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Dusi2c Drama for TEAM TIB

Mfula Store - After taking the lead right from the start gun, Team TIB's Andrew Hill and Henry Liebenberg were too powerful for the rest of the field and claimed an emphatic dusi2c stage one victory on Saturday.

The 64km first stage took riders from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Mfula Store in the heart of the Valley of a Thousand Hills and despite an eleventh-hour withdrawal from Julian Jessop, Hill's original race partner, due to sickness, Liebenberg's inclusion was not a burden as the TIB duo were a class apart.

There were a handful of teams hoping to compete with the pre-race favourites but the pace at the front of the field was furnace-like and so the competitive race was for second place with the RMB Change a Life team of Ndumiso Dontso and Mboneni Ngcobo claiming second on the stage.

Hill and his young partner Liebenberg's tactics were simple going into the race and they managed to execute their game plan with aplomb.

"There isn't a lot of time to catch up on day two so we knew that we had to get ahead during the first stage," Hill mentioned from the overnight stop at Mfula Store.

"Henry hasn't done a lot of stage races so we wanted to keep the pressure off ourselves and it was good that we managed to get a solid lead.

"He is quite new to multi-stage events so it is nice for me to be able to share some knowledge and experience with him along the way.

"It's good for him to try and develop his stage racing technique as opposed to the cross country racing technique. He's really good at the technical stuff so there were stretches where he took the lead but I know the route so we both took turns at the front."

The race is always bunched going through Pietermaritzburg and Hill knew that it was important for him and Liebenberg to take advantage of any gap that they could create early.

"It is always a bun fight getting into the first bit of single track first and once we got through the city we were able to open up a bit of a gap and remain in front.

"We knew that if another team was going to come with us then we would have to ride a bit more carefully but we got ahead and managed to build on a slight lead early on.

"Stage two is really fast and we won't want to make any mistakes," Hill highlighted.

Blue Lagoon – An early crash ruled overnight leaders Team TIB out of contention on the final stage of the 2017 dusi2c mountain bike race and opened the door for the RMB Change a Life team of Ndumiso Dontso and Mboneni Ngcobo to held their nerve in a tense three team duel and claim a memorable title on Sunday.

The race was over for Team TIB within the first 10km as Henry Liebenberg hit a rut after he tried to avoid a snake and had a serious fall. Unfortunately for him and four-time champion partner Andrew Hill they could not continue as the abdominal injury to Liebenberg was too severe.

Speaking of the race Team TIB's Andrew Hill was very diplomatic in the assessment of Sunday's events.

"I was on the front and Henry was just behind me when he veered off the track after a snake had turned towards him and he rode into a rut and fell really hard.

"Even if Henry was fine to continue his bike was trashed so we wouldn't have been able to finish the race.

"These things happen in racing.

"I'm happy for Mboneni and Ndumiso, they raced really well and deserved the win today."

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