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Dirt and Trail Dec 2019

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South Africas Enduro, Adventure and MX magazine.

SO GOOD IT FEELS LIKE

SO GOOD IT FEELS LIKE YOU’RE CHEATINGDUNLOP TYRES – PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY HENDERSON RACING PRODUCTSA dominant performancefrom KTM...National Cross CountryChampionship is a wrap….“It was the gnarliest national of the year. Fast, flat-out, and the wind didstrange things to our bikes…” Ian Venter, Sherco.The National Off-road serieswas an intimate affair thisyear with some great dicesand quite a few of the topriders falling by the waysidethrough the season. Wewould love to see moremanufacturers gettinginvolved in this series withmore bikes on the start line…KTM has done the deedand romped to absolutedominance for 2019. Notonly did the orange brandwalk away with the 2019Manufacturers Award, but atotal of five national titles.In the OR1 Class, BrotherLeader Tread KTM’sLouwrens Mahoney enteredthe double-header eventjust three points ahead ofteammate Ross Branch.In what was described asone of the most physicallydemanding races of theseason, Ross was forced toGreat Rivals throughoutthe season...retire from the event aftersustaining an injury. With the2020 Dakar Rally looming, therider was relieved to discoverthat he will be able to getback into the saddle after twoweeks of rest.From the moment Mahoneyset off from the start line,it was clear that he wasprepared to pull out all thestops to take the win. It wasan emotional moment for themultiple national champion ashe stormed to a hard-foughtvictory on Saturday onboardhis KTM 450 XC-F machinewhere he was crowned 2019National Cross Country king.This is Mahoney’s 7th and lastnational title – he has officiallyannounced his retirementfrom racing.“I couldn’t have asked for abetter way to finish the yearthan taking one more nationaltitle. This is a massive blessingfor me, especially becauseI have decided to hang upmy racing boots. As the newmarketing manager of KTMSouth Africa, I have steppedinto a new season of mycareer. I can’t thank my wifeand the Brother Leader TreadKTM team enough for theopportunity they’ve given meto pursue my dreams,” saidMahoney.The celebrations at theorange camp didn’t stopthere. In the OR2 Class, JarrydCoetzee managed to close theseemingly insurmountable gapof 13-points to the top step ofthe podium.Coetzee snatched victory atboth rounds of the doubleheaderseason finale, but thechampionship title would74 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019

only be decided by the number of riders that finishedbetween him and his championship rival Gareth Cole.One of the riders that helped bridge the gap wasCoetzee’s own teammate, Louw Schmidt, who raced hisheart out to finish the event in third place in class. Afterminutes that felt like hours at the finish line, it was anunforgettable moment for Coetzee when he realised thathe would officially take the 2019 OR2 crown.“Like they say – it’s not over until the fat lady sings.The chance of winning the championship was so slimcoming into this round, but there’s a lesson I took fromthis – never, ever give up no matter how impossible thesituation looks,” said Coetzee.Bradley Cox is unstoppable at the moment. He receivedthe first National Cross Country title of his career in theOR3 Class.Like Coetzee, the chance of an overall victory wasuncertain as Cox entered the double-header event. He’dreceived a DNF at the previous round of the series afterbreaking his collar bone and was nine points behindfellow KTM rider Haydn Cole.Cox managed to take the win on both days of the event.It was not only a proud moment for the rider, but for hisfather and motorsport legend Alfie Cox.“I started my career with a motocross dream, and neverimagined that I’d be experiencing a moment like this. Ihave unbelievable support back home and couldn’t askfor a better mentor than my Dad,” said Cox.Rounding out the list of national victories for BrotherLeader Tread KTM was Juan ‘Bollie’ van Rooyen, whofor the sixth consecutive time managed to defend theSenior title.“Victory always gets sweeter, but it definitely doesn’t geteasier!” joked van Rooyen.A cherry on the top of a day that will not soon beforgotten by KTM South Africa was an impressiveperformance from Ryan Pelser who won the High SchoolChampionship.Your OR1 national champLouwrens Mahoney with hisbetter half Marilyn.High fives allround forLouw Louw Schmit.DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 75