Provinces Battle it Out For Spur Schools MTB Inter-Provincial Title

The 2016 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League wrapped up a highly successful season with a nail biting Inter-Provincial Championship, which saw the top riders in each of the competing regions join forces for the best possible go at the coveted trophy.

The Inter-Provincial Competition is done under the auspices of South African Schools Cycling (SASC), which in turn is affiliated to Cycling SA as a development initiative particularly geared to create a platform for schools to compete against each other and, in doing so, raise the profile of the sport at school level.

With only the 10 best results scoring points, it was game on from the start of each race.  Defending champion North West Province, in spite of its size, successfully defended their title as provincial champion logging 242 points.  Gauteng finished in a close second with 240 points followed by Western Province in third place with 224 points.

Filling the rest of the spots on the log were Mpumalanga (190 points), Kwazulu Natal (182 points), Free State (160 points), Limpopo (140 points), Namibia (88 points), Eastern Cape (62 points), Northern Cape (44 points) and Zimbabwe (38 points).

Travis Stedman of Thomas More College got KZN off to a great start taking line honours in the sub-junior race, with WG van der Walt of Montana High School (Western Cape) second and Miguel Moutihno of Midstream College (Gauteng) in third in spite of a very bad crash the day before.

Beani Thies of Wartburg Kirchdorf School logged another win for KZN in the sub-junior girls, with team mates Kaylin Gombos and Natalie Long both of Transvalia (Gauteng) taking second and third place.

Adriaan Duminy of Wesvalia rode a stellar race to win the youth boys 15 years for North West, with Hennie van Wyk of Garsfontein (Gauteng) second and Jamie Penfold of Paul Roos (WC) in third.

Zandri Strydom of Rob Ferreira logged a convincing win for Mpumalanga finishing a minute ahead of Kelsey van Schoor of St Dominics Priory (EC) second and Andrea de Waal of Potchefstroom Girls High (NW) in third in the youth girls 15 years.

In the youth boys 16 years race, Ryan Conradie of Potchefstroom Gimnasium secured another win for North West with JP Lloyd of Zwartkop (Gauteng) second and Brendan van Eeden of Potchefstroom Gimnasium (NW) in third filling the podium spots.

Tiffany Keep of Thomas More College won the youth girls 16 for KZN with Thana Groenewald of Midstream College securing a second and Rimare Sutton of Garsfontein securing a second and third place for Gauteng.

The junior girls’ race increased the North West score with Kristen Louw of Volkskool Potchefstroom in first and Daniel Strydom of Potchefstroom Gimnasium in second, while  Christie Hearder of Pietermaritzburg Girls High (KZN) took third.

In the final race of the day, Pieter du Toit of Volkskool won the junior men’s race for North West with Rinus Maarsingh of Grey College taking the only podium win for Free State and Armandt Lombard of Nelspruit High School (MPU) in third.

For overall results visit www.trailtag.co.za.  Also follow us on Facebook at Spur Schools League, @spurMTBleague on Twitter #spurMTBleague.

 

Top Teams Crowned at 2016 Spur Schools MTB League Finals

A record Spur Schools Mountain Bike League season, which saw more than 10 500 kids competing across South Africa, culminated in a nail biting final at Bekker School in Magaliesburg this weekend.

With 438 mountain bike riders representing 84 schools all chasing points and the coveted title of Spur Schools Mountain Bike League champion, racing was fierce in hot and trying conditions.

Reigning Gauteng League champions, Menlo Park pulled out all the stops to win the boys’ (118 points) and mixed team (121 points) trophies and walked of the coveted title of National Spur Schools Mountain Bike League Champions.  The girls’ team from Potchefstroom Gimnasium were crowned national girls champions (72 points) with Menlo Park High School taking second place (66 points) and Midstream College claiming third (59 points).

Only one point separated the second and third boys’ teams with Grey College second with 100 points and Paul Roos Gimnasium third 99 points. Parel Vallei High School earned 100 points securing second place in the mixed team category with Transvalia in third place with 94 points.

