Rourke Croeser (Kargo Pro MTB Team) raced in an epic duel with James Reid (Trek South Africa) to take this year’s South African Cross-country National Championship Elite men’s title at Thaba Trails in Gauteng.
Reid attempted another early attack on the rocky climb, but Croeser remained glued to his wheel. The epic tussle continued until disaster struck in the fourth lap. Croeser appeared across the start/finish line with a lead of over 3-minutes to Reid, who had punctured.
According to Croeser, it was not only Reid who suffered bad luck during the encounter. “I punctured just before James did,” said Croeser.
“The terrain was hard on the tyres, and not even 200m later I saw James puncture. I waited to make sure that my tyre sealed properly before setting off, but it seems that James’ repair didn’t seal that well and he stopped again.”
Croeser maintained the lead until the end of the 6-lap race, admitting to riding conservatively in the last laps.
“I played it very safe after that,” said Croeser.
“I didn’t want to risk anything and especially losing the title. James is very good in the technical sections, and a very powerful rider. I prefer the longer climbs and I knew it would be hard to pass.”
View the results here.