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Oosthuizen is the woman to beat in South Africa

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Samantha Oosthuizen in action at the MTN series race in Clarens.

Samantha Oosthuizen in action at the MTN series race in Clarens.
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Mannie Heymans

Mannie Heymans
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)

Looking at her results during the past few weeks, Samantha Oosthuizen (W.I.N/Karsten Cycles) can be considered the favourite to win the MTN 50-Miler on Sunday, November 8 in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal. If she does win, it will be the second time in two years.

Judging by Oosthuizen's performances during the past six weeks, she is the in-form women's rider in South African mountain biking at the moment. She won the Silver Star Casino Race, the 60km Race of the Ride Crater Cruise, Hill2Hill, MTN Asishove and the Telkom Satellite Race. She also finished second in the MTN Clarens Race, as well as in the 105km Race of the Ride Crater Cruise.

Her turn-about in mountain biking is impressive. During the first eight months of this year, Oosthuizen managed to win a few races but more often she had to settle for lesser placings.

Mannie Heymans (Garmin adidas) is the reason why Oosthuizen is at the moment almost a fixture on mountain bike podiums across South Africa.

"It was all Mannie's fault. Mannie and I were involved in an argument about the quality of women's racing in South Africa. Mannie does not have a high opinion about the way women race. According to him, women's cycling is more or less a waste of time," said Oosthuizen.

Upset by her Heymans' opinion, Oosthuizen was motivated. "In retrospect, the argument between Mannie and me was perhaps the best thing that could have happened to my cycling career. At the moment I am super-motivated to prove Mannie wrong."

When asked about her memories of her victory in the MTN 50-Miler, Oosthuizen said, "Mud, mud, mud. It made cycling extremely difficult. The mud got into your gears and into every other moving part of the bike. But I do not want to sound as if I am complaining. I actually enjoyed every minute of it - especially the constant climbing.

Oosthuizen makes no secret about her intention to win again on Sunday. "I will try to make the racing hard whenever there is a chance. That is a certain way of putting your rivals under pressure."

Ischen Stopforth (Marsillio Projects) who clinched the MTN Series overall by winning the Clarence Race, won't be riding. Neither will Yolandé de Villiers (Toyota-Cyclelab), who is currently second overall in the series. De Villiers decided to take a break to enable her to start preparing for next year's Cape Epic.

This year De Villiers earned a reputation of "trap, val en breek" while racing in the MTN events. That was because she took more tumbles that she would have liked. And if she did not fall, she had to battle to fix the mechanical failures of her bike at crucial moments. "It won't happen again next year. I think I have had enough bad luck to see me through for a few years."

It seems Oosthuizen's main rivals will in all possibility be Raats, and Amy Jane Mundy and Carla Rowley.

Racers will find an improved route this year with new singletrack sections replacing some less interesting parts. The forecast is for cloudy, but no rain.

Standings for the both the men's and women's categories are below.

Results

Women's standings with one event remaining
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ischen Stopforth18660pts
2Samantha Oosthuizen16096
3Yolandi Du Toit15426
4Yolande De Villiers12000
5Petruschka Constancon9061
6Beatrice Hogan9032
7Christine J Van Rensburg8726
8Heletje Van Staden8224
9Genee Steyn8063
10Cindy Rebello7753
11Lize Theron6530
12Adele Drake4915
13Nicole Murphy4569
14Yolande Speedy4000
15Jozanne Louw3607
16Grant Van Der Walt3446
17Candice Arthur3358
18Chrissie Viljoen3188
19Kelly Mccallum3163
20Amoryn Saayman3098
21Su Don-Wauchope3094
22Marissa Van Der Merwe2951
23Mandy Nel2729
24Woudie Saaiman2628
25Michelle Harris2572
26Robyn Adendorff2547
27Sarah Van Heerden2513
28Erika Meeding2381
29Elshe Naude2266
30August Zerwick2205
31Victoria Myburg2192
32Glynis Pretorius2007
33Dagmar Muhlbauer2000
34Colleen Jacobs1916
35Elsabe Jacobs1832
36Steffie Arlow1801
37Sarah Wielopolska1783
38Karyn Southgate1774
39Elsie Bezuidenhout1748
40Marlien de Bont1659
41Monica Botha1587
42Mina Radoycheva1552
43Marlien De Bont1540
44Joanne VD Westhuizen1486
45Karien van Jaarsveld1484
46Charmaine Werdmuller1478
47Nat Barbosa1443
48Lizelle Smit1414
49Nolene Saunders1408
50Elriiz Swart1395
51Elouise Metherell1323
52Mylene Loumeau1300
53Hester Vermeulen1262
54Alison Lingard1235
55Lisa Blatch1198
56INGRID CHANTLER1160
57Colette Coetzee1040
58Daleen van Staden989
59Nicola Meltzer981
60Rafael Rincon880
61Estelle Van Schalkwyk817
62Kelly Pennington793
63Kelly Marnewick778
64Shayle Bester743
65Elizabeth Delport678
66Elinda Human678
67Leandra Blann676
68Candice Talbot657
69Aimee Serreirinha493
70Michelle Muller425
71Mari Naude408
72Sarie Van Wyk400
73Philda De Jager375
74Merle Walker357
75Sally Mawson350
76Vanessa Record325
77Monica Brown311
78Ashleigh De Lima304
79Renske Nysschen291
80Colleen Cawood289
81Bev Corser275
82Nicole Hafkamp270
83Liz Blumenthal250
84Greta Strydom250
85Thursia Hardenberg250
86Louise van Niekerk250

