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Knox maintains his series lead with a win in Wellington

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Cycling News

Stander takes the title in the women's race

Max Knox and Cherise Tayler Stander are crowned South African marathon champions

Max Knox and Cherise Tayler Stander are crowned South African marathon champions

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With his resounding victory in the South African Ultra-marathon championship (MTN Gravel Travel) outside Wellington Max Knox (Specialized) proved that he is without a doubt one of the tough guys of South African mountain biking.

Riders had to endure the most extreme weather conditions to get to the finish. Not only was it cold, but the rain was pouring down while they were cycling and, to make things even worse, a strong wind was blowing.

It was as if Mother Nature deliberately used all the elements for a concerted effort to test the riders to their absolute limits.

The finish at the Diemersfontein Wine Estate looked like a war zone with mud-caked and drenched riders more or less passing out across their bikes’ handlebars, not able to speak a word.

It took Knox nearly 30 minutes after he had finished, to recover sufficiently to be able to take part in a normal conversation.

Those who saw Knox racing do not hesitate to describe it as one of his best ever performances.

About 25km from the finish, with the weather conditions at their worst, he simply left the rest of the riders behind to finish more than 11 minutes ahead of the rider in the second place, David George (Nedbank360Life) with Adrien Niyonshuti (MTN-Qhubeka) in third.

According to Zoon Cronjé, official race photographer, Knox’s ride over the last 15 kilometres was gripping stuff.

"Max was basically frozen on his bike. It was only pure guts that kept him going until the end. At one stage he was wondering who was leading the race, not realizing that he was miles ahead."

The ever modest Knox said afterwards that the reasons why he won was because all the right stars were in line for him and also because he went into the race with a proper game plan.

"Initially it was not my goal to try and win the SA title, but when I won the Clover Road Cycling Tour last weekend, I realized that I was in good form," said Knox.

"I rode the course of the MTN Gravel Travel once before the race and realized that it was going to be a truly hard man’s race. That is why I decided not to over-exert myself during the first half of the race, but rather save my energy for when it really matters."

"For once my luck held, which meant that I had no mechanical problems throughout the race. Going into the second feed zone there were still about 12 of us riding together.

"Shortly afterwards, when the rain really started to pour down, I made my move because I realized that the severe weather conditions would favour me.

"Fortunately I am one of those riders who are not easily affected by the weather, but I knew that many of the other riders would be battling. I actually made the most of the bad conditions."

Ryan Gould commented: "MTN would like to congratulate our newly crowned champions who not only rose to the challenge nature pitted against them but also triumphed over a very classy field. MTN would like to thank everyone making this yet another world class event."

Stander takes unexpected win in demanding conditions

On Saturday (24 August) the female version of the South African Marathon Mountain Bike Championship (MTN Gravel Travel) developed into a classic example of three favourites watching each other, with the fourth riding away with the spoils.

Cherise Taylor (now Stander) (Momentum-Toyota), the current SA time-trial champion, caused one of the biggest upsets in recent years when she managed to outride all the pre-race favourites. This means that she was, in all probability, only the second South African road cyclist who was able to win a national mountain-bike title, as well as a SA road title, in the same year.

Anke Erlank was probably the first rider who managed to do this. Three weeks before the MTN Gravel Travel, Taylor won the first stage of the La Route de France (female version of the Tour de France). These two victories should surely give the selectors and decision makers of Cycling SA some food for thought, especially after the controversial way in which they dropped Taylor from the women's road team for the Olympic Games in London.

One of the female riders commented after the race that Taylor certainly provided CyclingSA with a sticky toffee by winning the national mountain-bike title. Ariane Kleinhans (Contego) finished second and Ischen Stopforth (Bizhub) was third.

Taylor admitted afterwards that the MTN Gravel Travel was one of the hardest races in which she has ever competed.

"I will be honest. Over the last ten kilometres I was constantly on the verge of tears. I was in severe pain and so tired, but I made a promise to myself that, come what may, I was not going to give up. Winning a national mountain-bike title is really special. I basically went into the race blind, not knowing what to expect.

"My only race tactic was to make sure that I stay with Ariane (Kleinhans) because I knew that she was the strongest rider."

What makes Taylor's victory even more special is that she has not competed in a mountain-bike race during the past two months. Stopforth was full of praise for the way Taylor rode.

"Cherise's victory is definitely another 'feather in the cap' of Mr and Mrs Stander.

"It seems that being married to one of the world's best mountain bikers certainly has its advantages."

Stopforth admits that she slightly underestimated Taylor.

"On the first serious climb Cherise (Taylor), Ariane (Kleinhans), Theresa (Ralph) and I got away in a break.

"Cherise and Ariane were slightly stronger and managed to open a gap, but I was not too worried because I was confident of catching Cherise on the single-track sections or on the last climb later on."

