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Safire Baynesfield Classic MTB & Trail 2019 – the winners

Professional riders and weekend fun-seekers alike took to the scenic trails of the historic Baynesfield Estate south of Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 15 September for the annual Safire Baynesfield Classic MTB & Trail event. Some comments from the finish line confirmed the success of the day:

“It was a great race. I loved the route – it was well marked and I really enjoyed the morning.”
“Well organised and really enjoyable…Will definitely be back for the next one.”
“I really enjoyed the 15km run. Top notch organisation, very manageable route.”
“The 15km route was good…very scenic along the river.”
“Good organising and smiling faces – thumbs up!”

Overall winners and first home for the 65km race were:

Men: 1. Stuart Marais/King of the Mountain 2. Andrew Hill 3. Tyronne White
Ladies: 1. Christie-Leigh Hearder/Queen of the Mountain 2. Andrea de Boer 3. Nadine Nunes

Christie-Leigh Hearder, 65km winner and Queen of the Mountain, had this to say: “You could see a lot more today; it was not as misty as last year, so it was much more enjoyable. The single track was awesome, I really enjoyed it. I tried to go as hard as I could…it’s been an awesome day.” When asked about her win of the Queen of the Mountain title, she added, “It was a flippin’ hard climb; I was really happy to get to the top!”

Stuart Marais, 65km winner and King of the Mountain, said, “It went pretty well. I’ve won it for the last three years now and I‘ve got a standard strategy: go really hard at the first part of the first climb and see if I can get away…Baynesfield always has one heck of a climb, it takes about 30 minutes to get to the top. There are some amazing trails, they’ve done a lot of work here and it’s a great place to come and ride. This is a really great race, I can’t wait to do it next year and hopefully make it four out of four.”

This family-focused event is a highlight on the annual KZN MTB calendar. This year the MTB route offered entrants into the 20km race an exciting new section, with riders being rerouted to a challenging stretch of single track on Firetower Hill. Safire Insurance once again included a 5km and 10km trail run for those who prefer to experience the great outdoors on foot, as well as a brand new 15km route testing the grit of those runners looking for a tougher challenge.

Safire Marketing Manager Jacqui Cochran says, “Well done to the Baynesfield Club on their efforts in refining and improving the trails again this year. Riders and runners were treated to new routes, new bridges and a festive race village vibe at the finish. We want to say a sincere thank you to everyone who supported the event – our participants, spectators and volunteers. We cannot wait to welcome you back to the 2020 Safire Baynesfield Classic.”

Safire Insurance is a nationwide short-term insurer with its head office in Pietermaritzburg. Established in 1987, Safire is known for its sponsorship of leading outdoor events such as the Safire Baynesfield Classic and the Safire Berg 100.

Trail winners
5km (women): 1st: Hana Newlands, 2nd: Syamthanda Ngcobo, 3rd: Bridget Daly
5km (men’s): 1st: Charli Mlotshwa, 2nd: Andre Boshoff, 3rd: David Mercer

10km (women): 1st: Nokukhanya Memela, 2nd: Sarah Gray, 3rd: Patricia Dammann
10km (men’s): 1st: Nomore Mandivengerei, 2nd: Linda Zondi, 3rd: Khayalethu Nzala

15km (women): 1st: Tarryn Botha, 2nd: Georgie Kelly, 3rd: Vyvekah Lumley
15km (men’s): 1st: Sydney Zama, 2nd: Cullen Kelly, 3rd: Joseph Kabwe

MTB winners
22km (women’s): 1st: Emily van Heerden, 2nd: Errin Mackridge, 3rd: Riley Smith
22km (men’s): 1st: Sean Yelland, 2nd: Evan Moolman, 3rd: Justin Swanepoel

45km (women’s): 1st: Chloe Bateson, 2nd: Euodia Swart, 3rd: Sarah Ryan
45km (men’s): 1st: Travis Stedman, 2nd: Kusaselihle Ngidi, 3rd: Johandre Marx

65km (women’s): 1st: Christie-Leigh Hearder/Queen of the Mountain, 2nd: Andrea de Boer, 3rd: Nadine Nunes
65km (men’s): 1st: Stuart Marais/King of the Mountain, 2nd: Andrew Hill, 3rd: Tyronne White

Seen here are:

Men’s 65km race winners, (left to right): Tyronne White (3rd), Stuart Marais (1st), Andrew Hill (2nd) & Safire CFO Sean Stanton

Women’s 65km race winners (left to right): Andrea de Boer (2nd), Christie-Leigh Hearder (1st), Nadine Nunes (3rd) & Safire CFO Sean Stanton

10km trail run women’s winners (L – R): Nokukhanya Memela (1st) and Sarah Gray (2nd)

10km trail run men’s winners (L – R): Linda Zondi (2nd) and Nomore Mandivengerei (1st) with (far left) Kevin Meyer, Safire Baynesfield Classic Race Director.

Stuart Marais & Christie-Leigh Hearder were winners of the King / Queen of the Mountain titles as winners of the 65km men’s and women’s races.