Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival Media Release

 No: kc2312

11 June 2023

Embargo : None

Written by : Tim Whitfield

Duncan makes it a clean sweep at Karkloof Classic enduro

Karkloof - Keira Duncan and Arielle Behr continued where they left off and on Sunday duly wrapped up the respective KZN Enduro Championship titles by claiming the men's and women's victories at the Stihl Enduro on the final day of action at the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival.

While Duncan was able to make things looks deceptively easy with a clean sweep of ten wins from the ten legs of the two-day event through the Karkloof Forests, Behr had to keep a wary eye on pre-race favourite Sabine Thies before edging to the win.

Duncan started on Sunday with a 46-second lead over young Omar Wilson and it was always going to be a tough task for the Maritzburg College schoolboy to make up the deficit on trails Duncan knowns intimately.

That task became almost impossible for Wilson on the opening stage of the second day when he fell and dropped behind third-placed Brandon Waugh. That eased the pressure on Duncan and the final four sectors were about consolidation and the 23-year-old former national champion ended up a massive two minutes and 34 seconds clear.

Wilson fought hard to regain second place and he came tantalisingly close to getting ahead of Waugh once again, but the pair ended in the same time at the end of ten sectors and shared the second-step of the podium.

"I am really pleased with how the weekend went," said Duncan after claiming his convincing victory. "I caught a bit of a cold toward the end of the week and so I just had to do what I could to prepare, but it ended up being OK and I was just happy to be able to put the power down and get the win.

"I was very pleased to have been able to make it a clean sweep of wins on all ten legs."

Duncan is also the chief trail manager at the Marriott Karkloof Country Club, so he had a double interest in making sure the trails he raced on were in perfect condition.

"Together with the club I think we have been able to put together a nice combination of the best sections of the club's trails for this enduro.

"At the end of the day we wanted to make sure this event had something for everyone, and I believe we achieved that. We had a combination on nice flowing single-track and some technical sections ... it was a nice mixture of the best selection of the best Karkloof track."

In the women's event, as with Saturday, 15-year-old Behr and Thies once again swopped fastest times on the opening three sections, but overall Thies was not able to do enough to close the gap and Behr ended the event with a 22-second advantage.

Amber Cole claimed the final step on the podium, 59 seconds further back.

1 Keira Duncan 0:27:32
2= Omar Wilson 0:30:06
2= Brandon Waugh 0:30:06
4 Shaun Charlton 0:31:02
5 Jason Davies 0:31:42
6 Liam Read 0:31:44
7 Troy Cole 0:31:50
8 Lorenzo Lotz 0:32:04
9 Oliver Jones 0:33:05
10 Max Van Zyl 0:33:20
1 Arielle Behr 0:35:12
2 Sabine Thies 0:35:34
3 Amber Cole 0:37:33
4 Melody French 0:38:24
5 Tyla-May Smale 0:39:51

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South African enduro star Keira Duncan on his way to victory after the second day of the 2023 Stihl Enduro, part of the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival.

Chris Taylor Media

Men's podium: (from left) Omar Wilson (tie 2nd), Keira Duncan (1st) and Brandon Waugh (tie 2nd) celebrate after the 2023 Sappi Karkloof Enduro, part of the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival.

Chris Taylor Media

Women's podium: (from left) Sabine Thies (2nd), Arielle Behr (1st) and Amber Cole (3rd) after the 2023 Stihl Enduro, part of the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival.

Chris Taylor Media

Caleb Sandeman in action during the 2023 Sappi Karkloof Enduro, part of the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival.

Chris Taylor Media

Luke Kirk shows his style during the 2023 Stihl Enduro, part of the Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival.

Chris Taylor Media

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