Record numbers tackle Roof of Africa

By Time of article published Dec 6, 2006

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Louwrens Mahoney (KTM) has won the bike category of the Roof of Africa for the second consecutive year and claimed his first National Off-Road title to add to his 2006 National Enduro title.

More than 450 riders made up a record entry for the last round of the SA National Off-Road championship for bikes and quads, run in Lesotho last weekend.

Mahoney came under pressure from team mate Riaan van Niekerk who took the lead on the last day but charged back to beat him by 2min40 on overall time. Gray Dick (Yamaha) scored his best Roof of Africa result yet by finishing third overall and claiming the 2006 Open title.

Leander Pienaar (Bombardier) won his first National event - and finished the punishing Roof for the first time on this his third attempt. He took the lead on the first day of the main race and kept it to the finish to beat 2004 winner and new National title-holder Brendan Badenhorst (Lonestar) with Pienaar's team mate, Hendrik Potgieter third.

It was Bombardier's first victory in Lesotho since 2001 and its first of the 2006 season.

Bikes and quads shared the same route for Thursday's 100km time-trial that determined the start order for the first day of the main race on Friday. The two classes followed separate routes for the main event and the weather changed from extremely hot to thunderstorms and hail.

Errol Dalton gave Beta, a new make in South Africa, an excellent first result with fourth overall in the bike category on a Beta 450; it was Dalton's 18th Roof and his 15th finish as he beat 2005 champion and 2000 Roof of Africa winner Clayton Enslin by only 20 seconds after three days of racing.

The first 125cc bike home was Shannon Frost's KTM, sixth overall but 1min24 ahead of 200cc class winner Kenneth Gilbert (Yamaha) who also took the 200cc National title.

Gerhard Forster from Germany won the Euro Class for international competitors on a Beta 450.

Simon Thesen (Lonestar 450) overcome mechanical problems to finish fourth in the quad race, followed by Vincent Loubser (Yamaha YFZ450) who lost time due to a broken rear shock on the last day. Loubser and younger brother Glen continued their season-long battle in Lesotho, with Glen finished eighth.

The first Senior competitor, Rico Coetzee (Honda 450), was the sixth quad home with French rider Christoph Kϋhnl, riding for Bombardier SA, seventh.

His team mate Patrick Armabessaire was brave enough to tackle the mountains on Cornel de Villiers' fast but unwieldy 800cc Outlander and finished ninth overall and second in the Senior Class.

16-year-old Juandré Olivier (Honda 450), believed to be the youngest quad rider to finish the Roof. was the last National finisher.

Amanda Eardley (LTZ400) was the first woman home, Milton Thesen (Yamaha) won the Masters Class and Cape Town's Ockert Mans took the Sportsman Class.

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