GEORGE CYCLING NEWS - Tristan Nortjé, a learner at Outeniqua High School, secured yet another win in the Spur MTB Schools League at Knysna Montessori School last Saturday, winning not only the day, but the overall Youth Men's division for the league.
The Spur Mountain Bike (MTB) Schools League's Southern Cape races kicked off in Knysna on 3 August at Oakhill School, before making its way to Greenwood Bay College in Plettenberg Bay on 17 August, and then to Outeniqua School in George for the penultimate race of the 2019 season on 24 August.
It would be three weeks before the Southern Cape's best upcoming cyclists would tackle the track again, with the final of the 2019 league to be held at Knysna Montessori on Saturday 14 September.
The day of cycling started early for some, with a few preschool races around the school fields getting under way at 08:30 before the first Spur race starting at 09:00 with the high school section. The Junior Ladies (17-19 years), Youth Ladies (15-16 years), and Sub-Junior Girls (13-14 years) categories all set off at 10:30, getting the day off to an action-packed start.
The Sub-Junior Boys' race followed, starting at 10:00. Thereafter was the start of the Youth Men's race, one of the two most anticipated races of the day. Alan Hatherly, world champion South African cyclist and ambassador for the Spur Schools MTB League, took part in the race to spur on the other participants to push their limits.
In the Youth Men's race Knysna cyclist Julian Bunge, who was riding his fourth race after returning from injury, tried to have a go against Hatherly. Hatherly started from the back of the group but slowly made his way to the front, eventually leading by the end of the third of five laps. Bunge tried to keep up with Hatherly and came ahead of the other racers in the fourth lap, but realised his efforts were in vain and instead turned his focus on maintaining his lead. He held onto his lead and, because Hatherly only took part as an exhibition of sorts, was crowned the victor of the day. His first win of the 2019 season, it is something he is immensely proud of. "I'm so stoked with first place, it's been a crazy season," Bunge said.
The Junior Men's race followed, featuring some really stiff competition. Hatherly didn't take part in this race and Outeniqua High School rider Tristan Nortjé came first, having dominated the race from start to finish. His win secured Nortjé an overall second place for the season in the Junior Men's division of the Spur MTB Schools League.
The afternoon would see six more races take place at Knysna Montessori as part of the primary schools section, with a wonderful day of cycling eventually coming to an end shortly after 16:00.
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