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PEARTON, THERON BOUNCE BACK AT SABIE EXPERIENCE

By Bardy the Action Scribe

After a shocking Stage 1, which saw them struggle physically and puncture twice, finishing well off the pace, the Mazda Merida pair of John Paul Pearton and Francois Theron bounced back on Saturday to capture Stage 2 of the Sabie Experience mountain bike race in dramatic fashion.

Having recovered somewhat from a forgettable Stage 1, Pearton was able to keep his pace more consistent on Saturday, which allowed him and Theron to claim the King of the Mountain prime and stay with Stage 1 winners and overall leaders Burry Stander and Marc Bassingthwaighte (Mr Price GT). The quartet then broke clear of the rest of the field in the final stages of Saturday’s gruelling 82km leg to set up a thrilling finish.

“Burry and Marc had a 20 minute lead on us overall so they didn’t have to set the pace in the last 10 kays, leaving us to do all the work as we were trying to pull back time on the others to get back up to second place overall,” explained Theron.

“They wanted the stage win, but John Paul and I decided we weren’t going to just let them have it. I stayed on Burry’s wheel in the final few hundred metres and managed to outsurge him right at the finish line. When I looked back I saw John Paul was just ahead of Marc. It was a fantastic feeling!”

Stander and Bassingthwaighte extended their overall race lead with Team Jeep’s Peter Smith and Craig Paul, who suffered a puncture and finished third on Saturday’s stage, just holding on to second place overall, with less than two minutes advantage over Pearton and Theron.

In the women’s race, a puncture forced Tania Raats and Natalie Unstead (Maverick Chicks) to abandon their tight battle for the stage win with Amy Jane Mundy and Sara Muhl (Jeep Girls). This gave Mundy and Muhl a comfortable 11-minute lead as they went on to win the stage and extend their advantage over their rivals in the overall standings.

The only other category that had a lead change on Saturday was the Sub-Veteran Men, which saw Renato Albrecht and Shaun Mackenzie (Garmin DCM) leapfrog over David and Johan Labuschagne (Cycle Lab Brothers) after finishing an impressive third overall on the stage.

Sunday’s Stage 3 is over 65km with 1650 metres of climbing.
 
Sabie Experience Mountain Bike Race
Sabie, Mpumalanga
Leading results
Stage 2, 82km
OVERALL
1 Mazda Merida – John Paul Pearton / Francois Theron 03:44:09
2 Mr Price GT – Burry Stander / Marc Bassingthwaighte 03:44:10
3 Garmin DCM – Renato Albrecht / Shaun Mackenzie 03:54:14
4 Jeep – Peter Smith / Craig Paul 03:54:15
5 Cycle Lab Brothers – Johan Labuschagne / David Labuschagne 03:58:29

OPEN MEN
1 Mazda Merida – John Paul Pearton / Francois Theron 03:44:09
2 Mr Price GT – Burry Stander / Marc Bassingthwaighte 03:44:10
3 Jeep – Peter Smith / Craig Paul 03:54:15
4 Bell Cycles – Brett Dickson / Nico Bell 04:02:26
5 Fullimput II – David Lehman / Roan Exelby 04:06:43

SUB-VETERAN MEN
1 Garmin DCM – Renato Albrecht / Shaun Mackenzie 03:54:14
2 Cycle Lab Brothers – Johan Labuschagne / David Labuschagne 03:58:29
3 Wellness@Casterbridge – Francois Lourens / Melt Swanepoel 04:10:54

VETERAN MEN
1 Cycle Lab Supercycling 1 – Andrew McLean / Michael Cheesman 04:09:28
2 Miles for Marrow – Rudi de Wet / Jacques Malan 04:32:09
3 Black Hawk – Glenn Williams / Andrew Currie 04:32:39

MASTER MEN
1 Comeback – Ben Cronje / Cobus Slabbert 05:15:45
2 Subaru Gaberone – Seamus O’Neill / Steve Moss 05:27:28
2 BeeGees – Brendon Cairns / Gerhard Degener 05:55:37

OPEN WOMEN
1 Jeep Girls – Amy Jane Mundy / Sara Muhl 04:45:41
2 Maverick Chicks – Tania Raats / Natalie Unstead 04:57:23
3 Endless Horizons – Sarah van Heerden / Robyn Adendorff 05:01:46

MIXED
1 IMC Racing – Paul Cordes / Yolande Speedy 04:16:55
2 Nipple en Spoke – Sanet Smal / Dana Coetzee 04:45:08
3 Mongoose Red – Rourke Crouser / Caitlin de Wet 04:53:06


Leading standings after Stage 2
OVERALL
1 Mr Price GT – Burry Stander / Marc Bassingthwaighte 07:07:31
2 Jeep – Peter Smith / Craig Paul 07:22:39
3 Mazda Merida – John Paul Pearton / Francois Theron 07:24:05
4 Garmin DCM – Renato Albrecht / Shaun Mackenzie 07:30:25
5 Cycle Lab Brothers – Johan Labuschagne / David Labuschagne 07:33:49

OPEN MEN
1 Mr Price GT – Burry Stander / Marc Bassingthwaighte 07:07:31
2 Jeep – Peter Smith / Craig Paul 07:22:39
3 Mazda Merida – John Paul Pearton / Francois Theron 07:24:05
4 Fullimput II – David Lehman / Roan Exelby 07:38:44
5 Bell Cycles – Brett Dickson / Nico Bell 07:58:09

SUB-VETERAN MEN
1 Garmin DCM – Renato Albrecht / Shaun Mackenzie 07:30:25
2 Cycle Lab Brothers – Johan Labuschagne / David Labuschagne 07:33:49
3 Cycle 4 Kids – Alex Otto / Arno Daehnke 08:15:57

VETERAN MEN
1 Cycle Lab Supercycling 1 – Andrew McLean / Michael Cheesman 08:12:39
2 Black Hawk – Glenn Williams / Andrew Currie 08:43:59
3 Beats Work – George Oertel / Ian Martin 08:44:37

MASTER MEN
1 Comeback – Ben Cronje / Cobus Slabbert 09:50:15
2 Subaru Gaberone – Seamus O’Neill / Steve Moss 10:55:16
2 BeeGees – Brendon Cairns / Gerhard Degener 11:14:36

OPEN WOMEN
1 Jeep Girls – Amy Jane Mundy / Sara Muhl 09:06:12
2 Maverick Chicks – Tania Raats / Natalie Unstead 09:19:36
3 Endless Horizons – Sarah van Heerden / Robyn Adendorff 09:32:02

MIXED
1 IMC Racing – Paul Cordes / Yolande Speedy 08:11:27
2 Nipple en Spoke – Sanet Smal / Dana Coetzee 09:02:34
3 Mongoose Red – Rourke Crouser / Caitlin de Wet 09:14:36