Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:30

Jeep Team's Michael Lord Wins 2015 Big5 Sport Challenge Lite

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Jeep Team’s multisport superstar, Michael Lord, claimed the 2015 BIG5 Sport Challenge Lite title on Saturday, after competing in five gruelling challenges covering MTB, swimming, trail running, multisport and marathon running over eight days.

Lord’s final tally after the five races saw him earn 346 points – just two points ahead of second-placed Riaan Shaw, with Alan Houston finishing third. The Big5 Sport Challenge Lite took place from 4–12 July as part of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival. Lord’s challenge began with the 50-km Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour MTB Raceon 4 July, where he placed 4th.

He then finished 5th in the 1.6-kmKnysna Dragons Lagoon Mile Swim on 5 July and 1st in category in the 15-km Salomon Featherbed Trail Run presented by GU on 7 July.

Two days later, Lord secured his third Totalsports Xterra Lite victory, conquering the Pezula multisport race of 3km Trail Run, 12.5km MTB and 3km Trail Runin an impressive time of 57 minutes and 24 seconds, ahead of Shaw in 2nd and Jamie Riddle in 3rd.

In Saturday’s final event - the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Half Marathon – Lord finished 41st overall in 1h25m, securing his overall Big5 Lite victory title.

Said Lord, “XTERRA Pezula is one of my big races of the year. I am really happy with my third victory.”

Other Jeep Team results

On Saturday, Jeep Team’s MTB athletes – Thinus Redelinghuys and Pierre Smith – secured top 10 finishes in the Lionman edition of the Gauteng Nissan TrailSeeker MTB Series. The 70-km route took riders through the Mabalingwe Big Five Game Reserve, which is nestled in deep bushveld vegetation on the edge of the Waterberg Mountain Range.

This was Redelinghuys’ first competitive race since he suffered injury a few months ago, and he managed an impressive 9th place finish in 2h49m44s, while Smith finished seconds ahead of him in 8th (2h49m29s). In the overall 2015 series standings, Pierre Smith is ranked 5th.

Hendrik Kruger claimed the Men’s title in 2h35m42s, with Gawie Combrinck 2nd (2h39m35s)   and Pieter Seyffert 3rd (2h40m23s).  

Today (15 July), Jeep Team’s multiple world-champion paddler, Hank McGregor, begins his assault on the four-day240km Berg River Canoe Marathon.

McGregor is aiming for his tenth Berg River title and has spent the past week tripping the Berg River in preparation for the race.

The fight for the 2015 title is set to be fierce, with McGregor up against defending champion and new SA K1 champion, Andy Birkett.

The severely-low Rivercausing dangerous hyacinth blockages has forced last minute changes to the route, with race organisers announcing that they have moved the first stagedownstream to Hermon Bridge.

Therefore, Day 1, Wednesday 15th July, will see the competitor’s race 60km to Bridgetown on the headwaters of Misverstand dam.

The start on Day 2, Thursday 16 July will be as normal at Zonquasdrif for the second day and all the other days will be the same at Bridgetown for the third day and Zoutkloof for the fourth and final day.

The Prologue Time Trial, which started today at 13:00 (Tuesday 14 July) at Berg River Resort is now even more important in order to secure a good starting position on the narrower stretch of water at Hermon Bridge. Latest news is that McGregor won the time trial by 5 seconds to Birkett.

“I felt good, I felt strong and I was happy with how things went for me,” said McGregor.

“It’s been a long build up to this race over the last couple of years and to come back and still have an unbeaten time trial record is great.”

Jeep Team upcoming events

Obstacle Course Racing
Jeep Team’s OCR athletes are ready to roar at Race #5 of the 2015 Jeep Warrior Series, which is being held for the first time in KwaZulu-Natal, at Sugar Rush in Ballito from 18 – 19 July.

Heading into Race#5 (the half-way point of the 2015 series), Jeep Team’s OCR champion, Thomas van Tonder, will be aiming to hold onto his overall Black Ops Elite lead ahead of Hanneke Dannhauser (2nd) and GregA vierinos (3rd).

Jeep Team’s Jay Jay Deysel (currently 10thoverall) and Dominique D'Oliveira (25th) will also be competing in Saturday’s event.

Jeep Team’s celebrity athlete Hlubi Mboya will be taking on the 10-km Jeep Warrior Commando race.

Sadly, Claudia Richard is out of action for the next few months due to a severe arm fracture sustained last weekend.

Published in Sports Range

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