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  1. Buys has won the red Absa African special jersey three times, while Beukes has lifted the Burry Stander Memorial trophy on four occasions, but their aim for 2018 is to become the first all-African team to be crowned champions at the Grand Finale. With a strong fifth place in 2017, Buys said they will go into the race better prepared than ever. “Our first ambition is to win the general classification,” said Buys, “but we will constantly assess and adjust our plan after each stage. If we find ourselves too far off a general podium position, then we will back off a bit for stage wins and secure the Absa African special jersey. The extra publicity of the red jersey is great for our sponsors but we want to compete against the best in the world – not just against the locals, so we keep on elevating our goals.” Having a back-up team has become a vital part of any challenge for the yellow jersey at the race. Buys and Beukes will be able to push hard at the front knowing they have mechanical support from their second Pyga Euro Steel team comprising Phillimon Sebona and Julian Jessop. Sebona has won the Exxaro special jersey twice and, at 26-years-old, has five Absa Cape Epics to his credit, while the 20-year-old Jessop will be making his debut. “My training has changed a bit more towards longer intervals and more torque efforts – low cadence intervals – on the bike, but our biggest changes would be more on the support side of things behind the scenes. Our sponsors have enabled us to expand our support crew and build on our team infrastructure. The bottom line is that we will be more relaxed and comfortable at Epic,” quipped Buys. With 11 Absa Cape Epics and five stage wins between them, Buys and Beukes have the experience of the many challenges the route can throw up. Buys, who rode in the 2012 London Olympics with the late Burry Stander, believes cross-country skills will be just as vital at the 2018 race as stamina. “If you look at the stage distances, the first half of the race seems to suit the marathon riders a bit more and then the last few stages seem to suit the cross-country riders more,” said Buys. “But I think that in general, cross-country riders, or riders with more skill are more efficient in their riding and save a bit more in the long run. That would be key during the end stages of any multi-day stage race.” “If you can go into the last few technical shorter stages in and around Wellington slightly fresher you can make up time. You can win the race if you are able to stick with the marathon guys in the early long stages and then punch them in the last stages when they are a bit more fried. In my opinion, the course will not necessarily determine the results, but rather your team plan and tactic.” “The shorter more technical stages seem very attractive, but we have proven before that going for the queen stage can also pay off for us, maybe go big when everyone least expects it.”
  2. For him and Scott LCB Factory Racing teammate Arno du Toit, the African Continental MTB Championships in Lesotho has been an important date in their racing calendars. Buys, who won the Lesotho Sky stage race with teammate Matthys Beukes in 2015, understood the importance of arriving a few days earlier to adapt to the high altitude. Buys knew that a win in Lesotho would be a tough ask. James Reid and Brendon Davids won it in previous years, and they were better suited to the route, which started with a long steady climb. Philip says: “Arriving at the track, I felt it does not suit my riding style. I’m better with short punchy climbs, so I had to adapt my race strategy”. Arno du Toit had a similar approach to the race. Recovering from a stomach bug, Du Toit had to manage his race conservatively to finish with enough fuel in the tank. Both him and Buys started the first lap with a stronger finish in mind. On the second lap, Buys moved to second place behind race leader James Reid and was poised to start his attack. Lap after lap Buys built up a valuable lead of 30 seconds on Reid, leaving Du Toit and Davids to battle it out for third place. “I was saving up a few matches to light up at the end, but from about halfway through it was clear that Buys and Reid were not fading and I would be dicing it out for the final step on the podium,” said Du Toit afterwards. It was a cat-and-mouse race between him and Davids, and they had a strong pack on their heels to apply pressure. For Phil Buys, this win is a breakthrough in his journey to the World Champs and the Olympics. After a consistent start to the year, his hard work is starting to pay off. The next three events are crucial to securing a spot in the Olympic team. Team manager Ruan Lochner was over the moon with having both of his riders on the podium. “After a disappointing turn of events at the Epic and with both riders who had to adapt to a more conservative approach due to a tough week and a tricky track, we are delighted with the outcome. It was a real team effort, with a lot of support behind the scenes from crew and sponsors alike.”