"It never happened. Cherise surprised everybody during the 'Queen of the Mountain' climb when she managed to drop Ariane to ride in front on her own."

Stopforth was full of praise for the single-track sections.

"I think Pieter van Wyk (route designer) has surpassed even himself.

"Racing the single-track sections was like racing the Sani2C, only better. It was an amazing experience.”

Results

Senior Men 70km
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Craig Boyes 3:29:52  
2 Lourens Luus 0:00:01  
3 Gertjie Heyns 0:09:12  
4 Jurgens Uys 0:28:27  
5 Johnny Diedericks 0:30:48  
6 Oliver Freyer 0:59:05  
7 Wesley Procter 1:05:50  
8 Marthinus Kruger 1:07:06  
9 Azukile Simayile 1:10:00  
10 Sivuyile Kepelele 1:10:14  
11 Pedro Calderon De La Barca 1:14:26  
12 Charl Van Wyk 1:16:42  
13 Louis Jordaan 1:19:02  
14 Paul Gleed 1:22:56  
15 Rudie Kellerman 1:24:31  
16 Reinhardt Venter 1:26:29  
17 Davide Del Fante 1:26:52  
18 Frank Adrian 1:32:04  
19 Johann Smit 1:45:53  
20 Nicholas Bodenstein 1:56:02  
21 Riaan Kok 1:59:10  
22 Thomas Nortier 1:59:12  
23 Ray Van Breda 2:00:06  
24 Grant Kruger 2:01:01  
25 Johan Badenhorst 2:02:46  
26 Chaz Price 2:15:06  
27 Schalk Burger 2:15:31  
28 Michael Anderson 2:16:35  
29 Dylan Smit 2:23:54  
30 Karel Baranrd 2:25:34  
31 Cj Van Staden 2:28:14  
32 Pieter Naude 2:28:34  
33 Stephanus Francois Nieuwoudt 2:30:16  
34 Abri Van Der Merwe 2:31:17  
35 Jaco Schoevers 2:36:01  
36 Spencer Weyers 2:36:40  
37 John Potgieter 2:47:36  
38 Jaco Venter 2:48:56  
39 Albert Bester 2:55:23  
40 Elton Pomer 3:00:44  
41 Karl Schriek 3:31:33  
42 Billy De Lange 3:43:27  
43 Hendrik Jacobus Retief 3:48:23  
Senior Women 70km
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Cherise Tayler Stander 3:55:59  
2 Ariane Kleinhans 0:03:04  
3 Mariske Strauss 0:11:32  
4 Samantha Sanders 0:18:53  
5 Amy Mcdougall 0:27:41  
6 Emily Clarke 0:43:08  
7 Cherie Vale 0:48:08  
8 Michel Coetzer 0:54:45  
9 Siska Van Der Bijl 1:03:58  
10 Emma Pienaar 1:30:06  
11 Hilke Rode 1:47:21  
12 Colleen De Oliveira 1:54:14  
13 Yolande Van Der Walt 3:32:15  
Sub Veteren Men 70km
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 David Low 3:41:52  
2 Hennie Kriek 0:12:16  
3 Taygan Robson 0:14:18  
4 Pablo Morales 0:18:00  
5 Jan Withaar 0:29:45  
6 Heine Lategan 0:34:56  
7 Matt Osborne 0:39:54  
8 Karl Kielblock 0:43:36  
9 Paul Lagesse 0:43:48  
10 Brendon Wilson 0:45:34  
11 Cillie Hamman 0:53:13  
12 Charl Bleach 0:54:44  
13 Jason Deane 0:57:18  
14 Jason Pienaar 1:05:54  
15 Hendrik De Kock 1:06:21  
16 Roalo Brosius 1:06:28  
17 Nat Iqani 1:07:24  
18 Brendan Currin 1:11:06  
19 Niel Du Pisani 1:17:51  
20 Russel Palm 1:19:44  
21 Glenn Norrie 1:24:07  
22 Michiel Venter 1:45:18  
23 Rolfe Van Breda 1:48:06  
24 David Coupar 1:49:45  
25 Andrew Dewey 1:49:46  
26 Neil Mackellar 1:54:04  
27 Marc Theyers 1:54:57  
28 Mark Gething 1:55:46  
29 Heinz Essmann    
30 Niels Luchters 2:02:53  
31 Riaan Van Tonder 2:10:46  
32 Philip Slabber 2:14:45  
33 Werner Bruckner 2:14:54  
34 Graham Redelinghuys 2:17:07  
35 Dieter Gutschow 2:18:14  
36 Clive Berry 2:19:34  
37 Danie Louw 2:30:15  
38 Wayne Southgate 2:36:23  
39 Songo Fipaza 2:40:18  
40 William Openshaw 2:40:41  
41 Carlo Immelman 2:48:35  
42 Grant Clark 2:55:27  
43 Dirk Dircksen 3:08:21  
44 Albertyn Smit 3:11:03  
45 Chris Tyler 3:31:44  
