Following a dramatic final day of Varsity MTB 2019, hosted by FNB Wines2Whales Pinotage, UCT men were left celebrating at Onrus Campsite.
The pair of Richard Simpson and Michael Lambrecht held a healthy overnight lead but were pushed hard by Tuks’ Andries Nigrini and Antonie Joubert all the way from Oak Valley Estate in Elgin to Onrus, outside Hermanus. Unfortunately for the men from Pretoria, a broken handlebar put paid to their chances of overhauling the locals – who had their own hairy moments during the 64km stage.
“This is the second bridge I’ve fallen off… I’m not having much luck,” revealed Simpson of his unscheduled ‘swim’ at Wildekrans Wine Estate some 30km into the stage.
As it happened, Tuks were racing alongside the UCT pair and while Joubert also took a tumble there it wasn’t the decisive moment of the race.
“They dropped us over there and we only saw them again at the water point [15km further on] when they were fixing their handlebar,” Simpson clarified after coming home in 02:53.11,6 to extend their overall advantage to almost eight minutes.
Nigrini was the unfortunate rider who was left to lament what might have been for Tuks.
“In the beginning of the race we tried to play tactics… with my road cycling background we tried to play with the UCT guys a bit and it worked to a level because we managed to get away and, as soon as we did, we hammered it. Just before one of the water points there was a bridge and I tipped the edge where there wasn’t grid and my front wheel slipped and the handlebar broke. We heard the water point and decided we’d stop there, patch it up and take it from there…”
As it happened, adrenalin seemingly helped the Tuks pair close in on UCT despite their misfortune.
“We started rolling them in again and when we got to the single track I went in front and that worked for a while, but the UCT guys were too strong in the end.”
Third place on the podium was claimed by the Maties pair of Michael Sutton and Morné Hollander, with the rest of the final positions mirroring what had transpired across all three days – namely Maidbaz in fourth, NWU in fifth and TUT in sixth.,
VARSITY MTB STAGE 3 RESULTS – MEN
1. Richard Simpson & Michael Lambrecht (UCT) 02:53.11,6
2. Andries Nigrini & Antonie Joubert (Tuks) 02:55.17,6
3. Michael Sutton & Morné Hollander (Maties) 03:14.37,0
4. Jan Venter & Munro Munnik (Madibaz) 03:19.29,9
5. Brendan van Eeden & Christo Botes (NWU) 03:22.42,4
6. Vian Pretorius & Shaun-Cameron Swanepoel (TUT) 03:51.18,2
VARSITY MTB OVERALL – MEN
1. Richard Simpson & Michael Lambrecht (UCT) 08:37.45,0
2. Andries Nigrini & Antonie Joubert (Tuks) 08:45.21,0
3. Michael Sutton & Morné Hollander (Maties) 09:51.00,1
4. Jan Venter & Munro Munnik (Madibaz) 10:21.44,0
5. Brendan van Eeden & Christo Botes (NWU) 10:23.24,9
6. Vian Pretorius & Shaun-Cameron Swanepoel (TUT) 11:59.06,0
For full results, visit www.wines2whales.com/riders/results-archive/.