MOSSEL BAY NEWS - Linél Engelbrecht has made sure of her Southern Cape Provincial participation in the Spur MTB League Inter High School and Inter Provincial Championships to be hosted at Wagpos in Brits on 27 and 28 September.
Locally, the second race of the Spur League series was hosted at Cairbrogie in Plettenberg Bay on 17 August.
There were numerous challenges due to weather conditions. There were strong winds and extremely cold and wet conditions and as a result of the rains, the course was changed into a muddy mass and several routes had to be changed at very short notice. The muddy conditions not only test the riders but also their bicycles.
With mud clinging everywhere - in the brakes, chains and derailleurs, competitors had to rise to the occasion. Linél had a determined start, led the race from start to finish and posted the fastest lap time for all the girls.
The third race of the Spur League series was hosted at Ground Zero Trail Park in George on 24 August.
Competitors were greeted with fantastic weather - an almost perfect day for racing. The Ground Zero Track is a little more technical (A-Lines) but easier paths (B-Lines) were provided for the novice and less experienced riders. An early challenge mounted by Alissa Coetzer from Outeniquia High was thwarted, with Linél outsprinting her to the vital turning point, the truck bridge and single track.
Passing on a single track is challenging. Linél set a blistering pace on lap one and was soon rewarded by her efforts by recording yet another fastest lap by a girl in the series.
She went on to win the race convincingly, making it three out of three, with one more race to take place at Montessori School, Knysna, on 14 September.
For Linél's achievements through the year, she was nominated for the Eden Sports Council High School Sportswoman of the year and was one of the finalists for the award. Nolene van Rensburg was the eventual winner of this award.
Linél's nominations included her gold medals at the Western Cape Cycling Champs and Youth Cycling Festival. Also taken into consideration was her duathlon victory at the Discovery Duathlon Champs and becoming the U15 girl SA Duathlon Super Sprint Champion for 2019.
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