Mountain Bikers Brave Soaring Temperatures

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By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK Namibian top cyclist Marc Bassingth-waighte ended second in the 5th annual Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Mountain Bike Challenge, which took place in Cape Town over the weekend. Bassingthwaighte recorded a time of 2h12: 58 in one the biggest cycling competitions on the continent. Jacques Rossouw took top honours when he crossed the finish line in an overall time of 2h11. Ellane van Wyk from Stellenbosch was the first woman to finish the 55km course in 2h45. They were part of over 1,800 mountain bikers who braved the searing Boland heat during the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Mountain Bike Challenge around Boschendal Estate on Sunday. And as the mercury rose to over 40 degrees, even the fittest and most experienced mountain bikers had a tough time on the dry and dusty course. The temperatures also contributed to some harsh on-route conditions – it took over five hours for some riders to finish. “An unprecedented number of riders participated in this year’s mountain bike challenge,” said Meurant Botha, event organiser of the mountain bike challenge. “It is great to see how this event has developed into a must-do on mountain bikers’ race calendars.” Over 300 riders enjoyed the leisurely 13km route; over 800 cyclists rode the 26km trail while around 660 riders endured the gruelling 55km route. This week, the professionals will have their turn when they vie for the coveted rose-pink jersey in the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Giro del Capo. Starting in Wellington en route to Cape Town, the teams will cover around 600km in this 5-day stage race, and will finish their last stage as part of the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour on 12 March. The biggest question on everybody’s lips is whether defending champion, Barlo-world’s Tiaan Kannemeyer will enjoy another win or whether Nedbank’s David George will equal Andrew Maclean’s record of four overall giro wins. Only time will tell as the drama unfolds this week. Two off-cycle events to look forward to are the cycle tour expo that opens at the Good Hope Centre on Wednesday and the pasta party – hosted by Bicycling SA – at Canal Walk on Friday. ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚º The race winners were as follows: 55km Men: 1. Jacques Rossouw: 2h11: 31 2. Marc Bassingth-waighte: 2h12: 58 3. Hannes Neethling: 2h13:48 Women: 1. Ellane van Wyk: 2h44:46 2. Sara Muhl: 2h46:04 3. Hanlie Booyens: 2h46:08 26km Men: 1. Allister Arenson: 1h13:17 2. Dominic Calitz: 1h13:49 3. Marc Puzey: 1h14:14 Women: 1. Claire Johnson: 1h25:46 2. Leigh Mcluskey: 1h26:23 3. Lulette Lubbe: 1h27:00 13km Men: 1. Matthew Davey: 00h37:05 2. Christopher Broderick: 00h42:46 3. Matthew van Niekerk: 00h43:19 Women: 1. Chloe Visser: 00h44:44 2. Annamart Laubscher: 0h45:52 3. Marli Louw (time not available) – Additional reporting Pick and Cycle Media Office

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