With some of the country’s premier young riders taking part the second edition of Varsity Sports MTB there is a chance to see the future of SA MTB talent between 30 September and 1 October 2017. Here are some facts you need to know about the event and the riders:
- The event is over two days and will take place in some of the country’s most incredible scenery as Paarl and Franschhoek will host the first and second stage respectively.
- Both stages are cloverleaf in nature and start and finish at the world famous Nederburg wine farm. The opening day takes riders over a distance of 50km with 1 500m of vertical ascent, while the second day covers 58km with 1 600m of climbing.
- With a challenging route filled with climbs, described by route director Pieter van Wyk as “quite hard because there is a lot of climbing relative to the kilometers they are riding” the riders will have to be technically sound and this will be a good test of their riding ability.
- All the Universities who took part in 2016 are back, and these are the University of Cape Town, University of Pretoria, North-West University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and defending champions University of Stellenbosch.
- The University of Stellenbosch has a brand-new men’s team competing, while Frankie du Toit is the new addition to the women’s team. Du Toit is the South African under-23 cross country champion and also represented South Africa at the World Cross Country Championships in Australia.
- The University of Stellenbosch men’s team will be headlined by Tristan de Lange, who is from neighboring Namibia, and is the 2015 Junior South Africa Cup champion and won the Under-23 African Mountain Continental Championship category held in Mauritius during May 2017.
- UP-Tuks have two women returning from last year with Michelle Benson and Mignette von Staden wanting to show all they learned in 2016. Basson is a multi-skilled rider, as she won two silver medals in the under-23 category South African Road Championships.
- NWU also entered quite a strong women’s team with Kristen Louw being the USSA Mountain Bike Champion.
- Here are the teams:
University of Stellenbosch Maties:
Men’s team: Tristan de Lange, Max Sullivan, Rinus Maarsingh
Women’s team: Marie Kempf, Nicola Giliomee, Frankie du Toit
Coach: Alex Heward.
University of Pretoria UP-Tuks:
Men’s team: Felix Manke, Edwill O’Neill, William Mokgopo.
Women’s team: Michelle Benson, Mignette von Staden, Melanie Roux
Team manager: Sean Atteridge
North West University:
Men’s team: Hanre Dreyer, Francois Ellis, Brandon van der Berg
Women’s team: Ernestine Safar, Nicolene Marais, Kristen Louw
Team manager: Clinton Payne
University of Cape Town:
Men’s team: Alexander Rohrer, Martin Freyer, Luke Evans
Nelson Mandela University:
Men’s team: Reich Johan Lategan, Luke Anthony Cocksedge, Reinhardt Thomas Scholtz
Manager: Christiaan Johann van Aardt
Manager: Theresa le Roux
10. The 2016 results:
Varsity Sports MTB men
- University of Stellenbosch Maties 4:47.50
- University of Pretoria Tuks 4:53.33
- University of Cape Town UCT 4:56.14
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Madibaz 5:31.42
- North-West University Pukke 5:45.22
Varsity Sports MTB women
- University of Stellenbosch Maties 5:32.34
- University of Pretoria Tuks 6:26.28
By Dorfling Terblanche