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Knox wins Clarens round of South African marathon series

By:
Cycling News

Ralph takes women's victory

Patience is a virtue. Max Knox proved this to be true when on Saturday he won the MTN Clarens marathon in emphatic style. Knox's win was text book.

He bided his time waiting for the opportune moment to attack. Once the riders got to the first serious climb there was no stopping Knox. He immediately upped the pace causing also sorts pandemonium in the lead group as one rider after the other started to drop off.

By the time he got to the top, he was out in front on his own. From then on out, Knox managed to increase his lead with each pedal stroke.

He eventually won in four hours 47 minutes and four seconds. Nico Bell (Westvaal Columbia) was second in 4:54:27; Ben-Melt Swanepoel third in 4:55:58; Charles Keey (Blend Properties) fourth in 5:00:24 and Matthys Beukes fifth in 5:04:27.

Knox ensured with this victory that he is now the overall leader in the MTN National MTB Series. Until MTN Clarens, the big question on everyone's lips was why Knox has not won one a race in the MTN Series.

Knox just smiled when asked about his lack of victories and then said, "Just watch this space. I am doing things slightly different than in the past."

Swanepoel said that he and Bell were involved in a ding dong battle for the second place. "The moment Max attacked, it was every man for himself. Twice in the race, I managed to get really close to Nico, but first a small crash and then an inadequate amount of horsepower jeopardised my attempts to regain contact."

Swanepoel has no hesitation in saying that the MTN Clarens marathon is one of the toughest mountain bike challenges on the local calender.

"We were tested over everything from long rock sections, over grassy fields, long drags, steep climbs and very technical singletrack. It’s been a while since my arms have been as tender as my legs after a race."

Theresa Ralph (Biogen/Britehous) won the MTN women's marathon in 3:21:03. Yolandi du Toit (Bizhub) was second in 3:38:12 and Karien van Jaarsveld (MTN-Qhubeka) third in 3:45:10.

In what should be no surprise, Lourens Luus (Valencia) won the men's shorter marathon race. His winning time was 3:03:55. Jan Withaar finished second in 3:14:24 with Dion Froneman third in 3:17:08.

Brief Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Max Knox 4:47:04  
2 Nico Bell (Westvaal Columbia) 0:07:23  
3 Ben-Melt Swanepoel 0:08:54  
4 Charles Keey (Blend Properties) 0:13:20  
5 Matthys Beukes 0:17:23  
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Theresa Ralph (Biogen/Britehous) 3:21:03  
2 Yolandi du Toit (Bizhub) 0:17:09  
3 Karien van Jaarsveld (MTN-Qhubeka) 0:24:07