Setting the pace for a high speed racing day, the sub junior boys Miguel Mouthino (Midstream), Travis Stedman (Thomas More College) and WG van der Walt (Montana) broke away from the pack early in the race and the chase was on for the top spot.

After leading the first two laps, Miguel crashed out on the final lap with WG van der Walt holding onto the lead to win in a time of 00:45:53 with Travis Stedman of Thomas More College in a close second in a time of 00:45:56 and Marnus Prinsloo of Grey College finishing in third in a time of 00:46:52.

In the youth boys 15 years, Jamie Penfold (PRG) took the lead from the start and rode a stellar race to win in a time of 00:44:56 with Stehan Wolmarans of Hartebeespoort second in a time of 00:44:56 and Adriaan Duminy  of Wesvalia taking third in a time of 00:45:11.

Gauteng dominated the top end of the youth boys 16 years race in the first lap with Menlo Park High School’s Chris du Plessis, Wicus Breytenbach of Garsfontein and JP Loyd of Zwartkop leading the pack.  After a very competitive three-lap race, Chris du Plessis took first place in a time of 00:43:25, with JP Lloyd second in a time of 00:43:30 and Brendan van Eeden of Potchefstroom Gimnasium in third in a time of 00:43:33 just ahead of Wicus Breytenbach who finished in a time of 00:43:41.  Unfortunately, hot favourite, Ryan Conradie (SA junior continental champion) broke his chain in lap one and although it was fixed, he only managed to come in and place at 71st position.

As was expected, the junior men’s race got off to a very fast start with a strong leader pack of eight fighting it out from the first lap.   The top three positions were going to be anybody’s taking, but Wessel Botha of Menlo Park High School showcased his skills when he overtook on a single track section on the final lap to take the lead and line honours in a time of 00:58:46, with Pieter du Toit of Volkskool Potchefstroom and Henry Liebenberg in a sprint chase to the finish taking second and third place in 00:58:56 and 00:58:57 respectively.

All the girls’ races were marked by strong competition amongst the front runners with Beani Thies of Wartburg Kirchdorf School winning the sub-juniors in a time of 00:35:09, Kaylin Gombos of Transvalia came second in a time of 00:35:59 and Jone van Eeden of Potchefstroom Gimnasium third in a time of 00:37:21.

Mpumalanga youth 15 years champion Zandri Strydom of Rob Ferreira took line honours in an impressive time of 00:33:31 followed by Kelsey van Schoor of St Dominics Priory second in 00:34:58 and Monique du Toit of Menlopark third in 00:35:42.

Tiffany Keep of Thomas More College rode an exceptional race.  Not seeded for a good starting position she had to secure her lead before heading into the single tracks, after which she managed to retain her lead throughout to win the youth girls 16 years in a time of 00:50:29 with Thana Groenewald of Midstream second in a time of 00:50:38 and Rimare Sutton of Garsfontein third in 00:52:11.

Daniel Strydom of Potchefstroom Gimnasium won the junior women’s race in a time of 00:52:11 followed by Kirsten Lous of Volkskool Potchefstroom only a split second behind in 00:52:12 and Christie Header of Pietermaritzburg Girls High in third place in a time of 00:52:17.

Spur Steak Ranches handed a R10 000 contribution to school teams that won their respective age categories at the National Inter-schools Finals. “Spending the weekend at the Finals here at Bekker, with so many talented riders and seeing the ever growing support, reinforces the League as something very close to our hearts. By offering this prize money we hope it will encourage the sport within the schools and assist them in further developing their teams,” said Clare Rainey, Spur Brand Development Manager.

The League is affiliated to South African Schools Cycling (SASC), which in turn is affiliated to Cycling SA as a development initiative particularly geared to create a platform for schools to compete against each other and, in doing so, raise the profile of the sport at school level.

