Rikus Grobler | Oct 18, 2017 | 0
Team Kia Elite second at Namib Quest
Represented by Michael Pretorius and youngster Brandon Plaatjes, competing in their first MTB stage race ever, the men in red and white were put up a great performance throughout the six stage event with only Team Hollard 2 (Gerhard Mans Jnr. and Heiko Redecker) beating the pair to the first place.
The KIA team eventually ended the event after 18:53:45 hours, while Team Hollard 2 crossed the finish line in 18:37:29. The Hollard Riders got off to a great start, finishing the first stage nearly five minutes ahead of the KIA pair. They then managed to increase their lead to nine minutes after a near faultless performance during the second day. With their backs against their walls, Pretorius and Plaatjes massed their power during day three to decrease their deficit to less than two minutes. However, their success was only short-lived as the Team KIA members lost valuable time on day four after having navigation problems. Mans Jr and Redecker used the mistake to their full advantage, increasing their lead substantially. The string of bad luck continued for Pretorius and Plaatjes the very next day when Plaatjes suffered a broken chain that allowed their rivals to increase the time gap even further.
A five-minute advantage win after the last stage was not enough to catch up to the Hollard team members who comfortably took home the win. Xavier Papo and Tjipe Murangi of Mannies Bike Mecca took the third place, while Irene Steyn and Michelle Vorster were the best ladies team in fourth place.