The gutsy performance by Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys (Scott Factory Racing) at the Absa Cape Epic showed that they have come of age as mountain bikers and are now able to beat the world’s best riders if they really put their minds to it.
Not only did they finish 6th overall and win the Absa African Jersey, but they also finished 2nd in stage seven and 3rd in stage four.
The only time they did not manage to get a top-ten stage finish in the Epic, was on day three when they were 13th.
South Africa gained a pair of new Cape Epic heroes on Sunday when Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys rode away from the field and into the hearts of the host nation, after finishing an impressive second on Stage 7 of the 2013 ABSA Cape Epic.
With a comfortable lead over their nearest rivals in the African team competition, the SCOTT Factory Racing teammates decided to cast aside their ‘go with caution’ strategy for the final stage, a relatively short 54km haul from Stellenbosch to the Lourensford Wind Estate in Somerset West with a total of 1500 metres of climbing.
There will be no easing into 2013 for South Africa’s top mountain bike marathon racers. The Attakwas Extreme Challenge in Oudtshoorn is regarded by most as the toughest single-day marathon race in the country and on Saturday, the seventh edition will guarantee another brutal season-opening test.
It’s unlikely any of the Attakwas Extreme Challenge entrants will have felt comfortable resting on Christmas Day. Indeed, most probably trained. The formidable 121km route, which incorporates the unforgiving dry, stony Karoo terrain, will include just under 3000 metres of climbing, with around two thirds of that in the final half of the race.
Spirits were high at Oak Valley (Elgin) on Sunday morning (11 November 2012) where an impressive field of mountain bikers gathered for the third and final stage of the 2012 Contego Wines2Whales MTB Race powered by Maserati.
Matthys Beukes and Renay Groustra of Team RSA Web/Cango MTB took gold after three days in the saddle completing this insanely beautiful stage race in an impressive combined time of 08hours52minutes11seconds.
South Africa’s top mountain bikers will converge on Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West) on Friday, 09 November 2012 for the start of the much anticipated Contego Wines2Whales MTB Race powered by Maserati.
Amongst the masses battling for the top spot on the podium will be team RSAweb/CangoMTB’s Renay Groustra and Matthys Beukes.
The Contego Wines2Whales MTB Race powered by Maserati celebrates its fourth anniversary in November. Taking place the weekend of 09 – 11 November 2012, teams of two riders (male/female/mixed) will be seen crossing through (and over) 13 wineries, 26 private farms, six mountains, historic roads and mountain passes, nature conservation areas (including the Kogelberg Biosphere) before finishing within sight of the famous whales of Hermanus! The distance covered will vary from 70km to 80km each day.
This past weekend I took part in the Contego Wines2Whales three day MTB race with Daniel Dobinson from iRide Africa. Both of us come from a XCO background so we were excited to see how we would we shape up in a longer multiday event.
After the South African Road Championship in Port Elizabeth, Burry Stander (Specialized/Mr Price) will undoubtedly be the firm favourite to win the UCI African Continental Cross Country mountain bike championship in Jonkershoek, just outside of Stellenbosch, on Saturday (12 February).