Round 5 of the SA National MX Series
A Fast Day At Thunder Valley, Pietermaritzburg
Thunder Valley, 6 August 2016 – A cool mist draped itself over the track, and it was a crisp morning that greeted the competitors in round 5 of the Monster Energy TRP Distributors SA National MX Champs at Thunder Valley, Pietermaritzburg.
The early freshness did not last long however, and before they knew it, the competitors were dealing with a warm, dry and challenging day on the track. The track featured a hard pack with lots of tabletops, and it was a fast but very unforgiving day of riding.
The day’s competition kicked off with MX2, and the division stalwarts Kerim Fitzgerald and David Goosen were both in it to win it. Kerim proved the on-form competitor and won the 2nd heat comfortably to ensure the overall win from Goosen and Ant Raynard in third.
In MX1 there was also a serious 2nd Heat domination, this time by Sacha Naude with Fitzgerald and Goosen hot on his heels, and Raynard not far behind. This win gives Naude the points lead in MX1, and earns him the red plate.
MX3 saw some of the fiercest battles of the day go down! This highly competitive division saw Ryan Hunt and Ian Topliss going hard, with neither giving any quarter. There were a couple of bumps and nudges going down as they both gave it stick. The lead switched constantly throughout this entertaining heat and it was Hunt who emerged victorious.
After perennial Ladies competitor Toni Jardine was involved in a crash in heat one, Brittany Cuthbert and Nanda Clowes were left in the race and clawing for victory. After some spectacular racing and the lead changing many times, Cuthbert kept her head down on the final stretch for the win.
Jonathan Hubbard owned Senior Support, with Cameron Odendaal right behind him.
The inspirational 125 High School divisions saw a new rider on the top step. He has been at the top all season, but things just haven’t been going his way. In this event Marco De Vrye had his day and took over from the regular top runners, Keegan Hickson Mahoney in 2nd and Slade Smith in 3rd
With the track being fast and taxing, there were a few victims claimed during the day and a coupke of falls. Jason Visser and Wikus van Sandwyk both had slams, but managed to get up and bravely finish their races with heads held high, while Dylan Donald, who also crashed, was unfortunately unable to finish his race.
It was an exciting and crazy day, and the contestants all knew that this event was absolutely crucial for points in the second half of the year. As it stands, several situations are still in the balance and points can still go either way in many divisions. It is proving to be one of the most exciting years for SA National MX, and the final stretch will be a veritable nail-biter.
The points standings for all classes can be found here: www.samxnationals.co.za/results.
The next Monster Energy TRP Distributors SA MX Nationals will take place on 17 September at Holeshot Harrys in Harrismith, Free State.
Thunder Valley Results:
1. Camden McLellan
2. Slade Boths
3. Grant Hutton
Photos: Eric Palmer/Afreakin Photography