Western Cape Spur Schools Mountain Bike League sees record entries

Get ready to saddle-up young mountain bikers for the 2018 season of the Spur Schools MTB League – it’s set to be better than ever. The Southern Cape will kick off the series at Klipheuwel Trail Park on 19 May, while the Western Cape date is set for 9 June at Southey Vines Cycle Park in Somerset West.

This year marks 10-years since the League’s inception and organisers say the tournament has “grown in leaps and bounds”. It’s developed from just 1 590 rider entries and 115 participating schools in 2009, to 12 722 entries and 496 schools in 2017. And 2018 will be no different; the League should see a 20-30 percent increase in rider entries when compared to last season.

According to Meurant Botha, director of Amarider, the League’s principal organiser; the sporting initiative seeks to introduce more schoolgoing children to MTB and to encourage South African schools to adopt it as an official in-school sport. He says the initiative also aims to provide regional and national structure in MTB at school level.

“By offering MTB as a school sport, it’s the perfect opportunity for those children who lack the ball skills that go with soccer, rugby and cricket to be active as well, and participate in a sport that is as much fun,” Botha says.

He says schools throughout the country well-known for their traditional sport strength have now become top MTB schools, with specialised staff and coaches employed to help build tracks on which to practice and ensure children maintain a rigorous training programme.  To-date the League has also managed to establish a presence in all nine provinces in the country, which Botha describes as an “outstanding achievement”.

“Every province has been running a full MTB calendar, which is great news. Parents and kids particularly enjoy this sport because everyone can participate and have fun, whether on a competitive or social level. It’s also a good way of getting kids onto the saddle and away from a mobile device,” he says.

Meanwhile, avid rider Alan Hatherly has taken his love for MTB beyond the high school tournament. This year, Hatherly was part of the team who represented the country at the Commonwealth Games in Australia. There he scooped a bronze medal in the men’s Cross Country mountain bike race. Hatherly participated in five League events during his high school career and is part of Team Spur – a group of talented riders who serve as mentors and motivational speakers for the League’s riders.

“I am really happy with the result. It went smoothly and I [was] happy to be on the podium,” Hatherly says.

“MTB promotes an overall healthy lifestyle and during the past ten years has created a pathway for children to follow their dreams. We look forward to the next 10 years and to making some more great MTB memories,” Botha says.

 

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.

Lydenburg High Reigns Supreme in Mpumalanga

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.

 

Explosive MTB Season for Gauteng

Following another explosive Spur Schools Mountain Bike Season in Gauteng with more than 80 schools competing for a spot in the national finals, Menlopark High School still reigns supreme.

Defending national champions, Menlopark High School dominated the 2015 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League finals winning the boys, girls and mixed team trophies.

Gauteng has seen an explosive growth both in participating schools and riders and is currently the largest league in the country with close on 3 000 riders competing this season. The top ten schools as well as individual category winners in the Gauteng series presented by Anatomic qualified for the 2016 national finals taking place at Bekker School in Magaliesberg from 8 to 9 October.

Menlopark logged 1162 points for a convincing win with Afrikaans Hoer Seunsskool second with 895 points and Midstream College clinching third place with 743 points.  The balance of the 10 Gauteng schools that qualified for the finals include Transvalia High School (718 points), Waterkloof High School (692 points), Garsfontein High School (617 points), Zwartkop High School (421 points), Montana High School (414 points), Monument High School (372 points) and Centurion High School filling the last slot with 315 points.

Transvalia High School took all three podium positions in the sub-junior girls race with Natalie Long first, Kaylin Gombos second and Ilke Botes in third. Miguel Moutinho form Midstream College took line honours in the boys’s race, with Dian Janjetich of Zwartkop second and Aaron Heyneke of Jeppe Boys in third.

In the youth women 15 years Monique du Toit and Antonque Grotsius of Menlopark took first and third place with Robin Stewart of Waterkloof High School finishing second.  The boys’ race was won by Hennie van Wyk of Garsfontein High School with Matthiam Hofmann of Waterkloof second and DJ Kruger of Transvalia High School in third.

