The Namibian (Windhoek)

11 February 2013

Namibia: Freyer Wins Mountain Bike Challenge

JUNIOR cyclists dominated the Nedbank Mountain Bike Challenge, with 17-year-old Martin Fryer beating 15-year-old Tristan de Lange to take the honours.

Freyer, De Lange and senior cyclist Heinrich Köhne broke away from the chasing pack early in the race and steadily increased the gap, as they set a terrific pace.

"It was very tough but it was an amazing course, roads that I haven't done yet. The roads were very technical and the downhills were quite dangerous, but I had a lot of fun," Freyer said after the race.

Despite their great rivalry, the cyclists showed fine sportsmanship when they reached a locked gate along the way, as they helped each other get their bikes over the gate before continuing with the race.

Towards the end fortunes changed as Freyer took a fall, with De Lange taking over at the front, until he got a puncture, which allowed Freyer top once again take the lead.

Freyer held it till the end to win in a time of 2:44:08, with De Lange coming second in 2:45:55 and Kohne third in 2:47:39.

There was a huge gap on the rest of the field as Jacques Celliers came fourth nearly 10 minutes behind in 2:57:10, while Michael Pretorius came fifth in 2:57:41.

"The race was very exciting and very unpredictable and probably the toughest Nedbank that I've done but its definitely something to do again," De Lange said after the race.

Asked whether he would have beaten Freyer had he not got a puncture, De Lange remained diplomatic.

"I don't know, maybe I would have had a chance, but I still don't know how strong Martin actually is, so the next race will be the answer," he said.

Köhne said it was a tough race and congratulated Freyer and De Lange on their performances.

"I must say our youngsters are super strong. I managed to keep up till just before the finish and then I couldn't keep it up anymore. It was nice working with the youngsters through most of the route, but it was definitely a tough route and I'll have to work on my fitness for the rest of the year," he said.

Irene Steyn won the women's 60km race in 3:30:01, with Zoe Mitchell coming second in 3:41:55 and Elanor Grassow third in 3:52:26. Bertha Theron came fourth in 3:59:02 and Susanna Borg fifth in 4:07:32.

Peter van der Merwe won the men's 30km race in 1:34:08, followed by Clinton Hilfiker in 1:34:42 and Danie Blignaut in 1:35:36.

Genevieve Weber won the women's 30km race in 1:45:31, with Wanda Tattersall coming second in 1:47:47 and Anja Schroeder third in 2:04:16.

Hugo Nell won the 15km race in 47:45, followed by Christo le Roux in 47:49 and Kean de Jager in 49:54.

Patricia Hoeksema won the female 30km race in 52:38, followed by Svetlana Bauer in 53:54 and Nicola Theron in 54:20.

Close to 400 cyclists completed the various categories.

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