The final event before the big Spur Gauteng mtb show-down took place at St. Stithians College, proud host venue for Spur Tour de Blieng presented by Anatomic for the second year in a row. St. Stithians is situated in Sandton, the heart of Johannesburg overlooking a spectacular city skyline…..but on the ground, hidden between lush trees was a single-track molded to perfection by course builder, Neil Evans, for over 600 mountain bikers to battle it out and secure their spot in the Gauteng team for the National finals at Bekker.
With 55 Gauteng High Schools entered, perfect weather conditions and a challenging course that would separate the St Bernards from the Fox Terriers, as Deon Steyn said, Tour de Blieng 2016 was going to be one to remember.
Cupped Gourmet Coffee got everyone’s day started on the right way with a variety of yummy coffees.
Cycle Lab was standing ready with a full bike servicing station with friendly staff eager to assist kids with all their bike needs – getting their equipment race ready and had all the important spares on offer. Cycle Lab also gave away a Fuji mountain bike to the value of R10 000 to one lucky winner in the spin-a-coin last man standing competition.
Participants of Spur Tour de Blieng could sign up at the Cyclesure gazebo for cover on their bicycle and accessories. CycleSure pays the premium on their behalf for accidental damage to their bicycle and accessories that occurs during the event. The cover is up to a maximum of R10,000.00.
Anatomic had great deals on their end of range Top Class bibs and shorts along with other clothing items to kit out the future stars of the sport.
Mud Buster Professional Bike Maintenance products had a bike wash station where they provided Service Assist Training to all pupils on the importance of regular maintenance. Not only does preventative maintenance prolong the useful life span of component but also assist in early detection of problems.
Spur filled the air with the smell of their yummy sizzling patties on the grill and ensured everyone stayed fueled with great Spur burgers on offer throughout the day.
Riders were fueled with ice cold 32Gi endurance and recovery drinks before and after their racing.
ER24 play a crucial role at each and every event – Spur Tour de Blieng was no exception. Due to a more challenging course and warmer temperatures, the emergency team were on duty to assist all riders and spectators on Friday during the course practice and on race day Saturday.
Thank you to the entire crew involved in organising and ensuring the event ran smoothly – Joanita and her crew from Red Robot Timing, Alistair and his crew from Alleycat events , Deon and Attie as well as the commissaires.
Racing got underway with the 112 Sub Junior boys completing a total of 3 laps. Current Series leader Miguel Moutinho from Midstream College broke away on lap one and could not me caught by his closest rival Jaedon Terlouw from St. Albans College who was 1:65 behind him after the 3 laps. Francois Botha from Randburg HS came in third. Miguel won in a time of 46:59.
The Sub Junior girls category ended with the top 3 series leaders having the exact same points…..the pressure is on for Kaylin Gombos, Natalie Long both from Transvalia HS and Jade Slabbert from Midstream College at the finals of the Gauteng series at Wonderboom HS on 17 September. The Leaders jersey and sub junior girls winner title is open and this will definitely be one fierce battle. Kaylin took 1st place with Natalie in 2nd and Jade in 3rd.
Hennie van Wyk from Garsfontein HS extended his lead in the Youth 15 category winning the 4 laps in a time of 43:22. DJ Kruger from Transvalia HS was in 2nd in a time of 44:15. Leonard Wilcocks from Dirk Postma came in 12 seconds later to take 3rd place .
Monique du Toit kept Menlopark HS name high by taking her third win in the youth 15 girls category in the Spur Gauteng Series. She won the 2 laps in a time of 36:48. Robin Stewart from Waterkloof HS came in 2nd followed by Antonique Grotsius from Menloparks HS in 3rd.
The excitement was high at the finish of the Youth 16 boys as current leader JP Lloyd dropped back and the top podium position would be determined in a sprint between Chris Du Plessis from Menlopark HS and Wicus Breytenbach from Garsfontein HS. Only 2 seconds separated the sprint which saw Chris take 1st place and Wicus with a well deserved 2nd. JP Lloyd maintained his series lead by coming in 5th.
Youth 16 girls was once again lead by Thana Groenewald from Midstream College, taking the win even after having a bit of a tumble, Thana won in a time of 50:24 with Rimari Sutton from Garsfontein 2nd in a time of 52:48. Nicola van Der Walt rounded off the podium in a time of 53:40.
Wessel Redelinghuys from Afrikaans Hoër Seunsskool was his school’s hero of the day as he beat Henry Liebenberg from Menlopark in another nail biting sprint of the day, winning by 1 second! He was surrounded and applauded by fellow school team riders on a very well deserved win. Chad Fikkert from Midstream College came in 3rd place 56 seconds after the top 2 riders.
The Junior Womens category was comfortably won by Saffron Vosloo from Menlopark HS who completed the 3 laps in a time of 53:39. Melanie Roux from Afrikaans Hoër Meisiesskool came 2nd and Natasha Zwarts from Midstream College in 3rd.
Top 5 schools:
- MENLOPARK HS 324
- MIDSTREAM COLLEGE 217
- Afrikaans Hoër Seunsskool 213
- GARSFONTEIN HS 169
- TRANSVALIA HS 160
Spur Gauteng Leaders after Tour de Blieng
- Junior Men:Henry Liebenberg – Menloparks HS
- Junior Women:Saffron Vosloo – Menloparks HS
- Youth 16 Boys:JP Lloyd – Zwartkop HS
- Youth 16 Girls:Thana Groenewald – Midstream College
- Youth 15 Boys:Hennie Van Wyk – Garsfontein HS
- Youth 15 Girls:Monique Du Toit – Menlopark HS
- Sub Junior Boys:Miguel Moutihno – Midstream College
- Sub Junior Girls:Kaylin Gombos – Transvalia HS (wears leaders jersey by default for winning Tour de Blieng) Natalie Long – Transvalia HS / Jade Slabbert – Midstream college
View full results here
View more photos here