Hill breaks away to win Drak Extravaganza

BERGVILLE – Andrew Hill took a break from his holiday to quickly notch up a win at the Drakensberg Extravaganza Mountain Bike race at the Champagne Sports Resort on Saturday (Nov 23) — and he is planning to make it a weekend double at the road race on Sunday (Nov 24).

The TIB Insurance rider and his wife, Bronwyn, were enjoying a short holiday in the Berg when Hill heard about the Drakensberg Extravaganza events and decided to “pop along and get in some training”.

Andrew Hill negotiates some single track on his way to winning the Drakensberg Extravaganza MTB race at Champagne Sports Resort.

The marathon specialist found the 20km mountain bike distance a bit short, but was still in a class of his own and said he “really enjoyed” his ride as he cruised home more than five minutes clear of young Warren Moolman (Team Steel and Pipe), with James Swart rounding off the podium three minutes further back.

Hill powered into the lead from soon after the start, but despite no real pressure from the chasers he said he found the trails to be in such good condition that he was really enjoying riding as quick as he could through the forest trails. He enjoyed the route so much, that soon after finishing he headed off for a second lap to make sure he added enough mileage for a full day’s training.

On Sunday he will be able to add to his mileage when he takes part in the 84km road race which starts and finishes in Bergville. The mountain bike specialist is no slouch on a road bike and he must be the favourite to claim his second win of the weekend.

Claudia Slattery emerged as the champion in the women’s race.

His biggest challenge in the road race could come from the top three from 2018, Travis Stedman, Bevan Reddy and Cian Leveridge. Other riders who could upstage Hill and the young trio of 2018 stars include Callan Deacon, Llewellyn Patrick and Dian Janjetich.

The top woman at Saturday’s mountain bike race was Champagne Valley local Claudia Slattery, who edged out junior Chloe Bateson by two minutes, with veteran Isabel Moolman third.

The 10km trail run saw local athlete Sanele Xaba claim the win ahead of Lehlohomolo Mankoe with Petros Hlongwayo third. Miranda Mazibuko was a big winner in the women’s race with Emma Dick just edging out Sandy Fyvie in a tight battle for second.

Go! The trail runners set off.

Full results at FinishTime.

MTB 20km Men
1 Andrew Hill 0.48.09
2 Warren Moolman 0.53.38
3 James Swart 0.56.27
4 Marc Adam 0.56.35
5 Sandile Ndlovu 0.59.39

1 Claudia Slattery 1.00.01
2 Chloe Bateson 1.02.50
3 Isabel Moolman 1.04.28
4 Debbie Dick 1.13.03
5 Madison Bateson 1.21.03

Trail Run 10km Men
1 Sanele Xaba 0.42.07
2 Lehlohomolo Mankoe 0.45.30
3 Petros Hlongwayo 0.45.54
4 Sabelo Buqa 0.50.24
5 David Swart 0.56.24

1 Miranda Mazibuko 0.56.32
2 Emma Dick 1.01.35
3 Sandy Fyvie 1.01.53
4 Micaela Sclanders 1.10.53
5 Bronwyn Hill 1.13.07

Trail Run 5km Men
1 Dane Forman 0.22.51
2 Quillen Fyvie 0.23.16
3 Hein Pienaar 0.28.35

1 Kayleigh Lindeque 0.26.36
2 Chenel Badenhorst 0.28.32
3 Charlene Van Deventer 0.30.59