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Latest News – 19th May 2014
Multiple former winners Kevin Evans and Max Knox combined their firepower to win the 10thNedbank sani2c mountain bike race that culminated on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast on Saturday.
After three days of racing, the FedGroup-Itec pair finished fifth on the 85km final stage from Highflats to Scottburgh to take overall victory in an aggregate time of 8:57:45. Old Mutual joBerg2c winners Gawie Combrinck and Johann Rabie, of EAI South Africa, came home fourth on the day to secure the overall runner-up spot in 9:01:08. Kargo Pro’s young cross-country specialists Rourke Croeser and Travis Walker impressed in a rare stage racing appearance to finish on the bottom step of the podium in 9:05:21.
It was Evans’s sixth triumph in the 265km stage race – the largest of its kind in the world – and Knox’s third. “So that’s nine wins from 10 events, which is pretty special,” said Evans.
He and Knox won the first two stages to take a comfortable three-and-a-half-minute lead into the final day. “Today wasn’t about the stage win, we just wanted to sew up the victory for FedGroup-Itec,” he said. “It’s been a while coming but the form is there and it’s the start of good things.”
Line honours on the day belonged to cross-country racers Arno Du Toit and Brendon Davids of Trek Racing, who outsprinted Croeser and Walker by one second to take the win in 2:35:05. The sprint for third went to Red-E/TIB’s Darren Lill and Andrew Hill in 2:38:25, but not before a spectacular finish line crash as Lill and Rabie locked wheels.
The day’s results were just reward for the young Kargo Pro and Trek Racing teams, who also led the charge on Friday’s 100km queen stage before blowing on the climb out of the Umkomaas River Valley. “Today I went early and fortunately Kargo Pro chased and caught up with us,” said stage winner Davids. “There was a bit of cat and mouse throughout the stage but we timed our last attack well and hit the bridge together. “It was tough racing but hats off to Rourke and Travis. We were trying to help them get in the top three overall, which we did.”