Branch versus Mahoney in Cross Country final decider
Pics: ZC Marketing
A battle between orange teammates is looming. This weekend Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Ross Branch and Louwrens Mahoney will go head-to-head in a fight for national glory. The final stop on the Cross Country calendar takes riders to Bronkhorstspruit – a double-header round where the OR1 winner will take all.
It’s been a journey to the top step of the OR1 podium for Mahoney, who currently holds the championship lead by just three points. As a multi-disciplined star, the rider has snatched up a total of six National Cross Country and Enduro titles in his career.
After taking a sabbatical and then racing in the OR2 Class for a while, this season Mahoney made the long-awaited return to OR1 that fans had been waiting for.
“As much as I enjoyed my time in the OR2 Class, it was also a frustrating season for me. When I came back to OR1 I knew it was where I belonged. Being in a position where I can chase down the overall title with a rider like Ross Branch really fires me up!” said Mahoney.
Teammate Ross Branch will step into the season finale with years of cross country experience. The rider has held the OR1 title for the past three consecutive years and will undoubtedly fight tooth and nail in defence of his cross country crown.
As he looks ahead to a bigger 2020 Dakar Rally picture, he commented: “Any time spent in the saddle and opportunity I get to compete is just another step in the right direction as I prepare for Dakar next year.”
Other Brother Leader Tread KTM riders on the cusp of glory are Bradley Cox, who is 9-points away from reclaiming top honours in the OR3 Class, and Juan ‘Bollie’ van Rooyen, who is about to storm to his sixth consecutive Senior title with a comfortable lead.
“It’s going to be tough to pull off, but the championship isn’t out of reach. If I win both races and Haydn Cole comes third, then I’ll take the win overall,” explained Cox.
Rounding out the orange squad are Jarryd Coetzee and Louw Schmidt, who will both be looking to finish the season on the OR2 podium while Red Bull KTM Motocross star Tristan Purdon will make a guest appearance in the Cross Country championship.