Philip Buys extended his lead in the 2017 Ashburton Investments National MTB Series when he played the perfect hand on Sunday’s second stage and toppled overnight leader, Gert Heyns in a decisive battle at Dullstroom, Mpumalanga on Sunday.
Despite starting with a hefty lead, the pairing of Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes had to fight back from crashing and technical problems in the slippery muddy conditions to claim the overall victory in the KAP sani2c at Scottburgh’s main beach on Saturday afternoon, while the fancied team of Candice Lill and Vera Adrian staged a spectacular comeback to claim the women’s spoils.
It was a day all about South Africa on the Old Mutual joBerg2c’s last official race day. South African MTB stars Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes sailed over the line to win day 8, and claimed the event outright for the recently formed PYGA Euro Steel team. In their first joBerg2c – the race across South Africa that shows you the best of the country’s scenery and heart – Buys and Beukes were dominant from day 4 of the nine day ride, winning the final five days.
It must be dubbed as one of the most electrifying races when Team Spur’s James Reid fought back a 45-second deficit behind Scott LCB’s Philip Buys to claw his way back and take the Elite Men’s victory at the STIHL 2016 South African National Mountain bike Championships at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 16 July. Reid finished in a time of one hour 32 minutes and 56 seconds – 14 seconds ahead of Buys. Buys’ teammate Gert Heyns rounded out the podium in01:36:53.
The South African team has settled in well and are enjoying the last few moments of practice and preparations ahead of the action-packed week at the 2016 UCI Mountain bike XCO World Championships, which take place for the first time in Nove Mesto Na Morave in the Czech Republic from Wednesday 29 June to Sunday 3 July. Some of the team members chatted about their spirits ahead of the events.
The Happy Valley Conservancy played host to the fifth and final round of the STIHL 2016 SA XCO Cup Series in Bloemfontein on Saturday 18 June. Novus OMX Pro MTB Team’s Cherie Redecker and Team SCOTT LCB’s Philip Buys took the respective wins in the Elite Women and Men’s category at the first UCI Category 2 cross-country event to take place in the Free State.
The fifth and final round of the STIHL 2016 SA MTB Cup Series XCO takes place at the Happy Valley Conservancy in Bloemfontein on Saturday 18 June. Entries close at midnight tonight (Tuesday 14 June 2016). The top Series Log contenders in the Pro-Elite Men category, Philip Buys and Alan Hatherly, are prepared to give the final round their all at the new Free State track.