Induna MTB Race Report 2012
The sun came up on the First Ascent Big Induna mountain bike race as the riders filed in, radiating a tangible excitement. A jubilant, festive atmosphere reigned at the venue as the last minute bike adjustments were made.
Riders from all over the show, lined up on a perfect sunny winters day in Hazyview, to see how much punishment their bodies could endure on the challenging course that was dished up by the Induna Adventures team. This route resembled a play park with excitement and beauty around every corner and berm. The route was fast flowing and tested the skills of man and machine. National celebrity, Sarel, from the M-Net series, Master Chef South Africa, cooked up a storm as the MC of the day. He welcomed each rider as if a family member and hero, as they sprinted, crawled, waved, wheelied or walked with big smiles past the First Ascent finish line.
The 116km SA selection First Ascent ultra marathon for the men was dominated and claimed by the rising to fame, Nico Bell. To date he has had a brilliant racing season. Coming in first after 5 hours 21 minutes, facing 35 purposely built wooden bridges, numerous sharp-kick, up and downhills, he met the cheer of the crowd.
The 78km SA selection marathon distance for the woman was chiselled in stone by Theresa Ralph as she dethroned and “deboned” all other competitors. She also came 5th overall and thus made a mockery of male dominance. Local fan, Lourens Luus, had yet again bagged another victory in the marathon distance. He came riding in waving to the crowd with blood and earth on his arm, half a handle bar and only a back brake as proof of his fall 15km before the finish line.
Mathew Schofield for the men, and Alison Emery for the woman, rose to the podium in the First Ascent half marathon distance. These speedsters fired on all cylinders from start to finish as they crossed water streams, hippo paths and fast flowing single track in their 40km ride.
The young Keegan Clark and Saffron Vosloo played their best cards on the day, as they outplayed the rest in the new “Seasons in Africa,” 19km distance that was introduced this year.
The 10km fun ride and brewing pot for upcoming stars and riders in South Africa was stirred by Valencia Wholesalers, as young and old riders got a proper introduction on how to ride their mountain bike.
The organisers expected nothing less than miracles to take place in people’s lives on the race day. Their prayers were rewarded by a report of a lady healed from a vestibular disease after 5km of racing.
A big thank you to the team of Induna Adventures that prepared and organized yet again one of the highlights on the racing calendar. The First Ascent Big Induna mountain bike race in Hazyview will be back next year to bedazzle all mountainbikers. Spread the word that life is too short to miss out on this magical mountain bike race.