Dawn of a new era as Stamp & Houston win the 22nd Imana Wild Ride!
After a day of nagging head winds on stage 3 from The Haven to Coffee Bay, participants woke to cloudy skies and a short rain shower as they set off at six thirty from Ocean View Hotel for the start of the fourth and final stage through to Umngazi River Bungalows.
A glorious sunrise gave indication that conditions would be ripe for a perfect days’ cycling up the coastline, with a gentle cool breeze to push the riders home over the final sixty kilometres of rugged terrain.
Race leaders Damon Stamp and Andrew Houston needed little assistance as they started day four with a comfortable twenty-four minute lead over Craig Woods and Oli Munnik. So much so that a truce was called and the two leading teams enjoyed riding together whilst still maintaining a solid pace to arrive at Umngazi in three hours and sixteen minutes. Stamp and Houston claimed the honours at the twenty-second Imana Wild Ride, taking an emphatic win in an accumulated time of nine hours, forty-two minutes and 41 sec. Fines Master Woods and the pedigreed Munnik took a solid second with the Joburg ‘roadies’ Ryan Willoughby and David Humphris pulling time on the final two stages to move into third place ahead of defending champ Warren Price, riding with his son Seth for the first time. Fifth place went to Ewald Thole and Jan-Hendrik de Villiers.
Having taken a reluctant lead in the mixed category on stage one, Penni and Steven Hirst held onto their lead over the four days, despite some close competition from Monique Engela and Mark Olivier, who placed second ahead of Jessica and Tyron Ross in third place.
The last teams arrived at Umngazi in just over eight and a half hours – still smiling and in great spirits, having raced the tide and conquered the hills.
- Overall GC – 1. Damon Stamp & Andrew Houston (Wild Coast Cruisers) 9h42.41, 2. Craig Woods & Oli Munnik (20th Racing the Tide) 10h08.48, 3. Ryan Willoughby & David Humphris (Unfortunate Pairing) 11h32.48, Warren & Seth Price (Mr Price) 12h02.57, Ewald Thole & Jan-Hendrik de Villiers (Cheese Eating Cookie Monsters) 12h39.59
- GC Mixed – 1. Penni & Steven Hirst (Mr & Mrs Hirst) 15h33.08, 2. Monique Engela & Mark Olivier (MNM) 16h11.22, 3. Jessica & Tyron Ross (The Mamba’s) 16h43.46