Debutant Grant Daly of PE takes honours in tight finish to Rosehill Mall
CYCLISTS enjoyed perfect weather conditions as they stretched their legs early last Sunday morning at the start in Grahamstown of the much-anticipated Pennypinchers G2C Mountain Bike Ride.
In the four years since the event first set off, Grahamstown cyclist Jason Meaton has won it three times, setting a course record of just over one hour, 40 minutes. This year however, Meaton did not enter and left the door open for fresh blood to take the winner’s crown. Ultimately, that honour went to first-time entrant Grant Daly, of Port Elizabeth, who flew over the finish line in first place in 1:53 minutes.
Fighting till the end for first prize was 17-year-old Lloyd Vos, who finished one second after Daly, and in third place was Karl Jansen van Rensburg, who came in 10 seconds after Vos.
The fight for the lead was an exciting contest, with the three cyclists pushing each other throughout the 58km cycle from Grahamstown to Rosehill Mall in Port Alfred.
First place finisher in the ladies’ section was Ingrid Brown, who came home in a time of 2:10.
Not far behind her in second place was Christine Harrison in a time of 2:15.
Despite a gradual descent from 643m above sea level in Grahamstown to 69m in Port Alfred, cyclists described the course as not the easiest with some tough hills at the start, tricky downhill single track and more gruelling uphill sections in the Southwell district.
The last section was a comfortable short single track section through farmland and took the bikes off the country road and into the back of Rosehill Mall.
All together about 386 riders – from near and far – participated in what is described as a tough, but fun mountain bike race.
All the way from Zambia – and the oldest competitor in the race at 73 – was Willem Lublinkhof who cycled with friends Rob Ellingson, Martin Glaum and Bruce Johnson from Port Elizabeth.
The youngest competitors at 15 were Linder Cullen and Sascha van der Merwe, who entered and competed with her dad Janneman van der Merwe, in her second G2C. “It was a lot of fun, and I really enjoy competing with my dad again,” Sascha said.
Spouses Benita and Derek Kibble from Port Elizabeth said the course was a bit difficult for them but enjoyed being able to compete as a couple.
Some returning competitors felt the course was easier than before as the race had proven tougher over the last two years due to bad weather conditions.