White wins first Walkerville ultra

· By Press Office · 10 comments

Nic White showed his enduring class in a testing two-man sprint to take the victory in the first ever ultra-marathon at the Bestmed Walkerville MTB Classic, presented by ASG, in Gauteng on Saturday.

The 80km race kicked off the mountain biking component of the new Bestmed National Cycling Series, putting ex-African road champion White at the top of the leaderboard.

ccs-62657-0-92771400-1432392243.jpgNic White (front) took the victory in the first ever 80km ultra-marathon at the Bestmed Walkerville MTB Classic, presented by ASG, in Gauteng on Saturday. // Photo: Jetline Action Photo.

He bested Alasdair Garnett to claim line honours at the Boswell Wilkie Circus grounds in Randvaal in 2:36:37 with Andrew Westaway finishing a distant third in 2:40:35.

Eritrean sprinter Tesfom Okubamariam of the MTN-Qhubeka feeder team heads the road standings after winning the series-opening Bestmed Capital Classic in Pretoria last weekend.

White, who rides in the colours of Team Europcar SA, said he was delighted with his performance after winning the Winter Fast One earlier this month.

“I came here today to make a good fast race, so I’m quite pleased to be able to have won.”

He said headwinds and a flat and unfamiliar route had kept the racing together near the start.

Getting off the road and into the tracks, White rode off the front to stretch the field out.

“We started to climb up towards the hillier parts of the route, so I forced the pace a little bit and some more gaps formed.”

White attacked again and got away, with only Garnett able to come across to him.

“Out on the district road, with a bit of wind from the front, we put a big dent into the rest.

“We established our gap there, within the first 20 kilometres, and held it for the rest of the race.”

Working together, the two used slipstreaming to maximum effect on the fast and flattish route to put more time into the chasers.

White, who hails from Parkview in Johannesburg, said he had ridden the various incarnations of the shorter 60km Walkerville route many times in the past but not competitively.

“The 80-kilometre distance is quite useful. It’s not highly technical or overly hilly, so the guys can go faster.

“It was still challenging and wasn’t an easy ride by any means – there were some tricky bits. It was testing.”

The 41-year-old now turns his attention to the veterans’ race at the national marathon championships at Van Gaalen in two weeks’ time.

“It’s a very different style of route to what we raced today.

“I haven’t done one before but I’ve got pretty good form after the Epic and sani2c, so I hope to have a nice race there.”

Michelle Beetge was the definitive women’s ultra-marathon winner in a time of 3:10:52.

She was followed home by Catherine Tasseron-Meyer in 3:13:01, with Victoria Myburgh rounding out the podium in 3:14:48.

The 35km race was won by Cobus van den Berg in 1:08:21, while the women’s title in the half-marathon went to Retha Harmse in 1:22:17.

For more information, find Walkerville MTB Classic on Facebook or follow @WalkervilleMTB.


Men – 80km

1. Nicholas White (2:36:37)

2. Alasdair Garnett (2:36:37)

3. Andrew Westaway (2:40:35)

Women – 80km

1. Michelle Beetge (3:10:52)

2. Catherine Tasseron-Meyer (3:13:01)

3. Victoria Myburgh (3:14:48)

Men – 35km

1. Cobus van den Berg (1:08:21)

2. Tristan van Niekerk (1:10:23)

3. James Sutton (1:15:32)

Women – 35km

1. Retha Harmse (1:22:17)

2. Cassidy Sykes (1:22:54)

3. Gretha Garnett (1:24:12)

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May 23, 2015, 3:22 PM

How stupid was that last 10km twisty nonsense just for the sake of it.....


May 23, 2015, 7:22 PM

Hated the last 10km!


Well done Nic! He led from the from most of the race. You know he means business when he leaves the single speed at home


May 24, 2015, 12:52 PM

Agreed with the last 10Km...organisers could really leave that bit..


May 24, 2015, 3:53 PM

Am I the only one not too fussed by that last bit? I would rather have that than a shorter course than promised ...... just me?


May 24, 2015, 3:57 PM

No ways, rather make it 70km and say it's 70km, distance for the sake of it just doesn't feel right. If it was flowing it might have been better, but virgin cut like that and the stop start nature of it just make it erm..... Monotonous is probably the best word.


Other than that, Lekker event, will be back - DirtRoadie FTW


May 24, 2015, 6:22 PM

I"m to unfit atm, so decided to skip it this year. if it was 70km I would have said, lets try, 80km I decided to skip...




May 25, 2015, 6:21 AM

My first long distance MTB, great event. Would have liked to know beforehand where the water points were going to be though. Got a bit lonely until I got to the 70km mark. I didn't have a problem with the last bit. 


May 25, 2015, 6:50 AM

The last ten sucked.  The rest was tremendous, and kudo's to the okes manning the bar, at the end the amstels were ice cold !! Great morning out. Thanks to the organisers.


May 25, 2015, 8:06 AM

Was a great event. I agree that the last 10 sucked but apparently that was due to a local farmer given short notice that his land is not available and organisers had to improvise to get the distance close to the advertised 80km


Sep 13, 2016, 7:07 AM

How is a 80km flat course an ultra-marathon?

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