Men's standings with one event remaining
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Evans (MTN Energade)18963pts
2Francois Theron (Garmin Adidas)16174
3Marc Bassingthwaighte (Garmin Adidas)15675
4Philip Buys (Garmin Adidas)14568
5Ben Melt Swanepoel (Specialized Mankele)14146
6Johnny Kritzinger (DCM Chrome)12830
7Adrien Niyonshuti (MTN Energade)11541
8Erik Kleinhans (GT Mr Price)11014
9David George (MTN Energade)9756
10Jacques J Van Rensburg (DCM Chrome)9413
11Peter Smith (Jeep Cycling Club)8798
12Nico Bell (Bell Cycles)7848
13Max Knox (DCM Chrome)7329
14Trust Mumangandu (MTN Energade)6699
15Mannie Heymans (Garmin Adidas)6340
16Renier Bellingan (USN)5753
17Renay Groustra (GT Mr Price)5524
18Petrus Malherbe (Mongoose Mr Price)5494
19Matthys Beukes (MTN Energade)4940
20Thomas Truscott (Standard Bank)4834
21Justice Makhale (MTN Energade)4504
22Burry Stander (Specialized Mr Price)4000
23Andrew McLean (Toyota Cyclelab)3406
24Brandon Stewart (DCM Chrome)3298
25Graham Diesel (Toyota Cyclelab)2979
26David Mitchell2942
27Tiaan Kannemeyer (Neotel)2933
28Frans Stander2907
29Paul Cordes (IMC Mongoose)2816
30Jupiter Nameembo (MTN Energade)2788
31Stephan Strauss2770
32Jock Green2755
33Juma Sato2670
34Charles Keey2630
35Henry Uys2619
36Brett Dickson (GT Mr Price)2606
37Gustav Becker2599
38Alex Pavlov (North Cliff Cycles)2588
39Christoff Van Heerden (MTN Energade)2572
40Willem Groenewald2558
41Jupiter Nameembo (MTN Energade)2541
42Dennis Du Toit2522
43Shaun Peschl (Mr Price)2511
44Pieter Seyffert (Goldfields)2499
45Chris Smith2443
46David Morison (PPA)2374
47Shaun Mackenzie2357
48Ruan Louw2347
49Steve Van Der Merwe2322
50Renato Albrecht2307
51Nathan Byukusenge2288
52Yolande Speedy (IMC Mongoose)2234
53Ian Mcleod (MTN Energade)2200
54Drew Murphy2187
55Garren Soutar2155
56Gerard Dirks2154
57Willem Le Roux2148
58Dion Gerhard Froneman (Flatdogs)2143
59Anton Smal (Cyclehouse)2114
60Wessel Ollewagen2091
61Graham Cooper2070
62Jacov Lalou2037
63Hendri Du Plessis2021
64Colin Donian1927
65Iniel Hattingh1883
66Hein Botes1862
67Abraham Meyer1857
68Riaan Van Niekerk1770
69Frederick Smith1769
70Mark Pieterse1735
71Francois Botha1718
72Nicolas Goddard1698
73Gordon Radey1679
74De Villiers Groenewald1634
75Wilhelm Nauta1619
76Greg Davis1573
77Karel Mouton1501
78Erik Smuts1380
79Andre Eksteen1369
80Wayne Booysen1368
81Wolfgang Sittig1346
82Mark Bridges (FPC)1323
83Mark Olivier1285
84Ferdi Potgieter1139
85Marius Strydom1093
86Julien Van Der Pluym1077
87Malcolm Meintjes969
88Jonathan Ralph948
89Mark Atkins542