Sean McCormick is the overall winner of the Kopong Kobra 60km Mountain Bike (MTB) Race. In an eventful conclusion to a thrilling weekend of cycling at Kopong, McCormick finished ahead of Jabu Tabolane and Victor Makgwena who finished second and third respectively.
In a tightly contested race, McCormick finished the 60km race in 2 hours 42 minutes and 33 seconds while Tabolane and Makgwena finished neck in neck a minute later at 2 hours 43 minutes and 31 seconds each.
Tabolane however edged off Makgwena by mere milliseconds to clinch the second position. Makgwena’s third position finish would have been a bitter pill to swallow for the dreadlocked 33 year old as he had at some point led the race, only to let McCormick overtake him in the second and final loop of the race.
Speaking in an interview, Makgwena said he ‘lost the race as he was not used to the bicycle he was racing in.’
According to Makgwena, he had only got the bicycle on Friday and had never trained on it, hence it was difficult for him to compete effectively. He says as such, it was difficult for him neither to climb the hills on the bicycle nor to push it hard as he was not sure how it will respond.
For his part, McCormick said he had expected to do well in the race as he had prepared well. He said having just competed at the Cape Epic in South Africa, he was in a good shape when he competed in the race.
For Tabolane, who finished second, it was a bitter sweet race as he had to battle through pain barrier to finish the race. having fell and sustained a gush in the knee during the first loop of the race, Tabolane was left to rue his dare devil approach to the race as he contemplated on what could have been had he not sustained an injury.
In his post race interview, the 35 year old contended that had he not sped through the rough terrain, he would have not slipped and injured himself whilst leading the race. With him momentarily incapacitated, Tabolane said both McCormick and Makgwena took the initiative and passed him.
“After the injury, my first thought was just to go to the nearest water point and forfeit the race. However, as I slowly cycled to the point, I felt better and decided to give it a go,” he explained. In the men’s 30km race, 15 year old Dimpho Masi was the star of the show, clocking 1 hour 44 minutes and 36 seconds to finish the race ahead of Shadrack Motswiri and Sono Mooketsi in second and third positions in that succession.
The ladies’ 60km MTB race went to Reza Armstrong who finished the race 11 minutes ahead of her runner up, having clocked 3 hours 41 minute and 41 seconds.
Coming second behind her was Iris Halldorsdottir with 4 hours 2 minutes and 38 seconds while Louisa van Niekerk finished the race a distant third in 4 hours 42 minutes.
Still in the ladies’ section, Gabona Mantle won the ladies’ 30km ahead of Botswana’s Africa Youth Games’ cycling team duo of Leandra Bowden and Bakang Madisa.
Mantle finished the race in 2 hours and 16 minutes while Bowden and Madisa finished in 2 hours 43 minutes and 3 hours 21 minutes in that order. Meanwhile, in the race’s 90 km Road Race section which was ran on Saturday, Victor Potgieter was the winner, with Martin Roberts finishing second and Richard Coughlan coming third. The ladies section of the race went to Anouk Van der Geest who finished the 90 km race course in 2 hours 34 minutes.