It was a special weekend for Downhill Mountain Biking in South Africa as the SA Championships took place at the all new Hartbeespoort Adventure and Trail Park at the Aerial Cableway in Johannesburg.
Riders were treated to a Gondola ride to the top of the mountain (a first in South Africa) and a championship track that featured everything imaginable. The newly built course had been the talk of the town over the past few weeks leading up to race day, with both positive and negative feedback, but in the end resulted in a perfectly challenging track.
The track consisted of three main sections; the top rocky and dry section, the flowy forest section with loamy soil and steep, technical parts, and the lower section featuring jumps and berms leading into the finish line. Riders were tested the whole way down and putting together a consistent run with good line choice was key.
As race day drew to the final stages and the track had had its fair share of abuse and become blown out in sections, the top riders started to make their way down. All eyes were on the top guys to see who would clinch the 2018 title – Stefan Garlicki, Theo Erlangsen, Johann Potgieter, Tim Bentley, Adi van der Merwe, Sam Bull were all in the mix.
In the end it was Theo Erlangsen who put down a blistering run, by almost 3 seconds ahead of 2nd place, to take the win and title of 2018 Downhill MTB Champion.
SA Downhill MTB Championships Results
1st Theo Erlangsen 4:04:54 (Elite Men)
2nd Timothy Bentley 4:07.31 (Sports Class)
3rd Adi van der Merwe 4:11:54 (Elite Men)
4th Johann Potgieter 4:11.73 (Elite Men)
5th Stefan Garlicki 4:12.00 (Elite Men)
6th Sam Bull 4:19.17 (Enduro Class)
7th Jasper Barrett 4:20.02 (Junior Men)
8th Connor Finnis 4:23.53 (Junior Men)
9th Dylan Williams 4:33.72 (Elite Men)
10th Dirk van Schalkwyk 4:35.45 (Elite Men)
Photos by LW Mag, Dustin Rudman and Amanda Swanepoel Photography.