South Africa had another good meet at the 2015 Mountain Biking African Championships held in Musanze, Rwanda from May 8th to May 10th 2015. Not only do they possess the best mountain cyclists of the continent, but they also have the most numerous. In terms of Olympic qualification the top two nations in the men’s cross-country race and the top nation in the women’s cross-country race will be given quotas to compete.
In the women’s race it was South Africa’s Bianca Haw who won the race as she pushed a lead of 1 min 29 seconds ahead of her teammate Cherie Vale finishing with a time of 1:43:23. Namibia’s Michelle Vorster was able to beat out the other South African challengers, stopping the sweep of medals finishing with a time of 1:48:25.
The sweep was not prevented in the men’s race as not only did South Africa win all three medals, but they had a monopoly on the top 5. James Reid had an impressive performance as he dominated the field from essentially start to finish and won the race with a time of 1:54:28, a 3min 40 second lead over second place Matthys Beukes. Third place went to Rourke Croeser whom finished just under 2 hours with a time of 1:59:29. The second Olympic quota went to sixth place Yannick Lincoln of Mauritius.
As a reminder the Olympic quotas are not set in stone because the Olympic qualification for mountain biking has the world rankings with a higher priority over the continental championships. Therefore, if any nation qualifies through the rankings the next highest ranked nation at the continental championship will take the continental spot. Looking at the 2014 and current rankings South Africa is favoured to qualify in the men’s rankings though they will have some work to do if they want to qualify through the women’s rankings. For reallocation purposes the next best ranked nation in the men’s event was Rwanda and for the women’s event it was Namibia.
Quotas by Nation
- South Africa – 2
- Mauritius – 1
- RwandaCycling. 2015 Mountain Biking African Championships Men’s Results. Access on May 10 2015.
- RwandaCycling. 2015 Mountain Biking African Championships Women’s Results. Access on May 10 2015.