Philip Buys and Brendon Davids set a cracking pace in the Pro-elite category of the Cycling SA-MTB XCO series round 2 that took place at Cascades Mountain Bike Park in Pietermaritzburg today.
Buys (Scott) racing in the elite category and Davids (Jeep-Specialized) in the under-23 class rode hard and fast setting lap times of little over 11-minutes on the course exceeding 4 kilometres per lap.
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.
Cool and wet weather welcomed mountain biking cross-country competitors in Durbanville, Western Province for the opening round of the national XCO series on Saturday 9 February.
According to Cycling SA Technical Commissioner Grevile Ruddock, excellent racing was witnessed across all categories and of particular significance, the victories in the Elite men and women’s groups for Philip Buys and Mariske Strauss, considering there were several international riders competing as well.
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.
London Olympian and current African cross-country (XCO) mountain bike champion, Philip Buys, will race in 2013 as a fully sponsored member of SCOTT Sports Group.
The announcement to support the 24-year-old South African was made by Brandon Els, Managing Director of SCOTT Sports Africa, a move that allows Buys to pursue his racing career with comprehensive backing from one of the world’s leading performance bicycle brands.
Officially Philip Buys (USN) is on holiday but he seems to have forgotten that on Saturday (2O October) during the Nissan TrailSeeker Van Gaalen mountain bike marathon (70km)
Buys simply rode away when the route got technical in the the last 10km to take his second victory in the Nissan-series crossing.
Superb cross-country racing and an amazing display of upcoming talent resulted in one of the best SA National MTB Championship events in a long while with defending champions Burry Stander and Yolande Speedy retaining their elite national cross-country titles.
A technical 5.4km XCO course with 120m of ascent had been prepared by Mankele MTB Park on the outskirts of Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, and coupled with excellent weather conditions on Saturday 21st July made for some exciting racing.