On Sunday schools teamed up for the SASC Interprovincial Competition whereby the best 10 results got tallied to crown the best province. Defending champion North West Province, in spite of its size, successfully defended their title as provincial champion logging 242 points.  Gauteng finished in a close second with 240 points followed by Western Province in third place with 224 points.

For more information and results visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za or follow us on Facebook at Spur Schools League and follow @spurMTBleague on Twitter #spurMTBleague.

Counting down to Spur Schools MTB League Finals

Tension is mounting with the 2016 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League National finals only days away following a record-breaking season, which saw more than 10 000 riders compete in 45 events across South Africa, Zambia and Namibia.

Competition was fierce at all the regional events as only the top schools and individual category winners in each region could qualify for the finals.  The top 436 mountain bike riders representing 84 schools will converge at Bekker School this weekend of 8-9 October for what is expected to be an action-packed final.

The Spur Schools Mountain Bike League was launched in 2009 as a joint initiative between Spur Steak Ranches and trail advocacy group Amarider with 900 riders. Over the years the League has facilitated various rider development programmes, seen a definite increase in the number of female riders, as well as logged an increased number of primary schools supporting the league.  This, as well as the record number of entries this year, proves that the League provides a powerful platform for promoting mountain biking at school level and beyond and is achieving its goal of getting more kids on bikes.

Gauteng has seen explosive growth both in participating schools and riders and is currently the largest league in the country with more than 80 schools, close on 3 000 riders competing and regional events drawing more than 600 entries.

The League runs on the Olympic Cross Country (XCO) lap-racing format whereby participants, separated into age categories, complete a set number of laps of a short mountain bike course. Lap distances are between three and five kilometres. A large number of league participants competed against each other in the 2016 XCO Championships, adding even more suspense to the upcoming Spur Schools MTB League Finals.

The hotly contested finals will once again see schools as well as provinces competing for the coveted Spur Schools MTB League trophy and top spot on the provincial log.

On Saturday, 8 October the schools will go head-to-head with the top 26 riders in each category scoring points for their team in an effort to secure podium positions in the National Inter-schools Final. Menlo Park High School dominated the 2015 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League finals, winning the boys, girls and mixed team trophies.

Registration opens at 07h00 for invited riders only and racing starts at 08h30 with the sub-junior boys followed by youth men 15 years at 09h20 and youth men 16 years at 10h00.  All the girls will race together at 10h45 with a minute between category starts and the junior men will wrap up the day’s racing at 11h30.

Spur Steak Ranches is offering a R10 000 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 Clare Rainey, Spur Brand Development Manager.

The League is affiliated to South African Schools Cycling (SASC), which in turn is affiliated to Cycling SA as a development initiative particularly geared to create a platform for schools to compete against each other and, in doing so, raise the profile of the sport at school level.

On Sunday 9 October schools will team up for the SASC Interprovincial Competition whereby the best 10 results will be tallied to crown the best province. North West Province, in spite of its size, is the current defending provincial champion.

Registration will open at 07h00 and racing will commence at 08h30 with the sub-junior boys.  The youth men (15 and 16 years) will race at 08h50 followed by the girls at 09h30 and the junior men setting off at 10h15.  Prize giving will be at 11h30.

This year has also seen the introduction of Team Spur’s James Reid and Ariane Kleinhans, who play the important role of encouraging League riders to follow their dreams by showcasing the reality of becoming sponsored athletes.  Riders will have the opportunity to interact with Team Spur at the finals this weekend.

According to league director Meurant Botha of Amarider, participation at local events has shown a steady growth as schools accept mountain biking as a recognized sport – some going as far as employing coaches and managers to oversee teams and even building dedicated tracks on school grounds to encourage after-school practice and interschool sports days.

“Although there are many kids finding their competitive edge on their bicycles, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League’s focus is still to encourage more kids on bikes, more schools in action. It is important for all children to enjoy participating whether only starting out or having participated for a couple of seasons,” concludes Botha.

For more information and results visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za or follow us on Facebook at Spur Schools League and follow @spurMTBleague on Twitter #spurMTBleague.