Thana Groenewald  of Midstream College secured a first place in the youth women’s 16 years finals with Rimari Sutton of Garsfontein second and Nicola van der Walt of Menlopark taking third.   Garsfontein High School’s Wicus Breytenbach won the boys’ race, followed by Keagan Bontekoning of Maragon Private School in second and Chris du Plessis of Menlopark in third place.

Wrapping up the day with cutting edge riding was the juniors with Tanya Kotze of Wonderboom High School in first place, Melanie Roux of Afrikaans Hoer Meisieskool in second and Saffron Vosloo of Menlopark in third place in the women’s race.  With less than a minute separating the top three men it was Wessel Botha of Menlopark that secured a win with team mate Henry Liebenberg in third place and Wessel Redelinghuys of Afrikaans Hoer Seunsskool in third.

On Saturday, 8 October more than 60 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 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League National Inter-schools Final.

On Sunday, 9 October schools will team up for the South African Schools Cycling Interprovincial Competition whereby the best 10 results will be tallied to crown the best province. The North West Province is the current defending champion.

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.

For more information and results visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za and be sure to like the League on Facebook at Spur Schools League and follow @spurMTBleague on Twitter for more information.

Potchefstroom Gimnasium Wins North West Spur Schools MTB League

Tension is mounting around the country for the 2016 Spur Schools MTB Finals and Interprovincial Championships to be hosted in October.   This year it featured 45 events, an estimated 500 schools and 10 000 MTB enthusiasts competing across the country for a spot in the finals.

Following a stellar season, the 2016 North West Series was won by Potchefstroom Gimnasium with 770 points.  Rustenburg High School was second with 672 points followed by Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom with 400 points.  Wesvalia High and Hartebeespoort High Schools took fourth with 377 points to secure the final slot for the Spur Schools MTB League National Finals.

John-William Lang of Rustenburg High School and Joné Van Eeden of Potchefstroom Gimnasium dominated the sub-junior category winning all four regional events and the North West finals and have both been selected for the North West team.

Ryan Conradie of Potchefstroom Gimnasium had another exceptional season. Although he could not compete in the final, his three convincing wins secured him a spot in the North West team. The North West finals was won by Brendan Van Eeden of Potchefstroom Gimnasium, followed by Adriaan Duminy of Wesvalia High School in second and Stehan Wolmarans of Hartebeespoort High School in third.

Andrea de Waal of Potchefstroom Girls High took line honours at the finals with Kaylin Prinsloo from Hartebeespoort High fighting hard throughout the 2016 season to secure her spot in the North West team after a well-deserved second place in the finals.

The Junior Men’s category was a fierce and exciting battle between two riders both from Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom. Brandon Van der Berg and Pieter du Toit put up a hard fight at each of the four events to gain that top position on the podium and ultimately the overall Junior Men’s title winner – at the end Brandon took the overall series win and will also be the North West Team captain.

The Junior Women’s category saw leading ladies – Nicolene Marais from Rustenburg High School, Danielle Strydom from Potchefstroom Gimnasium and Kristen Louw from Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom, who secured the overall lead in the Junior Women’s category and was also selected North West team captain.

For more information and results visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za and be sure to like the League on Facebook at Spur Schools League and follow @spurMTBleague on Twitter for more information.

Western Cape Schools MTB Champions Crowned

Parel Vallei High School wrapped up the 2016 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League season in stellar style winning both the mixed and women’s categories, while Paul Roos Gymnasium was crowned men’s champion.  DF Malan High School finished second in the women’s and mixed categories, while Montana High School in Worcester took third place in the mixed, men’s and women’s categories.

A total of 45 high schools from across the Western Cape competed for a spot in the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League National Finals, which will take place at Bekker School in Magaliesburg on Saturday, 8 October when more than 60 schools will go head to head with the top 26 riders in each category scoring points for their team.

