The fifth edition of the JBay Wind Farm MTB Classic took place on Saturday 22 July in perfect conditions. Some 500 riders of all ages and skill levels took to the trails around the Eastern Cape holiday town of Jeffreys Bay over three distances, 25km, 50km and the gruelling 85km ultra marathon.
At the sharp end of the ultra marathon it was a tight two-horse race, with East London’s Jason Reed and Max Sullivan from Stellenbosch working well together from early on.
Reed eventually managed to breakaway from Sullivan in the Wind Farm and claimed the victory (and the R10 000 first prize) in a time of 03:20:41. Sullivan came in second (03:21:19), with 2016 defending champion, Ndumiso ‘Maza’ Dontso, rounding out the podium.
The ultra featured an almost entirely new route, with various sections of purpose-built singletrack having been added. “It was a great mix of singletrack and jeep track,” Reed said. “It was tough, rocky and technical with a lots of corners, braking and accelerating. Definitely suited to ‘real’ mountain bikers,” he said.
While Reed, De Villiers and co were battling it out at the sharp end of the field of around 500, other mountain bikers enjoyed the perfect Eastern Cape winter conditions to ride the only one-day event of its kind to traverse a wind farm.
“As one of the local industries in the area, we are really proud to continue to be a part of this event,” commented Mark Pickering, Managing Director of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, who himself completed the 25-kilometre route. “It is fantastic to see the race improve each year. Every year there are more riders and more support and we have seen a lot of innovation, particularly in the 85km route, where a lot of new track has been,” he said.
1. Jason Reed, 2.Max Sullivan, 3. Ndumiso Dontso
1. Yolande de Villiers, 2. Anriëtte Schoeman, 3. Siska van der Bijl
1. Ceejay Bosman, 2. Gerrit Rautenbach, 3. Thomas Kitching
1. Olivia Reed, 2. Liza Mason, 3. Jolene Meyer
Full results for all the routes are available at www.mountainevents.co.za