De Villiers and Theron defy mud for sani2c win

Igna de Villiers and Paul Theron.

After stage one, the duo were only one minute and 38 seconds behind Fanie Venter and Cairns Andrew of team Business Print, who claimed stage one’s title.

Higher than predicted rainfall overnight forced race organisers to make the iconic second stage of the KAP sani2c from Mackenzie Club to Jolivet a neutral stage.

Also read: Swiss mountain biker completes perfect classic

On the final day, De Villiers and Theron experienced some chain mechanical problems and took the wrong turn-off at the very beginning of the 82-kilometre stage.

“We lost about two minutes, and Fanie and Cairns managed to catch up. Over the last
20 kilometres we broke away and rode really hard. We won the last stage by three minutes and 38 seconds, claiming the overall title by two minutes,” said De Villiers.

“Obviously it was a disappointment not being able to go down the Umkomaas Valley, but there would have been quite a few crashes. Due to circumstances, it was the right decision made by the organisers,” he added.

The duo of Valencia Ladies, Sam Sanders and Amy McDougall, took second overall in the women’s category. They had a one minute 47 second advantage over defending champions dormakaba’s Candice Lill and Vera Adrian, but McDougall dropped a chain and crashed close to the end.

Amy Beth McDougall. Photo: Anthony Grote

“It was super muddy. We tried to chase back, but we couldn’t manage to close the gap. It was a proper race,” said Sanders.

“These were the most extreme conditions I’ve ever ridden in, but they add a different and exciting dimension to racing which I enjoy. Well done to everyone who committed and pushed through the frigid muddy stage three. It was hardcore,” added McDougall.

Before the start of the final day, PYGA Euro Steel’s Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes held a 44-second lead over NAD Pro MTB’s Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell with Team BCX’s Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger a further nine seconds behind in third place.

Sam Sanders. Photo: Anthony Grote

NAD Pro’s Combrinck and Bell started the final day in second overall, but were quickly out of contention when their muddied chains choked their hopes early in the stage. They eventually took fourth on the stage and fourth overall, just ahead of TIB Insurance’s Andrew Hill and Julian Jessop.

  AUTHOR
Carli Koch
Sports Editor

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