The Western Cape Schools that qualified for the finals are Parel Vallei, Paul Roos, DF Malan, Montana and HTS Drostdy, while York and Outeniqua High Schools from the Southern Cape will form part of the Western Cape provincial team.  In addition to the qualifying schools the top three riders in each category also secured a spot in the finals.  They are Tristan Nortje of Outeniqua (3rd youth men 15 years), Johan Krige of Durbanville High School (2nd youth men 16 years), Julia Marx of Springfield Convent  (2nd sub-junior girls), Kirstin Roelofse of York High School (3rd youth women 15 years), Michaela Beaton of Rhenish Girls High (youth women 15 years champion), Mia De Villiers of Paarl Girls High (youth women 16 years champion), Amy Tait of York High (1st junior women) and Allison Morton of Westerford High School (2nd junior women).

South African XCO National Champion and Olympian, James Reid of Team Spur also attended the Western Cape Finals and riders had the opportunity to interact with him throughout the day.

On Sunday, 9 October Western Cape schools will team up for the SASC Interprovincial Competition whereby the best 10 results will be tallied to crown the best province. The North West Province are the current defending champions.

The following riders have been selected for the Western Cape provincial team: Montana High School’s WG van der Walt, Samual Swart and Johann Trotzky; Paul Roos Gymnasium’s Matthew Lochner, Jamie Penfold and Joshua Laughton; DF Malan’s Stefke Tolmay, Carla Hollander and Mulder Oosthuizen; Michaela Beaton of Rhenish Girls High; Johan Kruger of Durbanville High; Allison Morton of Westerford High; Julia Marx of Springfield Convent; with Parel Vallei sporting five riders – Carla Steyn, Jana Barry, Matthew Keyser, Joshua de Freitas and Ico Coetzee and Southern Cape represented by Charlissa Schultz of Langenhoven High School, Tristan Nortje of Outeniqua and York High School team mates Kirstin Roelofse and Amy Tait concluding the team.

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.

For more information and results visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za and be sure to like the League on Facebook at Spur Schools League and follow @spurMTBleague on Twitter for more information.

Mpumalanga Spur Schools MTB Finals This Weekend

Tension is mounting countrywide with the 2016 Spur High Schools League National Finals, to be hosted at Bekker School in Magaliesberg in October, around the corner. This weekend riders in Mpumalanga will have the last opportunity to log points for their schools in an attempt to qualify for the event.

More than 60 schools participated in the 2016 season and a good turn-out is expected for the finals that will once again be hosted at Mankele Mountain Bike Park outside Nelspruit on Saturday, 24 September.

The League runs on the Olympic Cross Country (XCO) lap-racing format whereby participants complete a set number of laps, determined by age category, of a short mountain bike course. Lap distances are between three and five kilometres.

Registration will start from 07h00 with course open for practice until 08h45. The first race for the little 7-year old sub nipper boys and girls at 09h00, followed by the 8 to 10 year old nipper boys and girls at 09h20 and the 11 to 12 year old sprog boys and girls wrapping up the primary school races for the day at 09h45.

High school racing will start at 10h30 with the sub junior boys and girls (13 to 14 years) who are expected to complete the track in an estimated time of 35 to 45 minutes. The youth women (15 to 16 years) and junior girls (17 to 18 years) will race together at 11h30 and should complete the race in between 40 to 50 minutes. Exciting racing is expected in the final race of the day and Mpumalanga season, when the youth (15 to 16 years) and junior (17 to 18 years) boys at 12h30 take to the track.

Heading into this weekend’s final, Lydenburg High School is in a comfortable lead with an impressive 821 points and are likely to defend their title as regional champions. Lydenburg High School has also been the proud winners of the “geesbeker” at the Spur High Schools MTB Final two years running.

Schools earn points for every single participant, but better results earn more points, which add team spirit and boosts the determination of most riders. Nelspruit High School is currently lying second with 454 points, Uplands College third with 342 points, Secunda High School fourth with 276 points and Rob Ferreira filling the fifth spot with 264 points.

Since its humble beginnings with approximately 900 riders in 2009, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League has grown beyond expectations. This year it featured 45 events, an estimated 500 schools and 10 000 MTB enthusiasts competing across the country.