46 Lee Glanville 4:11:28  
47 Bertram Hall 4:11:50  
Sub Veteren Women 70km
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Theresa Ralph 4:08:19  
2 Yolande Speedy 0:07:24  
3 Hanlie Booyens 0:13:02  
4 Hanlie Costa 2:07:47  
Veteren Men 70km
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Nico Pfitzenmaier 3:41:35  
2 Andreas Studer 0:04:00  
3 Russel De Jager 0:22:59  
4 Gustav Hefer 0:40:59  
5 Simon Murray 0:41:04  
6 Martin Epstein 0:41:54  
7 Igna De Villiers 0:46:10  
8 Andrew Ratcliffe 0:46:46  
9 Colin Myers 0:47:30  
10 Lawrence Koff 1:09:19  
11 Ian Coleman 1:22:58  
12 Erik Van Es 1:24:39  
13 Pieter Theron 1:24:45  
14 Niall Evans 1:26:39  
15 Marius Sullwald 1:27:03  
16 Anton Davies 1:38:25  
17 Shaun Frayne 1:42:15  
18 Sirk Loots 1:46:13  
19 Wayne Mare 1:48:04  
20 Rikus Visser 1:53:02  
21 Mario Oosthuizen 1:54:59  
22 Wolfram Finger 1:55:01  
23 Johan Human 1:58:42  
24 Mark Isserow 2:00:31  
25 Stuart Hendler 2:00:36  
26 Pieter Malherbe 2:00:39  
27 Vaughn Roux 2:00:40  
28 Jurgen Orzessek 2:02:14  
29 Johan Conradie 2:07:43  
30 Alexander Van Dyk 2:11:20  
31 Alastair Hops 2:13:18  
32 Schalk Engelbrecht 2:18:18  
33 Daryl Sampson 2:18:42  
34 Carl Malherbe 2:24:32  
35 Willie Malan 2:29:19  
36 Rudi Rossouw 2:30:43  
37 John Hanekom 2:46:34  
38 Johan Du Plessis 2:55:49  
39 Gys Green 3:11:20  
40 Johann Du Plessis 3:13:30  
41 Johan Louw 3:24:38  
Veteren Women 70km
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ischen Stopforth 4:00:00  
2 Phelia Burger 0:58:11  
3 Desiree Strydom 2:02:05  
4 Sophia Raw 2:09:02  
5 Debbie Loots 3:22:19  
Master's men 70km
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Peter Stopforth 3:56:14  
2 Juan Van Deventer 0:39:09  
3 Frank Smuts 0:39:11  
4 Chris Purcell 0:58:44  
5 Robert King 1:15:36  
6 Kabous Marra 1:29:37  
7 Tobie Visser 1:37:51  
8 Derek Hughes 2:05:30  
9 Niel Louwrens 3:05:23  
Elite Men 110km
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Max Knox 4:56:38  
2 Dave George 0:11:56  
3 Kevin Evans 0:22:37  
4 Renay Grosutra 0:30:14  
5 Greig Knox 0:32:12  
6 Guylin Van Den Berg 0:59:38  
7 Michael Posthumus 1:38:35  
8 Shaun Rubenstein 2:43:22  
Senior Men 110km
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Adrien Niyonshuti 5:09:14  
2 Nico Bell 0:02:59  
3 Gawie Combrinck 0:07:54  
4 Charles Keey 0:07:56  
5 Louis-Bresler Knipe 0:13:42  
6 Dave Morison 0:32:12  
7 Jarryd Haley 0:45:25  
8 Heine Engelbrecht 0:50:46  
9 Ernst Bruwer 0:51:11  
10 Réniell Matthysen 1:13:26  
11 Nicholas Hops 2:12:54  
12 Richard Damant 2:12:56  
Amature Men 110km
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Tyrone Van Rooyen 7:10:00  
Sub Veteren Men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Waylon Woolcock 5:14:57  
2 Neil Macdonald 0:02:01  
3 Brandon Stewart 0:08:34  
4 Petrus Malherbe 0:28:14  
5 Andrew Hill 0:29:38  
6 Hannes Hanekom 0:43:27  
7 Pieter Kriel 0:45:26  
8 Simon Swemmer 2:03:43  
9 Kotie Terblanche 2:36:02  
10 Pieter Strobos 2:46:58  
11 Ashley Marsh 3:16:34  
Veteren Men 110km
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Johann Le Roux 7:46:24  
2 Waleed Baker 0:00:02  
3 Albert Geldenhuys 0:15:34  
4 Christopher Droomer 0:23:32  
5 Tom Bishop 0:45:06  
Master's Men 110km
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Julian Conrad 7:15:25  
2 Henry Swart 0:23:03