MacDonald bounces back to win Lost City Challenge
Team RE-CM mountain bike racing professional, Neil MacDonald, confirmed his full recovery from a serious crash in May when he claimed a dominant win at the Best-Med Lost City Mountain Bike Challenge in the North West Province on Sunday.
The 35-year-old MacDonald completed the 56km race in just less than two hours, over three minutes ahead of RE-CM teammate, Waylon Woolcock, who outsprinted Peter Seyffert (Westvaal BMC), for second place.
MacDonald, Woolcock and Seyffert made the pace hard from the start and soon had a gap over the field. The route was run in reverse of the 2011 course, making it more free-flowing in the first half and minimising any bottleneck concerns.
Shortly after halfway, Woolcock put in strong surge on a steady incline, forcing Seyffert to close him down. MacDonald immediately countered on a steep climb and moved clear on his own at the 40km point. He then set off alone for the finish and his first win since his crash in May.
“Finally! Waylon and I have been fighting for a win for a while now,” explained MacDonald. “We’ve been on podiums at almost every race we’ve done recently – quite a few seconds and thirds. But winning is always the best result. It’s also a great feeling to win again after my crash.”
MacDonald broke his left collarbone and right wrist at the MTN Mabalingwe event in May and was forced to take a break from racing for a few weeks.
“Luckily it was during the winter, which is a bit quieter from a racing perspective. The collarbone was repaired with a plate and came right quickly, but the wrist took ages. I feel fully recovered now though and am looking forward to the big spring and summer races coming up,” said MacDonald.
MacDonald and Woolcock competed for stable-mate squad, Team Bonitas, in the 115km Powerade Sun City Classic road race on Saturday in support of sprinter, Tyler Day, who finished second.
“With such a full mountain bike racing calendar, Waylon and Neil don’t do that many road races these days, but with the entire road team, barring Tyler, racing the Tour of Portugal, they got stuck in supported Tyler,” explained Malcolm Lange, of Lange Sports, the company that owns both Team RE-CM and Team Bonitas. It was good to see Tyler finish on the podium again, making it a successful weekend allround for our teams.”
Woolcock and MacDonald now shift their focus to the 2012 South African Marathon Championships on Saturday at the MTN Series Gravel Travel race in Wellington, Western Cape.