Words: Advendurance Media
The UCI World Marathon Series headed to the Free State town of Clarens where Nico Bell (Team RE:CM) and Theresa Ralph rode to glory.
The German multiple Cape Epic winner Karl Platt (Team Bulls) was on of the main protagonists on the day together with the Team RE:CM duo Nico Bell and Erik Kleinhans who rode a surgically tactical race..
The lead group formed soon after the start with all the main contenders exchanging blows from the gun. It was Platt who drove the tempo up the King of the Mountain climb where Bell took the honours at the summit followed closely by Platt and Kleinhans.
The infamous slick rock climb delivered the fireworks with Platt attacking the Team RE:CM pair in anger eventually cracking Kleinhans. Bell applied some pressure in the last 20 kilometers and after realising Platt was suffering a bit he powered away to claim the win followed by the German.
In the women’s race Robyn de Groot lost her lead in the final 6 kilometers after an unfortunate wrong turn leaving Theresa Ralph to cross the line in 1st place followed by Candice Neethling. De Groot managed to find her way and crossed the line in third place.
MTN Ultra Marathon Elite Men Overall - UCI World Series event
1st Nico Bell 04:54:47
2nd Karl Platt 04:58:17
3rd Erik Kleinhans 04:59:20
4th Andrew Hill 05:11:54
5th Adriaan Louw 05:11:59
6th Arno Du Toit 05:12:17
7th Rourke Croeser 05:12:29
8th Timo Cooper 05:13:10
9th Ben Melt Swanepoel 05:14:28
10th Charles Keey 05:15:47
MTN Marathon elite women Overall - UCI World Series event
1st Theresa Ralph 03:25:34
2nd Candice Neethling 03:25:43
3rd Robyn de Groot 03:30:19
4th Jennie Stenerhag 03:33:26
5th Yolandi Du Toit 03:33:44