Cross Country Alive & Kicking
Bike SA|October 2020
Cross Country Alive & Kicking
The Emperors new clothes. For Charan Moore this was his first competitive event under the new colours of the factory KTM team and he didn’t disappoint. Third place overall and a strong win in the OR1 class to head into the National event one week later in good form
Matt Smith

The open class Q2’s has seen two riders fight it out in the early days as Attie Saaijamn took first blood only to be chased down by Dawid Strydom as they both look to take their first title. Dawid’s ride to victory at Radium sets him up as the favourite as we head into the final two rounds.

In the ladies it may well be a run-away title as Marti Bachfischer is missing her usual sparring partner Carly Saaijaman. Bachfischer leads the series by a country mile.

The Master Title is all but wrapped up as Phillip Boyse has shown amazing form, speed and consistency to take three wins in a row. The final two rounds are a near formality but….never say never.

The two wheel side of the coin was a sight to see as the majority of the entries at the event were on the line for the main and second event of the day. The ‘Big Bangers’ lined up first for the OR1’s and it was the first time Charan Moore got to line up factory fresh after inking his deal with the Factory KTM team. Moore pulled a classic holeshot to lead and do what he could to hold off a tasty looking field.

Moore did what he needed to do just one week before the next National round and nailed down the win to show his training program had been working wonders during the lockdown. Jaycee Nienaber was his closest rival on the day in the class with Wynand Delport living up to his ‘Captain Consistency’ nickname and banging home another chunk of points in third and with it took the GXCC Championship lead in the OR1’s.

The OR2 class was a smaller gate than usual with pre-race favourite Ian Rall set to attack. ‘The Brawler’ is a demon in the sand and the rough unforgiving 47.5km layout had his name written all over it.

Himself and an in-form Taki Bogiagies came muscling their way through most of the OR1’s ahead of them to eventually take first and second in class. That was amazing in itself, but Ian Rall did what only one other rider had done before him (Taki) and took an OR2 bike to the overall win at the event to see the flag first. Coming into this round Rall was tied on points with Jason Venter but a bad day for Venter meant Rall was now the outright leader of the Championship.

And in the OR3’s the top dogs on the day were Ryan Pelser and Peter Karam who stayed on the lead lap along with the more powerful bikes ahead of them. They were a bit of a showstopper as they left the pits on the final lap separated by less than a tyre width. Pelser eventually won the war but Karam put up one hell of a fight.

In the ladies it was the return of the queen of GXCC, Yanke Pieterse. She was finally free of mechanical issues and able to fight for the win. The early laps were all about the dice with her and Megan Jonker, with Jonker bowing out of the race complaining of kidney pains. Looks like dehydration got the best of the Championship leader at Radium.

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October 2020