On form Ty White added the aQuellé Tour Durban MTB powered by CycleLab crown to his impressive end-of-season haul as he staged a solo break that drove a wedge between himself and the other elite title contenders early on in the race.
The DriveTrain Academy ace from Ballito was in sublime form as he charged away into a strong headwind, racing on muddy roads and trails after the weeklong rains to set up the win over the testing hilly 40km course north of Cornubia Mall.
“It was nice and windy which made it hard on the first half, so I tried to make it as hard as possible on the way out in the tricky muddy conditions, which added another element to it,” said White.
“It was fast riding, so using the mud definitely helped and I managed to get a gap on the way out.
“It was great riding these trails as I don’t often get to ride out here,” he added. “For me personally, this win is great coming at the end of a very busy end-of-season phase.”
White’s solo break gifted him the advantage of following the lead motorbike, and once his break had left the chasers out of sight, some of the elite riders got lost and took wrong turns on the course as the route markings were not clear.
To resolve the issue the organisers separated the 40km group into a 30km result that accommodated those that had taken the wrong turns.
UKZN racer Brent Yelland was second across the line, but significantly her was the first student home in the USSA Intervarsity Champs that are being staged at this years aQuellé Tour Durban.
“Two weeks ago I did the route so I knew the markings and where I could push the descents, which really helped me,” said Yelland, who has been a trailblazer for the recent inclusion of UKZN in the annual intervarsity competition.
The women’s honours went to Leandri Van Biljon, who was a good six minutes clear of second placed Sancia Malan, with Erin Bargate making up the balance of the women’s podium.
A big field of recreational mountain bikers took on the 40km and 20km layouts, with the rain that has soaked the region in the week leading up to the race holding off.
On Sunday the attention turns to the road races and the popular 45km lap of the M4 freeway that will be fully closed between until 2pm to allows the elite 101km race, and the 135km, 90km and 45km rides to be safely completed.
MTB Champion Ty White and runner-up Brent Yelland will be part of the 101km elite race, keen to test the very strong field of elite men’s teams. White will be out to see if he can replicate last month’s feat of being the first rider home at the recent Amashova.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
40km aQuellé Tour Durban MTB powered by CycleLab
1. Ty White 1:34:01
2.Brent Yelland 1:41:24
3.Unathi Nxumalo 1:51:17
4.Scott Matthew 1:51:17
5.Dean Hay 1:54:48
6.Graeme Claaasen 1:59:34
7.Tim Leasy 1:59:34
8.Dobri Stanisavljevic 2:00:08
9.Deon Verwey 2:01:39
10.Shaun Swanepoel 2:04:02
1.Leandri Van Biljon 2:06:06
2.Sanchia Malan 2:12:42
3.Erin Bargate 2:17:13
4.Sonja Froneman 2:19:12
5.Gisela Stephens 2:19:59
30km aQuellé Tour Durban MTB powered by CycleLab
1.Abel Gumede 1:08:09
2.Kabelo Maduna 1:08:12
3.Sean Yelland 1:08:13
1.Hayley Smith 1:10:10
2.Chanel Lourens 1:58:28
3.Shannon French 2:02:43
20km aQuellé Tour Durban MTB powered by CycleLab
1.Noreen Johnstone 1:04:50
2.Shaun Scott 1:04:51
3.Madison Bateson 1:06:01
1.Noreen Johnstone 1:04:50
2.Madison Bateson 1:06:01
3.Rebecca Henderson 1:23:06