Jun 24, 2014

After a tough week of training where he didn't feel any too great, Gawie Combrinck placed 3rd this weekend in the Mt. Hilton MTB race. Nico Bell (coached by Brig Brandt) was second. So two PCG athletes on the podium in South Africa!

Gawie’s race report, “So this weekend I traveled down to Hillton for the second time in three weeks for the MTN Hillton Dirt Fest. This is the second last event of the MTN National series and I was keen to get a good result.

The race started of fast as we went over a few bumps and raced down to into the valei before the first ascend of the Mount Verde Climb. The bunch was mostly still together as we got to the bottom and started splitting up at the bottom of the climb 20km into the race. Darren Lill raised the pace up the mountain and only Frederik could stay with him. Darren took the King of the Mountain at the top and had a 25 sec lead on us.

Over the top Max managed to go across on one of the small hills. On the first long descend Frederik punctured. I was keeping the pace up bringing them back and rode across on the rough grassy flats on the way to the second Tech Zone. We kept the pace up and opened an even bigger lead on the chasing bunch. We had to repeat the 40km loop and went up Mount Verde for a second time. Darren was the strongest climber on the day and put the hammer down again at the bottom. I just rode within myself and knew that I had to hold back a bit on this long hard climb. Max went with Darren for a bit, but couldn't maintain the pace. I caught and dropped him shortly after that and kept the gap to Darren.

As we got to the top I was joined by Nico Bell and we started chasing down the 30 sec gap Darren had on us. Through some of the technical single track Nico got a gap on me after I made a mistake and caught Darren just before the last tech zone with 35km to go. Soon after that I caught up with them again and we rode that last few km together. This was the flatter part of the route and didn’t have too many hard parts to get away on.

As we headed into the last 10km I knew there was still one climb to come and knew I had to get a gap on Darren before then as he was the best climber out of the three of us. I put in a big attack with 6km to go and just couldn’t shake Nico and Darren. Darren attacked up the last climb with 3km to and we just couldn’t respond. Darren went on to win the race with Nico short on his heels and I just over a minute down.


1. Darren Lill                         04:42:49
2. Nico Bell                           04:42:59
3. Gawie Combrinck            04:43:56
4. Frederik Ericson               04:56:19
5. Max Knox                         04:58:28
6. Kevin Evans                     05:01:15

Next up is Marathon World champs in Pietermaritzburg.”

PCG Coach: Hunter Allen 


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