It took some weeks but, at long last, Philip Buys (Garmin-adidas) can forget the spelling of words such as ‘cough’, ‘sneeze’ and ‘fever’.
His only objective at the moment is to ensure that he will be fighting fit for the UCI World Cross-country Championship in Canada in three weeks’ time.
There is much interest in Buys’ performance at the World Championship, especially because he has established himself as South Africa’s second best cross-country rider during the MTN Cross-country series.
Buys managed a podium finish in three of the four races in which he competed. In Alberton he finished 2nd overall, in Pietermaritzburg he was 3rd and in George he won.
Buys was also the best Garmin-adidas rider during the European ‘safari’ in Germany and Austria. His best result was finishing 7th overall in a cross-country race. He also managed to be the first u.23 rider to finish in some of the international cross-country races.
However, Buys is the first to admit that racing in Europe was a real eye-opener.
In South African racing, the words ‘fearless’ and ‘Buys’ are regularly used in the same context. The only time that Buys was seriously rattled during a race happened in Germany but, in retrospect, it was probably just as well that it happened because he now realizes what awaits him in Canada.
“I now know what the word ‘technical’ means in international cycling terminology.”
It is a well know fact that Buys is one of the most “technically” gifted riders on the South African circuit when it comes to difficult terrain and high speeds, his uncanny ability to ride the so called “unridable” nearly saw him win the MTN Clarens race last year when he was the only rider able to ride up a very tricky climb halfway into the race.
Buys’ biggest frustration at the moment is that there are no serious mountain bike races taking place in South Africa.
During the coming weekend he will compete in the Lost City Mountain Bike Race. It will be the first time since the Nissan Diamond Rush race in Cullinan that Buys will be racing again.
“I just want to test myself to get an indication of my present form. It will be important for me not to take any unnecessary risks during the race. It would be a disaster if I should take a serious tumble and break something before the World Championship.”
Buys is looking forward to the opportunity to train on the World Championship course in Canada.
“I will have about two weeks to get used to the course and to decide what I should do and when.”