Odendaal, Fourie Crowned KZN Downhill Champs

KwaZulu-Natal’s top mountain bikers brought their A-game as Tiaan Odendaal and Kathryn Fourie descended the mountain in the quickest times in the men and women’s races to claim top honours at the 2015 KZN Provincial Downhill Championships, sponsored by NMI-DSM, which was held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.  Despite the cold front having settled in for the weekend, the sun came out and provided warmer conditions whilst the riders lit up the track as they descended the full 2013 World Championship track for a chance at the provincial titles.  Fastest rider of the day and the recently crowned KZN Enduro Champion, Tiaan Odendaal, was happy with his victory and not even his attire slowed him down.
Odendaal says:  ‘I lost a bet with my mates, which is why I’m wearing a suit today.  My race was good, I’m tired, but it was good.  The first run was 4 minutes 6 seconds and my friends told me I had to try and get below 4:00 with my next one, and I got 4 minutes exactly, so I’m happy to have knocked 6 seconds off my time.’  Odendaal posted the fastest times in both of his timed runs.  He says:  ‘My bike was running ‘hundreds’ thanks to my friends, and a huge thank you to my mom for always supporting me as well.  I’ve had some great support this weekend from my friends – its awesome. It feels pretty great to win KZN Champs, and in a suit as well.’
Women’s winner, Kathryn Fourie, was all smiles at the end of the day, and full of energy despite two solid days of racing in both the Enduro and Downhill disciplines.  Fourie says:  ‘My race went pretty well, there were a few sketchy moments in the first run – I think everyone is always a bit nervous in the beginning.  It was quite dusty and loose so I had to be careful out there.  I had a good time at the end of it – I didn’t crash, which is always a bonus.  My second run was pretty similar; a lot of people were feeling tired because the course is quite long.  We normally compete on half of the distance so racing the full track is rather exhausting.  I did the Enduro yesterday and I could feel it in my legs today.’  The first Junior rider home, Jonathan Philogene, posted the second fastest overall time of the day and was honoured to take the win in his category.
Philogene says:  ‘Today went pretty well, even in the practice run.  I had a few mechanicals, which we thankfully managed to fix.  After I posted a good first race run I decided that I’m going to keep it chilled for the second race run and keep it safe. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end it.’  Jason Williams claimed the Youth Men’s provincial title despite crashing in his second timed run.  Williams says:  ‘I managed to put in a solid first run.  I didn’t pedal much so I knew that I could make up a bit more time in the second run.  But I lost a few seconds in my second run when I went straight into a tree.  I had to hold it together after that and I got to the bottom safely.’
KZN MTB extends great thanks to the local sponsors of the Provincial Downhill and Enduro Series, as well as the weekend’s Championship events.  Thank you NMI-DSM, your support is most valued.
 
Summary of Results – KZN MTB Championships (Downhill) – 7 June 2015

Overall Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal 04:00.19
2.Jonathan Philogene 04:06.70
3.Timothy Bentley 04:14.47
4.David Hogan 04:14.79
5.Gregg Brown 04:21.35
6.Kelvin Purchase 04:24.41
7.Andre Pretorius 04:24.44
8.Nigel Hicks 04:29.14
9.Dustin Rudman 04:31.12
10.Craig Paul 04:31.37

Overall Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 05:22.17
2.Kim Westbrook 05:43.78
3.Sabine Thies 05:46.19
4.Joanne Hicks 05:57.46
5.Lauren Hoyer 06:40.84

Elite Men
1.Tiaan Odendaal 04:00.19
2.Timothy Bentley 04:14.47
4.David Hogan 04:14.79
5.Gregg Brown 04:21.35

Elite Women
1.Kim Westbrook 05:43.78
2.Lauren Hoyer 06:40.84

Junior Men
1.Jonathan Philogene 04:06.70
2.Struan McMaster 04:39.58
3.Jaryd Austin 05:17.82

Youth Men
1.Jason Williams 04:43.27
2.Sharjah Jonsson 04:44.64
3.Peter Fogden 04:45.41

Sub Junior Boys
1.Kayde Brown 05:47.74
2.Timothy Camp 06:00.23

Sun Junior Girls
1.Sabine Thies 05:46.19

Sprog Boys
1.Kyle Brand 06:39.91

Nipper Boys
1.Keagan Brand 06:59.10
2.Cameron Curtis 09:14.93
3.Caleb Archer 10:56.86

Sub Vet Men
1.Nigel Hicks 04:29.14
2.Craig Paul 04:31.37
3.Mark Millar 04:33.48

Sub Vet Women
1.Kathryn Fourie 05:22.17
2.Joanne Hicks 05:57.46
3.Katherine McIver 07:17.29

Veteran Men
1.Thane Archer 05:11.77
2.Grant Dekker 05:25.24
3.Alastair Brand 05:44.10

Master Men
1.Leon Cronje 05:25.13
2.Peter Hoyer 05:53.85
Photo: tiaan Odendaal
Photo credit: Kerry Bruce