The pro ladies stepped up to the start and headed onto the cold wet track. Samantha Sanders took the lead, along with Amy Beth McDougall, Sarah Hill and Robyn de Groot at 14-kilometres. Robyn de Groot lead the climb with Samantha and Amy Beth close behind. 35-Kilometres in, Amy Beth took over the lead and set the pace for the long climb ahead. From 40km Robyn de Groot dominated the rest of the race, increasing the gap with every kilometre she covered. A strong finish after a tough day out, made Robyn de Groot the Elite Women SA XCM Champion for the sixth time.
Amy Beth followed seven minutes later to take the second spot and her Dormakaba team mate Samantha Sanders claimed 3rd position. A steller performance by the youngster Sarah Hill to claim a 4th position on the day.
The Oak Valley Wine Estate and surroundings provided a memorable day out for both spectators and the competitors. Congratulations to all who finished the race.
2018 Nissan Trailseeker MTB Series #3, Western Cape Oak Valley, Grabouw Leading results: Elite Women Podium Robyn de Groot winner of 2018 Nissan Trailseeker MTB #3 Grabouw and 2018 South African XC Marathon Champion. Robyn de Groot – 04:17:34 Amy Beth McDougall – 04:25:47 Samantha Sanders – 04:26:00
Watch the elite womens race highlights here: 2018 Elite womens XC Marathon Champs Highlights
All photos by Henk Neuhoff