National Cross Country: Vryburg

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Orange is the New Red.

By Offroad Motorcycles WG.

Pics by ZCMC and Action In Motion. Thanks guys!

On a cold and dusty day in Vryburg, the national cross country race set the stage for an intense day of racing. The 17km time trial saw Davin Cocker setting the fastest time, edging out his rival Scott Heygate by 12 seconds. In the OR3 class, Peter Karam emerged as the fastest, poised to shake up the championship standings. 

As expected, Louwrens Mahoney and Kerim Fitz-Gerald dominated the senior class with the quickest times. In the masters and high school categories, Wayne Farmer and Seth Young led the pace early on, with Leah Heygate clocking the fastest time in the time trial for the ladies.

Husqvarna’s Davin Cocker set the pace in the first lap, leading the race early on. However, a mishap during refueling allowed KTM’s Scott Heygate to leapfrog him in the pits. By the end of lap one, Matty Wilson of KTM had taken the lead in the OR3 class, climbing up the overall ranks. 

Disaster struck for KTM when both Bradley Cox in the open class and Kerim Fitz-Gerald in the seniors ran out of fuel while attempting to complete two laps, leaving Louwrens Mahoney in full control of the senior category and looking to climb the overall leaderboard. Luke Walker, the Husqvarna and OR3 championship leader, struggled after a poor time trial, but Matthew Wilson was now leading and pulling away. KTM looked set to regain the Red plate for the OR3 class in Upington.

Mike Pentecost encountered a mechanical issue, falling some 10 minutes behind the leading trio of Cocker and Heygate. Louwrens Mahoney climbed to third overall, with Matthew Wilson chasing down an overall podium in fourth. In the high school category, Brandon Clarke on his KTM charged towards his first-ever national class win. In the masters category, the trusty red Honda of Warrick Van Schalkwyk passed Wayne Farmer, taking control of the class. Leah Heygate continued her dominance in the ladies’ category, with Bianca Edwards following in second place.

                                                                        Brandon Clarke’s maiden win.

By the end of the day, it was Scott Heygate who proved his mettle as South Africa’s best, holding off a fighting Cocker who faced challenges from thorns and a small crash. Heygate now leads the open class by one point, while Cocker still leads overall by two points, setting up an intriguing chase for South African cross-country glory.

In the OR3 class, Matthew Wilson asserted his dominance, capitalizing on a struggling Luke Walker, who is finding it tough in the faster events. Upington will present a different challenge, where horsepower is less advantageous, and Walker will be hoping to bounce back on a more technical track.

In the seniors and masters categories, it was the Honda duo of Louwrens Mahoney and Warrick Van Schalkwyk who took top honors. Louwrens can now cruise through the second half of the championship, setting his sights on yet another national cross-country title.

In the high school category, Brandon Clarke’s maiden win has thrust him into contention in this fiercely competitive class. With Thomas Scales sidelined by injury and Nathan Westerdale suffering a bike breakdown, the championship is wide open.

In the ladies’ category, Leah Heygate’s continued dominance has given her a comfortable lead.

Rounds four and five on the 9th and 10th of August in Upington promise to be grueling, separating the boys from the men in an action-packed race through thick sand. The race near the Desert Palace Hotel will feature shorter tracks to counter the tough sandy terrain, with plenty of twists and turns to challenge the riders.

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