Mountain bikers excel at SA Champs

Mountain bikers excel at SA Champs

NAMIBIAN mountain bike riders excelled at the South African Mountainbike Championships in the Cape last weekend, bringing home three gold, a silver and a bronze medal.

Carmen Bassingthwaighte paced her race to perfection to win the junior women’s category by a comfortable margin, more than two minutes ahead of the second placed girl. Walter Krenz continued Namibia’s great start to win a gold medal in the Sprogs Under 12 category.Marc Bassingthwaighte competed in the Under 23 category, which started off together with the Elite men riders.The favourite from South Africa, Jacques Rossouw immediately stormed away from the field to take a sizeable lead.Marc Bassingthwaighte took the lead in the Under 23 category from the start and soon settled into fifth position overall in the Elite category.After the fourth lap he passed South Africa’s Fritz Pienaar and Jerome Swart to finish second overall in the Elite category while also winning the gold medal in the Under 23 category.Bassingthwaighte also won the gold medal for being the overall Under 23 champion in the Mazda Drifter Mountainbike Series.In the Junior boys category South Africa’s Burry Stander also stormed into an early lead and tried to open up a gap on the chasing pack.He however could not shake off Namibia’s Arno Viljoen, who had a superb ride to come second overall.Viljoen’s compatriot Ermin van Zyl was lying in fourth position for the first three rounds, but his excellent conditioning allowed him top overtake the third-placed rider on the final hillclimb to eventually come third and claim a bronze medal.In the sub-junior category Namibia’s Jaco Blaauw and Jan Hendrik Verdoes immediately joined the front bunch of cyclists, but unfortunately Jaco had technical problems after his brakes clogged up with mud.Getting his equipment fixed took some time and he fell to the back of the leading group.With hard work and dedication Jaco however managed to move up throughj the field to finish fifth overall in the sub junior boys’ category.Jan Hendrik Verdoes rode a very consistent race to come seventh overall.It was an excellent performance by the Namibian cyclists who had top compete in rainy and extremely muddy conditions.The following day it was the turn of the downhill riders.The track had dried up a bit and on the downhill track there were some awesome jumps.After the seeding round the downhillers had two turns to race down the track, of which the fastest would count for selection.Both Andre Steinfurth and Rainer Sentefol had excellent races, with Andre coming fourth and Rainer seventh in the Elite men’s category.Keith Weaver picked up flu and didn’t feel too well, but he still managed to complete a lap to finish 10th overall.The Namibian team’s participation was made possible by sponsorships from Namibia Breweries/Pepsi and Stannic, while Avis Car Rental provided special rates for the trip to the Cape.- Namibia SportWalter Krenz continued Namibia’s great start to win a gold medal in the Sprogs Under 12 category.Marc Bassingthwaighte competed in the Under 23 category, which started off together with the Elite men riders.The favourite from South Africa, Jacques Rossouw immediately stormed away from the field to take a sizeable lead.Marc Bassingthwaighte took the lead in the Under 23 category from the start and soon settled into fifth position overall in the Elite category.After the fourth lap he passed South Africa’s Fritz Pienaar and Jerome Swart to finish second overall in the Elite category while also winning the gold medal in the Under 23 category.Bassingthwaighte also won the gold medal for being the overall Under 23 champion in the Mazda Drifter Mountainbike Series.In the Junior boys category South Africa’s Burry Stander also stormed into an early lead and tried to open up a gap on the chasing pack.He however could not shake off Namibia’s Arno Viljoen, who had a superb ride to come second overall.Viljoen’s compatriot Ermin van Zyl was lying in fourth position for the first three rounds, but his excellent conditioning allowed him top overtake the third-placed rider on the final hillclimb to eventually come third and claim a bronze medal.In the sub-junior category Namibia’s Jaco Blaauw and Jan Hendrik Verdoes immediately joined the front bunch of cyclists, but unfortunately Jaco had technical problems after his brakes clogged up with mud.Getting his equipment fixed took some time and he fell to the back of the leading group.With hard work and dedication Jaco however managed to move up throughj the field to finish fifth overall in the sub junior boys’ category.Jan Hendrik Verdoes rode a very consistent race to come seventh overall.It was an excellent performance by the Namibian cyclists who had top compete in rainy and extremely muddy conditions.The following day it was the turn of the downhill riders.The track had dried up a bit and on the downhill track there were some awesome jumps.After the seeding round the downhillers had two turns to race down the track, of which the fastest would count for selection.Both Andre Steinfurth and Rainer Sentefol had excellent races, with Andre coming fourth and Rainer seventh in the Elite men’s category.Keith Weaver picked up flu and didn’t feel too well, but he still managed to complete a lap to finish 10th overall.The Namibian team’s participation was made possible by sponsorships from Namibia Breweries/Pepsi and Stannic, while Avis Car Rental provided special rates for the trip to the Cape.- Namibia Sport

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