More than 3600 mountain bikers pitched for the event over five distances – 75km, 60km, 42km, 30km and 15km. Racing conditions were perfect. After the rain of the previous days the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. The routes wasn’t that muddy and riders had a lot of fun.
Buys’ winning time was 3 hours and 21 minutes. He was joined by Kevin Evans (360Life, 3:27) and Renay Groustra (GT Mr Price, 3:27) on the winner’s podium.
“One thing is certain. I never had so much fun while racing like I did today,” said Buys. “Mountain bikers who haven’t raced here yet, should really put it on their to do list.”
On the first big climb of the day a select group of riders that included Buys, Evans, Groustra and Jacques Rossouw got away. On the second climb Rossouw and Buys took the lead, but when Rossouw started to push harder Buys let him go.
“I could see him the whole time and that made me believe that I will be able to catch him.” In the end it wasn’t necessary for Buys to catch up with Rossouw, because Rossouw took the wrong turn and finished the 60km route and not the 75km.
“I was very frustrated the last few races with mechanical problems hassling me. So I’m just glad everything worked out for me today,” said Buys.
In the women’s race Strauss won convincingly in 4:17. Cherie Vale (4:27) and Liana de Jager (4:28) was second and third respectively.
Strauss went on the attack early on, but after 10km the 20-year-old had to stop to fix a broken pedal. She then had to fight her way back to the front of the field.
“I wasn’t worried, because I felt good and I knew I trained hard with my goal being good performances at the coming World Cups,” said Strauss, who caught up with all the riders with 40km to go.
“I always want to win. I never put my wheel on the start line with a second place in mind. I’m also glad that I could get a good result for my team.”
75km: MEN: Philip Buys 3 hours, 21 minutes; 2. Kevin Evans 3:27; 3. Renay Groustra 3:27. WOMEN: 1. Mariske Strauss 4:17; 2. Cherie Vale 4:27; 3. Liana de Jager 4:28.
60km: MEN: 1. Jurgens Uys 2:39; 2. Bernard Venter 2:41; 3 Johannes Scribbante 2:47. WOMEN: 1. Thandi Kitching 3:21; 2. Lolita van Aard 3:16; 3. Kate Sledrova 3:17.
42km: MEN: 1. Stefan Sennekal 1:46; 2. Sybrand Strauss 1:46; 3. Louw Kriel 1:47. WOMEN: 1. Minette Naude 2:06; 2. Tanya Rabe 2:18; 3. Nadia Malan 2:19.
30km: MEN: 1. Nicol Carstens 1:03; 2. Stefan de Bot 1:04; 3. Zack Abel 1:07. WOMEN: 1. Catherine Colyn 1:11; 2. Anja van Zyl 1:12; 3. Margo Stumpf 1:23.
15km: MEN: 1. Greg de Vink 33 minutes; 2. Richard de Vink 34min; 3. De Bruin Joubert 35min. WOMEN: 1. Cari Coetzee 43min; 2. Madelein Burgoyne 43min; 3. Anja Kriel 44min.