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Speedy wins battle of the eras

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.