The Gauteng provincial XCO Cup held today at XCOSA Bike Park, Voortrekker Monument, attracted the biggest men’s elite and U23 field in several years.
Due to the scarcity of competitive races in recent months a number of top pros and U23 riders from Gauteng and other provinces turned up to do battle.
Chatting to In the Bunch post-race, Shaun-Nick Bester detailed his adventurous afternoon.
“The men’s elite and U23 categories all started together.
“It was a fast start from the gun, but I managed to get into the first single track section in a great position.
“On the first climb of the day I went to the front to try and split up the field as quickly as possible.
“Jan and I rode the rest of the first lap together, but shortly thereafter he opened a gap of around 20 seconds with the two PYGA Euro Steel riders (Buys and Du Toit) about 15 seconds in front of him,” Bester said.
However, cruel luck struck Bester in the closing stages.
“Jacques Janse van Rensburg caught up with me on Lap 3.
“On the final lap I dug deep and gave it everything I had in an attempt to ride away from him.
“I started to to open up a gap halfway into the final lap, but unfortunately my chain came off the front blade on one of the final downhill sections and I had to stop to put it back on,
“Jacques managed to pass me and I just couldn’t catch him again before the finish line,” Bester concluded.
Pieter du Toit won the U23 category ahead of Matteo Damilano and Frederick Smit.