Yolande Speedy (IMC Racing Momentum) won the national Elite women’s title when she beat former multiple national champion, Erica Green, to the gold medal the MTN National Cross-country mountain bike championships in George.
Speedy, a Beijing Olympian, scored a commanding victory over Green, a former double Olympian (Atlanta and Sydney), who at 38, has made a return to competition, largely in preparation for next week’s Absa Cape Epic.
Riding a GT dual suspension bike, Speedy shot off the start line and reached the first piece of singletrack in front. She completed her first of six laps in 17min44sec, a minute clear of her rivals and was then a model of consistency, clocking subsequent lap times of 18:13, 18:14, 18:14, 18:19 and 18:02.
“It was a very smooth, steady race. Everything went well. There weren’t really any climbs on the course but the rough terrain made for a challenge. I’m glad I chose to race a dual suspension,”┬Ø smiled Speedy.
It was Speedy’s second Elite cross-country title, having won it for the first time in 2006. Her final time was a fast 1hr48min46sec. Green was the only other rider to break two hours, clocking 1:58.59. Heletjie van Staden (Schwinn) was third overall and first Under-23 in 2:01.23. Janneke Leask (Rocky Mountain) and Sara Muhl (Jeep) round out the top five respectively.
In the Junior women’s race over four laps, Mariske Strauss (MTN) proved the strongest.