Nissan Trailseeker MTB Series #5 Mabalingwe
Spring has sprung in the heart of the South African bushveld, where over 2000 riders gathered to take on the Highveld trails. This unique route is opened on an annual basis exclusively for the Nissan Trailseeker Series. This area of the world has a trademark pending for “Horizontal Climbing” also known as sand.
Looking back to the start line of previous events this year, Lionman brought the heat with temperatures ranging from 14- to 34-degrees throughout the day. Water stations were on the ready to keep everyone hydrated and fueled to take on the heat and brave the mighty Lionman trails.
Vanessa Bell and Fritz Pienaar reported live from the race with the amazing Specialized Levo bikes.
The elite men kicked off event #5 and stayed bunched together for the first 23km. Wessel and Phillip broke away from the rest of the field on the A-line with Shaun-Nick Bester catching up. The climbs separated the men from the boys where Wessel, Shaun-Nick and Phillip blazed the trails to take the lead. Wickus Breytenbach briefly closed the gap and lead at the 40km mark, but was caught before the Vodacom tower climb. It was a game of cat and mouse for the remainder of the race until the breakaway from Wessel Botha to take the win at Lionman.
Elite ladies were next up to brave the trails 5 minutes after the men, to take on event #5 of the Nissan Trailseeker Series. Theresa Ralph took an early lead with Sarah Hill on her back wheel. Teresa used the slight breeze to her advantage on the climbs to build a 50m lead away from Sarah. Theresa had a 2-min lead by the 60km mark to take a convincing win with Sarah finishing strong in second place.
Families and friends encountered elephants, buffalo and rhino on route, and was definitely one of the major highlights of the day. The beer garden had everyone talking afterwards, where they gathered with a cold one to enjoy the tranquility of the bushveld atmosphere. Tomorrow brings a new day, where we will see many mountain bikers take on trail running for Trail Run Sunday!
2018 Nissan Trailseeker MTB Series #5 Mabalingwe
Mabalingwe Nature Reserve, Limpopo
Pro Men Marathon Podium
Wessel Botha winner of 2018 Nissan Trailseeker MTB Series #5 Mabalingwe
- Wessel Botha – 02:34:59
- Shaun-Nick Bester – 02:35:04
- Phillip Buys – 02:35:19
Pro Women Marathon Podium
Theresa Ralph winner of 2018 Nissan Trailseeker MTB Series #5 Mabalingwe
- Theresa Ralph – 03:05:32
- Sarah Hill – 03:10:54
- Janine Muller – 03:44:29
The final round of the 2018 Nissan Trailseeker MTB Series takes place at Cullinan on 03 November 2018. Information and online entries available at www.trailseekerseries.co.za