MTN National MTB Cup Series

Fountains Reserve in Pretoria was exceptionally jubilant on Saturday when Namibian Marc Bassingthwaighte, of team Garmin Adidas, secured victory in round 5 of the MTN National Mountain Bike Cross-Country Series, sponsored by MiWay Insurance.

The win also ensured that Bassingthwaighte claimed the Series title after a hard-fought season. Clap, clap! Well done Marc!

The Under-23 series title had already been wrapped up by the great Burry Stander (Mr Price Specialized) following his four wins in the previous stages, despite Garmin Adidas’ Philip Buys claiming the victory in round 5.

In the women’s race, IMC Momentum’s Yolande Speedy picked up the win, but it wasn’t enough to dethrone Jeep’s Sara Muhl, who secured her Series title with a second place finish at round 5. Well done Sara! Clap, clap!

A big clap, clap is in order for all those who competed in the Series. The competition was intense this year and many categories went right down to the last race. Awesome season and cycling, fellow MTBers!

Ricky in Spandex

Absalon Assault

Hey peeps, firstly, who watched Idols last night? Man, oh man, I’m so disappointed Jason didn’t win. My cellphone bill is going to be through the roof this month after I voted for him twenty times and he still didn’t win! Anyhow, congrats to Sasha-Lee.

Let’s get down to some MTB business now…

Julien Absalon from team Orbea took home his 18th World Cup victory in the elite men’s cross country event in Offenburg, Germany. Absalon’s third consecutive victory at Offenburg helped move him into the overall lead for the men’s competition and he has now broken Thomas Frischknecht’s record of 17 total World Cup wins.

South Africa’s own golden boy, Burry Stander, managed to finish in fourth place – clap, clap! Represent homeboy! Our local boys are really rocking the MTB scene. Every week, I’m seeing a South African in the top ten of an event. It’s really impressive!

Anyhow, let me get to work before my boss has a fit. Apparently, he’s allergic to the concept of workers having holidays and freedom…

Marky Mark

And the winners are…

Man, oh man! What a weekend of cycling! This last weekend was the greatest weekend of my life. Screw wedding photos or birth of kids, this weekend’s pics are going straight into my wallet!

The Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, presented by Shimano, sponsored by DCM Chrome in Pietermaritzburg, was beyond amazing. It provided the blood, sweat and gears which will be immortalised in the history of MTB.

beautiful2In the downhill men’s category, local Maritzburg boy, Greg Minnaar, kicked some major butt again to claim first place ahead of Michael Hannah and Steve Peat. In the downhill women’s category, Tracy Moseley celebrated her 30th birthday with a first place finish ahead of Emmeline Ragot and Sabrina Jonnier.

In the men’s cross-country event, Spaniard Jose Hermida took the honours ahead of Julien Absalon and South Africa’s own Burry Stander. In the ladies’ cross-country event, Elisabeth Osl finished top ahead of Irina Kalentieva and Lene Byberg.

For full detailed results of the MTB World Cup, please visit www.uci.ch.

If you were at the event, please share some stories with us. Tell us what you thought of it and if you’ll go attend another event in the future.

Ricky in Spandex

German efficiency at the MTN SA Cup

Zee Germans are coming! Zee Germans are coming! Aaah, you gotta love Jason Statham in Snatch, just for that saying.

mtn-logoThe invasion started this weekend with Topeak Ergon’s 34-year-old German racer, Wolfram Kurschat, beating all in his path to win the fourth round of the MTN National Mountain Bike Cup in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.

Kurschat’s performance was even more impressive considering that he started in 11th place and managed to overtake world-class competitors, such as Burry Stander, Nino Schurter and Florian Vogel.

Spain’s Jose Hermida finished in second place, just one podium place ahead of South Africa’s Burry Stander. Current World Champion Christoph Sauser could only manage a tenth place finish after suffering two punctures – ouch!

Consider this event as a warm-up for the MTB World Cup this weekend. I’m not even going to ask if you have tickets already…because if you’re a true cycling fan, you’ll be there – no questions asked.

Bandaged Jack

ABSA Cape Epic Results

So another Cape Epic has come and gone, but what an event all in all. I think the 2009 ABSA Cape Epic has set new standards in MTB events. And just to think that after the fire in Cape Town, many of us thought the race would’ve been cancelled. Luckily, it didn’t and we were treated to some amazing displays of speed, power and endurance.

 absa-cyclelogo

Below are the winners of each category:

In the men’s competitions, the Bulls team consisting of German riders, Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm, took top honours.

In the ladies’ competition, the ABSA Ladies team of Sharon Laws from England and our local lass Hanlie Booyens went home with the top gong.

In the master’s competition, the ABSA Masters team of Doug Brown (South Africa) and Bärti Bucher were the final winners.

In the mixed competition, the Adidas Big Tree team of Nico Pfitzenmaier from South Africa and Alison Sydor from Canada went home as champions of their category.

And in the Kodak moment of the year, the Bulls and Songo.info teams, consisting of Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser, crossed the finish line at the same time, holding onto each other.

Please give a round of applause to all the winners *clap, clap*

For all the detailed results, please visit the official website at http://www.cape-epic.com

Ricky in Spandex

Burry x7!

Yolande Speedy wasn’t the only winner this past weekend, Burry Stander of Team Mr Price Specialized powered his way to a seventh-successive national title at the Pro-Elite Men’s race at the MTN South African Cross-country mountain bike championships in George on Saturday.

mtn-logoStander finished the race more than 7 minutes ahead of his closest competitor Marc Bassingthwaighte of Team Garmin Adidas and completely dominated all proceedings. It’s amazing to note that he is also the current Under-23 World Cup Champion and also managed to retain his national Under-23 title after his victory.

I have been arguing with Jack that the bike Stander uses, the dual suspension Specialized S-Works, is the way of the future. And Stander pretty much confirmed my sentiments in an interview by saying he has the edge of his competitors because he is used to riding dual suspension bikes (so nah, nah, nah, nah, blah Jack!).

I think Greg Minnaar better start looking over his shoulder very soon, because Stander has been putting in performance after performance and is just getting better and better after every race. Keep your eyes on this guy! He may just not have enough room in his trophy cabinet by the end of this year.

Ricky in Spandex