Tension is mounting around the country for the 2016 Spur Schools MTB Finals and Interprovincial Championships to be hosted in October. This year it featured 45 events, an estimated 500 schools and 10 000 MTB enthusiasts competing across the country for a spot in the finals.
Following a stellar season, the 2016 North West Series was won by Potchefstroom Gimnasium with 770 points. Rustenburg High School was second with 672 points followed by Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom with 400 points. Wesvalia High was fourth with 377 and Hartebeespoort High Schools took fifth with 359 points to secure the final slot for the Spur Schools MTB League National Finals.
John-William Lang of Rustenburg High School and Joné Van Eeden of Potchefstroom Gimnasium dominated the sub-junior category winning all four regional events and the North West finals and have both been selected for the North West team.
Ryan Conradie of Potchefstroom Gimnasium had another exceptional season. Although he could not compete in the final, his three convincing wins secured him a spot in the North West team. The North West finals was won by Brendan Van Eeden of Potchefstroom Gimnasium, followed by Adriaan Duminy of Wesvalia High School in second and Stehan Wolmarans of Hartebeespoort High School in third.
Andrea de Waal of Potchefstroom Girls High took line honours at the finals with Kaylin Prinsloo from Hartebeespoort High fighting hard throughout the 2016 season to secure her spot in the North West team after a well-deserved second place in the finals.
The Junior Men’s category was a fierce and exciting battle between two riders both from Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom. Brandon Van der Berg and Pieter du Toit put up a hard fight at each of the four events to gain that top position on the podium and ultimately the overall Junior Men’s title winner – at the end Brandon took the overall series win and will also be the North West Team captain.
The Junior Women’s category saw leading ladies – Nicolene Marais from Rustenburg High School, Danielle Strydom from Potchefstroom Gimnasium and Kristen Louw from Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom, who secured the overall lead in the Junior Women’s category and was also selected North West team captain.
The League runs on the Olympic Cross Country (XCO) lap-racing format whereby participants complete a set number of laps, determined by age category, of a short mountain bike course. Lap distances are between three and five kilometres.
This year has also seen the introduction of Team Spur, James Reid and Ariane Kleinhans, who play the important role of encouraging League riders to follow their dreams and showing the reality of becoming sponsored athletes. They will attend the finals.
On Saturday, 8 October more than 60 schools will go head to head with the top 26 riders in each category scoring points for their team in an effort to secure podium positions in the National Inter-schools Final. Menlopark High School dominated the 2015 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League finals winning the boys, girls and mixed team trophies.
On Sunday, 9 October schools will team up for the Interprovincial Competition whereby the best 10 results will be tallied to crown the best province. The North West Province are the current defending champions.
The founding sponsor of the League, Spur Steak Ranches has again committed to a bigger and better season offering a R10 000 rand contribution to school teams that win their respective age categories at the National Inter-schools Finals. “Seeing the continued growth of the program is something we as Spur Steak Ranches are very proud of and we decided to offer this bonus to foster healthy competition and promote teamwork between riders and within schools, as well as increase participation across all skill levels and abilities,” said Andrew Cronje, Spur Market Development Manager.
For more information and results visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za and be sure to like the League on Facebook at Spur Schools League and follow @spurMTBleague on Twitter for more information.