XCO National Cup #1 - PE
Port Elizabeth – The stage for the 1st SA XCO CUP.
Candice Neethling
Elite rider, Candice Neetlhing, showing her dominance from the get-go.
Cherie Vale
Not being able to catch her rival, Cherie Vale, still showed a dominant performance on the technical parts of the course.
Port Elizabeth delivering the goods on the day with riders needing to tackle many natural obstacles.
Port Elizabeth delivering the goods on the day with riders needing to tackle many natural obstacles.
Fast singeltrack descents made it tricky for any over taking - something that stood out on the course.
Fast singeltrack descents made it tricky for any over taking – something that stood out on this course.
After all, this was a nature reserve.
After all, this was a nature reserve – green bushes and numerous river crossings.
Blue Skies
Nearly perfect weather – hot, slight breeze and blue skies.
Dropping into the Baakens Valley - with cars rushing by on the highway above.
A rider dropping into the Baakens Valley – with cars rushing by on the highway above.
This tight switchback required skilled maneuvering to maintain your balance going round it.
This tight switchback required skilled maneuvering to maintain your balance going round it.
The Elite riders going for the first lap - still close on each others back wheels.
The Elite riders going for their first lap – still very close on each others back wheels.
Current XCO Champ, James Reid, probably not getting the result he wished for.
XCO Champ, James Reid, probably not getting the result he wished for on the 1st XCO Cup Series, but non the less a contender to be feared..
Local hero, Marco Joubert setting his sights on his rival, Julian Jessop, which he managed to overtake early on before winning by a big margin.
Local hero and Junior rider, Marco Joubert, setting his sights on his rival, Julian Jessop, just before overtaking him to secure an emotional first XCO CUP win of his career.
Missing that double chainring up front... I'm sure.
Missing that double chainring up front… I’m sure.
Spectators
The course stood out as a spectator friendly one. This natural rock corridor was lined by people wanting to get close to the action.
East Cape rider, Jason Meaton, tackling the rock corridor.
East Cape rider, Jason Meaton, tackling the rock corridor.
Losing a a few seconds on the intense XCO start, Emil Lindgren, a Swedish Champ had to settle for 3rd place on his debut SA XCO Cup race.
Losing a few seconds on the intense XCO start, Emil Lindgren, a Swedish Champ had to settle for 3rd place on his debut SA XCO Cup race.
Elite rider and Olympian, Philip Buys, was able to lead from the start but his efforts almost didn't pay of when 50m to the finish 2nd place rider, Brendon Davids, managed to bring down the gap. Brendon went over the finish line a mere 1sec behind! Tight racing.
Elite rider and Olympian, Philip Buys, was able to lead from the start but his efforts almost didn’t pay of when 50m to the finish 2nd place rider, Brendon Davids, managed to bring down the gap. Davids chasing hard in this photo went over the finish line a mere 1sec behind Buys! Tight racing.
Big smiles as Philip Buys can relax for the first time as winner of the 1st XCO Cup race of 2015.
Big smiles as Philip Buys can relax for the first time as winner of the 1st XCO Cup race of 2015.
The Kargo train showed a strong dominance on the day. Taking 2nd, 3rd and fourth in the Elite race and 1st in the Junior.
The Kargo train showed a strong dominance on the day. Taking 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the Elite race and 1st in the Junior. Great performance.