23, 2019
by Nigel Hicks  

The final race of the 2019 KwaZulu-Natal Gravity Calendar took place over the weekend of the 20th and 21st of July at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg. The event formed the KZN Regional Championships sponsored once again by Greg Minnaar Cycles. A prolonged dry winter made for dusty and loose trails, in stark contrast to the mudbath that occurred at the same venue for Round 1 of the Series earlier in the year.

Enduro

A crisp morning greeted the 104 Enduro riders on Saturday morning with low hanging mist and frost keeping the winter temperatures in the single digits. This did not deter from some heated racing however with Stage 1 of the 5 stage Enduro Championships beginning in the iconic 2013 World Championships start gate. Stage 1 was long and steep, filled with natural rooty and rocky goodness. Stage 2 needed a total change in tactics with a 5 minute flow trail filled to the brim with berms and jumps. Stages 3 and 4 were new to the racers, linking existing trails in the lower section of the bike park. Stage 5 was a fitting end to the season, using the full 2012 FourCross World Cup track to bring the riders home into the finish arena.

Rocky goodness in the morning mist

A first for the Enduro guys, a World Cup start house.

Sam Bull of Pietermaritzburg took the title of KZN Enduro Champ in the Elite mens class, pipping Luke Dinkle (fresh off an EWS campaign) into second, with Hilton Frost in third.

Andre Pretorius took the SubVet men's title and Third overall for the day.

The Ladies categories once again saw a convincing win by Junior ladies Champ Sabine Thies

Omar Wilson slices through the trees on Stage 2

Some French cornering style from Liam Read



The men of the moment - Ray J Smith and Dean Van Zyl were awarded for putting in all the hard work to set up the trails


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 and Pebble Beach rock gardens. Exceptionally wide taping saw multiple lines forming through the technical steep rocks.

Tim Bentley took overall honours and the title of 2019 Elite Men's Regional Champion

Current SA Champ Sabine Thies took the Ladies overall and Junior Championship

The Gully was blisteringly fast as usual

Elite Men's Podium

Junior men's Podium


'Til next year...


KZN Gravity Commission would like to thank all their sponsors for the 2019 Season


Full results are available at Elite Timing http://www.elitetiming.co.za/results/

Regions in Article
Cascades Mountain Bike Park


1 Comment

  • + 1
 Thanks Nigel and Team for all the hard work you guys put in this year. Weekend was rad, many riders showing great form and skill. We'll done all.

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