Grabouw — Samuel Courts showed the power of pacing and consistency when he moved through the field to claim a convincing victory over Christoff van Heerden at the Woolworths X Tri cross triathlon at Paul Cluver Estate in Grabouw on Sunday (Dec 1).
After finishing the swim leg of the off-road triathlon in fifth position, Courts produced the third fastest cycling time of the day to start the final trail-run section in second place, exactly a minute behind Van Heerden. The fastest run time of the day on the run allowed the 20-year-old to take over the lead from Van Heerden and notch up a convincing three-minute victory in the standard-distance event.
In the women’s standard distance race, defending champion Robyn Williams was quickest out the water but was not match for Georgia Grobler once they hit terra firma. Grobler passed and opened up a three-minute lead on the mountain bike leg and then extended that to a massive 11 minutes with a superb trail run.
In the men’s race, Lourens Fick was the first out the water, followed closely by Dylan Janos and David Sher and this group of three went into the first transition virtually together. However, Fick was left still putting on his cycling cleats as the other two headed out on to the mountain bike leg with a comfortable advantage.
Their lead did not last on the Paul Cluver trails as Van Heerden used his immense cycling power to take almost five minutes out of Janos and even more from last year’s runner up, Sher. Even Courts and Maniora, who both had strong cycling legs and moved into second and third overall going into the final transition, were forced to concede almost three minutes and over a minute respectively to the former professional cyclist.
On the trail run, Van Heerden’s cycling legs were never going to hold off Courts and last year’s short-distance event winners quickly settled for second ahead of Maniora with Gary Thomas and Janos rounding out the top five.
In the short distance X Tri Lite event, Riaan Shaw was a solid winner ahead of a tight battle for the podium spots that saw Andrew Cronje just edge out Crispin Barrett with Carel Lamprecht ending fourth, but only three seconds behind Cronje.
Meagan Pereira won the women’s short-course race almost 13 minutes ahead of Nadine Visser with Annaat Rossouw third.
1 Samuel Courts 2.22.10
2 Christoff Van Heerden 2.25.44
3 Regis Maniora 2.28.12
4 Gary Thomas 2.29.06
5 Dylan Janos 2.29.53
1 Georgia Grobler 2.39.51
2 Robyn Williams 2.51.00
3 Lucy Etherton 2.55.24
4 Su-Mari Visser 3.09.45
5 Nadia Visser 3.10.59
1 Riaan Shaw 0.59.30
2 Andrew Cronje 1.02.04
3 Crispin Barrett 1.02.05
4 Carel Lamprecht 1.02.07
5 David Solomon 1.02.40
1 Nadine Visser 1.10.02
2 Annaat Rossouw 1.14.27
3 Cameron Mostert 1.15.55
4 Rezaan de Wet 1.19.47
5 Elsamarie de la Harpe 1.19.58