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OLYMPIC HOPEFULS WIN SABIE EXPERIENCE IN STYLE

By Bardy the Action Scribe

Olympic Games hopefuls Burry Stander and Marc Bassingthwaighte of the Mr Price GT team won the Sabie Experience mountain bike race in style on Monday when, despite have a large lead, still went on to win the final stage.

Stander is easily South Africa’s best hope for a strong finish at the upcoming Olympic Games, while Bassingthwaighte is Namibia’s leading male hopeful for success in Beijing in 2008. But while the Olympic Games will see them competing in lap-style cross-country racing, both showed their versatility in claiming two wins and a second place in the three-stage Sabie Experience, one of the country’s highest profile marathon mountain bike events.

Following the cancellation of Stage 3 on Sunday due to rain-related dangerous conditions, Stander and Bassingthwaighte held a 14-minute lead over their nearest rivals, Peter Smith and Craig Paul (Team Jeep) which meant they could have cruised the last stage, a 24km time trial and still secured the overall title. However Stander and Bassingthwaighte weren’t ready to embrace the giving spirit just yet and went all out on the final stage, claiming the victory in a fast 52 minutes and 27 seconds, almost a minute faster than second placed pair of David Lehman and Roan Exelby (Fullimput II).

Third place on the stage went to Stage 2 winners John Paul Pearton and Francois Theron (Mazda Merida) who narrowly missed grabbing the second place in the overall standings. At the start, the Mazda Merida pair were one minute and 45 seconds down on Team Jeep and by the finish, were just 17 seconds back.

As expected the final stage and overall women’s category victory went to Amy Jane Mundy and Sarah Muhl who ended up more than 15 minutes quicker in the final standings over Tania Raats and Natalie Unstead (Maverick Chicks), with Sarah van Heerden and Robyn Adendorff (Endless Horizons) rounding out the podium.

In the Mixed category, Paul Cordes and Yolande Speedy (IMC Mongoose) weren’t really challenged, finishing 10th overall. They claimed all three stages as well as the overall victory, while former top road cyclists, Renato Albrecht and Shaun Mackenzie (Garmin DCM) secured the very competitive Sub-veteran title and fourth place overall. Andrew McLean and Michael Cheesman (Cycle Lab Supercycling 1) were the comfortable winners of the Veteran title and Ben Cronje and Cobus Slabbert (Comeback) claimed the Master title by more than one hour.


Sabie Experience Mountain Bike Race
Sabie, Mpumalanga
Stage 4 – 24km time trial
Leading results
OVERALL
1 Mr Price GT – Burry Stander / Marc Bassingthwaighte 52min27sec
2 Fullimput II – David Lehman / Roan Exelby 53:25
3 Mazda Merida – John Paul Pearton / Francois Theron 53:29

OPEN MEN
1 Mr Price GT – Burry Stander / Marc Bassingthwaighte 52min27sec
2 Fullimput II – David Lehman / Roan Exelby 53:25
3 Mazda Merida – John Paul Pearton / Francois Theron 53:29

SUB-VETERAN MEN
1 Garmin DCM – Renato Albrecht / Shaun Mackenzie 55:58
2 Wellness@Casterbridge – Melt Swanepoel / Francois Theron 56:38
3 Cycle Lab Brothers – Johan Labuschagne / David Labuschagne 58:18

VETERAN MEN
1 Cycle Lab Supercycling 1 – Andrew McLean / Michael Cheesman 57:48
2 Beats Work – George Oertel / Ian Martin 59:12
3 Miles for Marrow – Rudi de Wet / Jacques Malan 01:01:05

MASTER MEN
1 Comeback – Ben Cronje / Cobus Slabbert 01:11:48
2 Subaru Gaberone – Seamus O’Neill / Steve Moss 01:14:43
3 Mythbusters – Sander Silvis / Fritz Eloff 01:21:10

OPEN WOMEN
1 Jeep Girls – Amy Jane Mundy / Sara Muhl 01:08:53
2 Jeep Seconds – Hanlie Booyens / Erica Green 01:09:26
3 Sabie Wild Chicks – Joke Hoffman / Kirsty Searle 01:10:53

MIXED
1 IMC Racing – Paul Cordes / Yolande Speedy 59:05
2 Nipple en Spoke – Sanet Smal / Dana Coetzee 01:03:50
3 Mongoose Red – Rourke Crouser / Caitlin de Wet 01:07:12


Final leading standings after Stage 4
OVERALL
1 Mr Price GT – Burry Stander / Marc Bassingthwaighte 07:59:58
2 Jeep – Peter Smith / Craig Paul 08:17:17
3 Mazda Merida – John Paul Pearton / Francois Theron 08:17:34
4 Garmin DCM – Renato Albrecht / Shaun Mackenzie 08:26:23
5 Cycle Lab Brothers – Johan Labuschagne / David Labuschagne 08:32:07

OPEN MEN
1 Mr Price GT – Burry Stander / Marc Bassingthwaighte 07:59:58
2 Jeep – Peter Smith / Craig Paul 08:17:17
3 Mazda Merida – John Paul Pearton / Francois Theron 08:17:34
4 Fullimput II – David Lehman / Roan Exelby 08:32:09
5 Bell Cycles – Brett Dickson / Nico Bell 08:56:01

SUB-VETERAN MEN
1 Garmin DCM – Renato Albrecht / Shaun Mackenzie 08:26:23
2 Cycle Lab Brothers – Johan Labuschagne / David Labuschagne 08:32:07
3 Cycle 4 Kids – Alex Otto / Arno Daehnke 08:15:57

VETERAN MEN
1 Cycle Lab Supercycling 1 – Andrew McLean / Michael Cheesman 09:10:27
2 Beats Work – George Oertel / Ian Martin 09:43:49
3 Black Hawk – Glenn Williams / Andrew Currie 09:20:06

MASTER MEN
1 Comeback – Ben Cronje / Cobus Slabbert 11:02:03
2 Subaru Gaberone – Seamus O’Neill / Steve Moss 12:09:59
2 BeeGees – Brendon Cairns / Gerhard Degener 12:41:24

OPEN WOMEN
1 Jeep Girls – Amy Jane Mundy / Sara Muhl 10:15:05
2 Maverick Chicks – Tania Raats / Natalie Unstead 10:31:39
3 Endless Horizons – Sarah van Heerden / Robyn Adendorff 10:43:21

MIXED
1 IMC Racing – Paul Cordes / Yolande Speedy 09:10:32
2 Nipple en Spoke – Sanet Smal / Dana Coetzee 10:06:24
3 Mongoose Red – Rourke Crouser / Caitlin de Wet 10:21:48