According to league director, Meurant Botha of Amarider, participation at local events has shown a steady growth.  He further states that 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 seasons,” says Botha.

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 will have the opportunity meet these amazing athletes at Saturday’s Mpumalanga final.

For further information follow us on @SpurMTBleague, log on to SpurSchoolsLeague on facebook or visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za.

Gauteng Finals of Spur Schools MTB League This Weekend

Mountain bike enthusiasts can look forward to an exciting end of season Tour de Wonder Spur Schools Mountain Bike League Gauteng final at Hoërskool Wonderboom in Pretoria this weekend.

The event will only be open to Gauteng High Schools and only learners from grade 8 to grade 12 can participate.  Online entries (R95) onhttp://www.mtbza.co.za/# closes on Thursday, 15 September at 15h00 and no late entries will be taken on the day of the event. Registration queries can be directed to Joanita on 084 602 2271 or admin@mtbza.co.za

A special promotional sub junior race for grade 7 learners only will take place on Friday, 16 September at 17h00.  This will serve as a seeding event for 2017 racing league where the top 50 boys and top 20 girls will be seeded for next year when they qualify to compete in the Spur High Schools MTB League.  The route will be open for practice on Friday from 14h00 to 16h30 and registration will be open from 14h30 to 17h00.

Registration for the Gauteng Finals of the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League presented by Anatomic will open at 07h00 on Saturday (17 September) and the route will be open for practice from 07h15. Racing will commence at 08h30 with the Sub Junior Boys, followed at 09h30 by all four girl categories (Sub Junior Girls; Youth 15 Girls; Youth 16 Girls and Junior Women).  At 10h30 and 11h30 the Youth Boys 15 and 16 years will take to the track respectively. The Junior Men will round up the day with what promises to be a high speed adrenaline driven race at 12h30.  Prize giving is scheduled for 13h30.

Heading into Saturday’s finals, Menlopark High School is in a comfortable lead with 324 points, followed by Midstream College in second place with 217 points and Afrikaans Hoër Seunsskool in third with 213 points.  Filling up the remainder of the top ten spots on the Gauteng log are Garsfontein, Transvalia, Waterkloof, Montana, Zwartkop, Centurion and Monument High Schools.

The category winners in the penultimate Tour de Bling race were: Sub Junior Girls Kaylin Gombos and teammate Natalie Long of Transvalia High School taking first and second with Jade Slabbert of Midstream College in third.   Miguel Moutinho of Midstream College won the Sub Junior Boys’s race with Jaedon Terlouw of St Albans College second and Francois Botha of Randburg High School in third.

Monique du Toit of Menlopark won the Youth Women 15 year race, with Robin Swart of Waterkloof second and Antonique Grosius also of Menlopark in third.  Hennie van Wyk of Garsfontein took line honours in the Youth Men 15 years, followed by DJ Kruger of Transvalia in second and Leonard Wilcocks of Dirk Postma High in third.

The Youth Women 16 years was won by Thana Groenewald of Midstream College, with Rumari Sutton of Garsfontein High School and Nicola van der Walt of Menlopark second and third respectively.  In the Youth Men 16 years it was Chris du Plessis of Menlopark that took gold with Wicus Breytenbach of Garsfontein High School second and fellow Menlopark rider, Erick Heyns filling the final podium slot.

Saffron Vosloo of Menlopark is continuing to ride a spectacular season winning the junior girls race in stellar style, with Melanie Roux of Afrikaans Hoër Meisieskool second and Natasha Zwarts of Midstream College in third.

Wessel Redelinghuys of Afrikaans Hoër Seunsskool took first in the Junior Men’s race, with Henry Liebenberg of Menlopark second and Chad Fikkert of Midstream College in third place.

Eight years into the Spur High School Mountain Bike League over 10 000 scholars from more than 480 schools have participated in regional events around South Africa. The cross-country race format increases in popularity annually as riders rack up points across four races in order for their school to qualify for the National Final, which will be held in Magaliesburg in October.

For more information on the league, visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za or follow the league on face book at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague.