SA teen wins Roof of Africa
MAKING SA PROUD: Wade Young became the youngest winner of the Roof of Africa and the first South Africa rider to win the gruelling cross-country since 2007.
Author: ELZA THIART
South African rider Wade Young (16) has become the youngest youngest competitor to win the Roof of Africa motorcycle mountain race.
The gruelling 450km event took place for the 45th time in Lesotho. It was also the first time since 2007 that a South African rider had won the three-day event that for 2012 consisted of about 450km.
Young (Yamaha) took the lead on November 16 when he posted the fastest time after starting second behind Marc Torlage (Yamaha).
The teenager managed to win with a gap of more than 10 minutes ahead of 2011 winner Graham Jarvis (Husaberg) and eventually beat second-placed fellow South African Altus de Wet (KTM) by just better than 11 minutes after a total race time of 17hr36min10*.
Regular Roof of Africa competitor De Wet started the final day third, 26 seconds behind Jarvis, who experienced problems with his GPS andhad to settle for third place but vowed to be back to try to reclaim the title in 2013.
De Wet’s team mate, Darryl Curtis, a former winner who competed in this his 21st Roof, 2 was fourth.
Torlage, despite an injured thumb, fought back from ninth to finish fifth. He was just ahead of team mate Kenny Gilbert who was racing in his ninth Roof.
Louwrens Mahoney struggled with a problematic GPS but came eighth; Riaan van Niekerk was ninth.
After racing for three days in the mountains of Lesotho Gilbert beat Wynand Badenhorst (KTM) by a mere eight seconds. Badenhorst was recovering from torn knee ligaments.
Three-times Roof winner Chris Birch ( KTM) had a disappointing event due to dehydration. He was fifth overall at the end of the first day but had to settle for 10th at the finish.
Birch's team mate, Scott Bouverie, finished 11th, only 42sec ahead of fellow KZN rider Brad van Aswegen (Yamaha). He crash on the Saturday and dislocated a knee. His team mate Mark Garland had to make up for lost time caused by illness but managed 18th. Team mate Timmy Young finished his first Roof 20th place.
Van Aswegen was followed by the UK trials champion, Ben Hemingway (KTM). It was the second Roof of Africa experience for the Hemingway brothers from the UK (his brother Dan was 17th).
Forty-four of the 94 entrants in the PRO Class completed the event. The Expert Class for competitors who had to complete 75% of the full race distance was won by Gary Barton (Yamaha) followed by Faan van Deventer (Yamaha) and Stephen Landman (Yamaha).
Peter Jung (KTM) won the Intermediate Class (half-distance), followed by Craig McGregor (KTM) and Charl Weyer (KTM). Female rider Toni Jardine (KTM) completed the Expert Class.
The 2012 Roof attracted about 400 entrants from around the globe and is one pof the oldest races in the world. More information about the event as well as full results can be found on . the race website.
Check out full race result here!
*Race results are still provisional