Team Sasol 1 dominated the inaugural York Enduro Mountain Bike Rally in the scenic Sabie countryside on Saturday 14 September, with the 4 rider team and their guest professional rider Ben Melt Swanepoel winning the grueling 58km race.
With a total of R200 000 in prize money up for grabs over the course of the 3 days, the 20 top professionals, corporate teams and amateur riders provided the spectators with thrilling action in a series of races.
While Sasol won the feature race, the York Enduro Mountain Bike Rally, on the Saturday, Lourens Luus won Friday’s 3.2km Downhill Final with a time of 00:06:20, while the fastest woman was local pro Samantha Sanders who crossed the line in 00:07:01.
Managing Director of Sasol Oil, Alan Cameron, congratulated York on a well-supported and executed event. “From my perspective everything was absolutely spot on! We’ll be back next year to defend the title,” he said.
Sunday provided another action-packed day of riding with the 40km York Adventure Challenge, as well as the 19km race taking place in the morning. A total of 140 entrants for these two events joined the 85 corporate and pro riders battling it out over the demanding Sabie terrain in the York plantations.
First place in the 40km event went to Franco Pelser in 01:48:35, while Natia van Heerden was the first woman in 02:10:17. The 19km race saw Reinhart Viljoen take first place in 00:58:21 and just over 20 minutes later, Anina Coetzee crossed the line to win the woman’s race.
There was much to be enjoyed on the final day as The Campbell’s got the crowd going, whilst numerous food stalls and plenty of kids entertainment areas added to the exciting atmosphere in and around Sabie.
And to top it all off, the grand finale on Sunday saw the professionals compete in a thrilling hi-speed cross country race on the Sabie Golf Course, with Arno du Toit and Ariane Kleinhans the fastest man and woman respectively.
“It has been such a privilege for York to host an event like this,” said CEO of York Timbers, Pieter van Zyl. “We saw some of the most talented mountain bikers in our country showing off their skills on our trails and on the special cross-country track on the Sabie Golf Course, which provided great entertainment.”
The weekend of racing down steep tracks and getting covered in dust also contributed to various social upliftment causes, with Friday’s gala dinner raising over R70 000 through the corporate teams bidding for a pro cyclist to join their team. All the funds raised will contribute to various York Timbers community projects and support change makers in the area.
Kirsten Coetzee, Chief Human Capital Officer said: “The money raised during the auction will help us continue the legacy we are creating – it will further the vision we have for the upliftment of our community and our town, and for that we are grateful.”
The weekend also featured a 12km trail run on Saturday morning, which was won by Sven Musica with Lynn Biesheuvel the first woman home.