Lydenburg High School reigned supreme in the 2016 Mpumalanga Spur Schools Mountain Bike League Finals at Mankele Mountain Bike Park this weekend and once again clinched the regional trophy with a huge margin logging 951 points.
Nelspruit High School finished in second place with 549 points, followed by Uplands College in third with 409 points and Secunda High School fourth overall with 318 points. The top three Lowveld schools as well as the top Highveld entry – Rob Ferreira High that finished overall fifth with 310 points – will represent Mpumalanga in the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League National Finals on 8 and 9 October at Bekker School in Magaliesberg.
Competition was fierce amongst the more than 350 riders at the regional finals with very small margins separating the top riders in a number of categories and the final race determining overall series winners.
Lydenburg High School secured four podium spots with Simone van Wyk winning the sub junior girls, Reinhart Viljoen finishing second in the sub junior boys, Rikus Booyens achieving second place in the youth boys 16 years and Kaylee Lindeque taking third place in the youth women 16 years.
Nelspruit High School leads the medal count with eight podium wins. Suzanne Mare and Hijke Coetzee finished second and third overall in the sub junior girls, Jean van der Merwe won sub junior boys, Monique Swart came first in the youth women 15 years, Emile Fourie and Mike Odendaal took third place in the youth men 15 and 16 years categories, while team mates Armand Lombard and Constant Furstenberg secured second and third place in the junior men’s finals.
Uplands College’s podium wins included Kyla Hamer who finished third in the youth women 15 years, Patricia Notten second in the youth women 16 years, Kirsty Shuttleworth and Tammy Hawley securing second and third place in the junior women’s final and Ryan Terry finished overall second in the youth men 15 years.
Other podium winners that qualified for the Mpumalanga Provincial Team and a spot in the national finals are Richardo van der Merwe of Rob Ferreira (third in sub junior boys), Rozel Montgomery of Curro Bankenveld (second in the youth women 15 years), Zandri Strydom of Rob Ferreira High School (winner of the youth women 16 years), Marnique de Swart of Secunda High School (winner of the junior women’s finals), Jeandre Gautier of HTS Witbank who clinched the overall top spot in the youth men 15 years and Liam de Klerk of Penryn College (junior men’s winner).
Lydenburg High School has also been the proud winners of the “geesbeker” at the Spur High Schools MTB Final two years running.
The founding sponsor of the League, Spur Steak Ranches has again committed to a bigger and better season offering a R10 000 rand contribution to school teams that win their respective age categories at the National Inter-schools Finals. “Seeing the continued growth of the program is something we as Spur Steak Ranches are very proud of and we decided to offer this bonus to foster healthy competition and promote teamwork between riders and within schools, as well as increase participation across all skill levels and abilities,” said Andrew Cronje, Spur Market Development Manager.
This year has also seen the introduction of Team Spur, James Reid and Ariane Kleinhans, who play the important role of encouraging League riders to follow their dreams and showing the reality of becoming sponsored athletes. Local riders got the opportunity to get some handy hints and tips from Olympic rider James Reid at the Mpumalanga finals.
For further information follow us on @SpurMTBleague, log on to SpurSchoolsLeague on facebook or visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za.