Playing second fiddle seems to be the lot of Kevin Evans (MTN-Energade) when it comes to racing the Knysna Mountain Bike Marathon.
Evans finished second for a record fifth time this past Saturday. No prize is awarded for guessing correctly how the race finished!
As had become the custom, Evans was again involved in a titanic sprint for the line. Also true to custom, another rider succeeded to pass him during the last few hundred meters, to be the first across the finishing line.
This time it was David George (Safindit.co.za) who outsprinted Evans to take the victory. Matthys Beukes (Scott) finished third.
Strangely, Evans does not seem to be too disturbed about being the eternal ‘bridesmaid’ of the Knysna race. He is actually quite philosophical about his second place.
“Just imagine that I had won the race six times in a row. It would have become extremely boring. There is something dramatic about finishing second five times. At least it sounds as if I am trying to win and not giving up.
“For me the exciting news about Saturday’s race is that I really felt good. It seems as if the flu bug is finally out of my system, which is very important because the World Marathon Championship will take place just four weeks from now.”
According to Evans, he attacked on the second big climb. George was the only rider who was able to stay with him.
“We worked well together for about 20 kilometers. While we were riding together, I realized that I had a slow leaking tyre. As luck would have it, my gas bomb did not work.
“I take my hat off to David because, when I asked him if I could use his bomb, he did not hesitate for a moment to help me out. It was true sportsmanship. The easy thing for David would have been to simply say ‘no’ and keep on cycling.”
George said he never hesitated to help Evans.
“Kevin and I are good friends and I am a firm believer in ‘what goes around comes around’.”
According to Evans the final sprint to the line was a hectic affair.
“The situation was further complicated by the fact that kids from the 15km fun ride were starting to finish at the exact same time as us. That meant that we had to keep our wits about us to make sure not to crash into someone. David took the right line on the inside that gave him a clean sprint.
“Unfortunately I was not so lucky. I had to ride up and down the pavement to keep from crashing. But I am not complaining. If David did not help me, I could have ended up with nothing.”
As far as the women’s race was concerned, it was MTN-Energade’s ‘invincible twins’, Yolandé Speedy and Mariske Strauss, who struck again.
Speedy won the race quite easily with Strauss second and Hanlie Booyens (Jeep) a distant third.
It was the 9th time during the past few weeks that Speedy and Strauss pulled of a 1st and 2nd finish during a race.