Willie Jnr Willemse was te overall winner of the 35km race. Photos: Roelof de Jonge

On Saturday morning the 30th of October, a host of mountain bike racers and avid riders took on the mighty triple G, Gravelotte’s Gravel Grinder.

Richard Noel leading a pack of riders home.

This race was organized by the Jakkalsroep Venue and Tzaneen Cycling Club with NTT Isuzu as the event sponsor. The race with various distances to compete in was held on the property of Jakkalsroep.

Maximillian Drewett taking on the 35km race.

The main race challenged the riders over 120km with the heat intensifying as the race progressed. Sydney Swart conquered the hot conditions to win the race in a time of 04:26:55.1 and managed to win the Sub Veteran Men’s category, ahead of Alan Gordon who finished the race in fourth place overall.

Madeleine Wasserman.

The Stanford Lake College rider and Insect Science MTB Team member, Gunther Katzke, was the winner of the Men’s Elite division. He crossed the line in second place, with just 3,31 seconds separating him from Swart. Bill Noel, who was the first Veteran Men’s entry over the line, took up the third spot.

John Menster finished in second place in the 35km race.

Retha Beukes was the first female entry over the line, she competed in the Veteran Women’s category and finished in 24th place overall. A total of 42 riders entered for this 120km with only 36 making it to the finish line.

Henro van der Walt.

Willie Junior Willemse (Youth Men’s Division winner) had a race-long tussle for the lead in the 35km race with John Menster (Master Men’s Category winner). The younger and more energetic Willemse just managed to eventually keep his nose in front of his older rival to take the first place.

Willemse completed the race in 01:14:25.8 with a hard chasing Menster hot on his heels, with just 0.01.7 of a second separated the two riders in the end. Menster’s overall time was 01:14:27.5.

Anke Rood from Merensky High School’s MTB team was the winner of the Youth Women’s category and the first female cyclist to finish the 35km race. Rood who finished in an excellent 10th place overall, showed many of the male participants the way home. Her finishing time was 01:26:03.6. A total of 107 cyclist entered for this race.

Anke Rood from Merensky High School was the first female rider acrross the line in the 35km race.

There was also a 15km race for the less adventurous and fitness conscious cyclists who had more of a sightseeing excursion in mind than racing at full speed. Robert Noel (winner of the u/12 Boys Sprogs category) blitzed through this 15km course to take the win in just 37 minutes.

Aron van den Borre (u/10 Boys Nippers division winner) pressure the winner hard al the way to the line and missed out on the victory by the narrowest of margins, just 0.58 of a second separating the first two place finishers.

Shirlene van den Borre who kept a keen eye over her young one leading the 15km race, was the first women’s entry to complete the race in third place. She was the winner of the Open Women’s class and finished in a time of 38 minutes, a mere second behind the front running finishers. A Total of 54 riders entered for the 15km fun race.

Willemse completed the race in 01:14:25.8 with a hard chasing Menster hot on his heels, with just 0.01.7 of a second separated the two riders in the end. Menster’s overall time was 01:14:27.5.

Anke Rood from Merensky High School’s MTB team was the winner of the Youth Women’s category and the first female cyclist to finish the 35km race. Rood who finished in an excellent 10th place overall showed many of the male participants the way home. Her finishing time was 01:26:03.6. A total of 107 cyclists entered for this race.

There was also a 15km race for the less adventurous and fitness-conscious cyclists who had more of a sightseeing excursion in mind than racing at full speed. Robert Noel (winner of the u/12 Boys Sprogs category) blitzed through this 15km course to take the win in just 37 minutes.

Aron van den Borre (u/10 Boys Nippers division winner) pressure the winner hard all the way to the line and missed out on the victory by the narrowest of margins, just 0.58 of a second separating the first two place finishers.

Shirlene van den Borre who kept a keen eye over her young one leading the 15km race, was the first women’s entry to complete the race in third place. She was the winner of the Open Women’s class and finished in a time of 38 minutes, a mere second behind the front running finishers. A total of 54 riders entered for the 15km fun race.

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