In all likelihood the National Pro-elite Cross-country race that will take place in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday (4 June) will boil down to one teammate competing for victory against another.
Philip Buys and Marc Bassingthwaighte (from Garmin-adidas) are undoubtedly the two in-form cross-country riders at the moment. This is especially true after they had both competed in the World Cup events in Britain and Germany over the preceding two weekends.
Julien Absalon has made history by winning his fifth consecutive Offenburg World Cup. No other Elite rider has ever stood on the top step of the Offenburg podium. South African Burry Stander had a great ride and eventually finished 4th, just 1:05 off the pace.
Maja Włoszczowska is a Polish cross-country mountain biker. She was born in Warsaw on 9 November 1983 and is the reigning world champion in Elite cross-country mountain biking. 2011 has started well for Maja with a 8th and 6th in the first two rounds of the XCO World Cup series.
On Sunday, 22 May, Philip Buys (Garmin-adidas) made cycling history in Yorkshire’s Dalby Forest when he raced across the finishing line at the second UCI Cross Country World Cup event.
It was the first time that Buys finished a World Cup race.
“I really enjoyed myself while I was out on the course. It was tough but pleasant. The only bit of bad luck that I experienced during the race was when had to stop to “bomb” my tyre. That was when I realized that it was one thing to race in South Africa and something quite different to race in Europe.
In all my years of riding I have never had a professional bike fitment done. I have always done my own setup, got comfortable on the bike and thought that was it. How wrong I was!
I recently acquired a Swift Carbon Dark Matter and decided that it was time to do things properly. I got hold of Renay Groustra, a professional mountain biker who runs an ErgoFit fitment service from the Epic Bikeshop , to do the setup.
Dalby Forest – For the first time ever a 29er wins a World Cup XCO race. Burry Stander finished 7th after recovering from illness leading up to the event.
Round two of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano saw new riders don the leader’s jersey in each of the three cross-country races that took place on Sunday. The Dalby Forest track, in the northeast of England, proved to be tougher than many riders had anticipated.
As far as mountain bike ultra-marathons are concerned, two heads are definitely better than one.
In the MTN Tulbagh Ultra-marathon, that took place on Saturday (14 May), David George and Kevin Evans (360Life) confirmed the truth of this statement when they put their rivals in a checkmate position with their tactically sound riding to finish first and second respectively.