  3. Team Spur’s James Reid fought back a 45-second deficit 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. Photo: Andrew Mc Fadden/BOOGS Photography After an explosive start from Buys, Reid and Alan Hatherly (Kargo Pro MTB Team) settled into an early pace as Buys continued to lay down the hammer. By the third lap, Hatherly was dropping back and Reid realised that he had to pick up his pace to close down the gap to the dominant Buys. “I slowly worked my way up – I didn’t feel bad at all during the race,” said Reid. “When I realised that the gap was quite big, I knew I had to work harder to catch Philip. It was a seven-lap race and I could always see him.” Even though Reid picked up his pace, it felt like he wasn't able to reach the race leader. “The gap between me and Philip kept on getting bigger. I managed to catch him early on the last lap, and on an open climb I managed to pass him.” Speaking on how his race panned out, Reid said: “We’ve had such a big racing block with the World Champs and then World Cup in the last few weeks. Today I was watching Alan because we ran similar splits last weekend. This was a super tight and a super competitive race. “Winning SA Champs means a lot for me. It’s been a hectic year. National Champs is one of those events where you have only one chance to perform well. It doesn’t matter how well you have performed during the season.” The seven-lap race on the dry and dusty 4.6-kilometre circuit had some brutal climbs and a new rock garden section named “The Graveyard” which claimed a few “OTB” (over the bars) crashes. Despite this, Reid’s first words across the finish line were “simply awesome – it was the best version of Cascades we’ve ever had!” Team Scott LCB's Philip Buys put in a dominant performance during most of the seven-lap Elite Men's race at the STIHL 2016 South African National Mountain bike Championships at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 16 July. Photo: Andrew Mc Fadden/BOOGS Photography A disappointed Buys commented on his performance: “I was maybe a bit too motivated and went out super hard and didn't really back off, and on the last two laps I started cramping a little bit and had to nurture that. James caught up and halfway through the last lap he got past me, and well done to him. It was a hard race and maybe I should’ve gone out a little easier, but I just went all out and left no margin.” The under-23s raced six laps and Julian Jessop (Concept Cyclery Ballito) took top honours in 01:27:21 against Franco Pelser (01:28:09) with Wade Prinsloo (01:31:56) finishing third. Julian Jessop (Concept Cyclery Ballito) took top honours in the under-23 race at the STIHL 2016 South African National Mountain bike Championships at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 16 July. Photo: Andrew Mc Fadden/BOOGS Photography Jessop said: “I’m very stoked to have won the U23 National Championship title. I’m a first year U23 and it was a really big goal of mine, so I’m happy to be ticking the box. We had six laps of this very demanding course and the climbs were really brutal and I tried to keep the downhills smooth, making sure not to crash and making sure my bike was in the right places and not taking any unnecessary risks. I gave it my all – in the first laps I tried to make a gap and I got a slight gap and managed to keep building it. I had a small crash, but I’m happy that all the hard work has paid off.” Jarrod van den Heever (Contego) planned his attack well in the Junior Men’s race to move from second place into the lead at the Treehouse section of the route, passing Matthew Keyser and extending his lead from there. Van den Heever finished in 01:13:00 with Henry Liebenberg finishing second (01:14:40) and Keyser third (01:15:11). “I tried to conserve myself after realising that I had a 40-second gap on the rest of the field and managed to maintain that until the end of the race. I’m very happy and I’ve waited for this moment for five years, and now I’ve finally got it!” Jarrod van den Heever (Contego) planned his attack well and held his lead until the end of the Junior Men's race at the STIHL 2016 South African National Mountain bike Championships at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 16 July. Photo: Andrew Mc Fadden/BOOGS Photography The Sub Veteran, Veteran and Masters races also took to the loose and dusty course ahead of the Elite, U23 and Junior races. Brand du Plessis claimed a gold medal in the Sub Veteran race in a time of 01:12:53, with Renay Groustra finishing second (01:13:12) and Dion Froneman in third place (01:16:28). The Western Cape’s Nico Pfitzenmaier won the Veteran Men’s five-lap race in 01:16:56, while local rider Warren Price claimed second (01:18:38) and Hendrik Bester third (01:21:20). Robert Sim put in a dominant performance in the four-lap Masters Men race to claim the National Championship title in a time of 01:03:43. Dirk Maarsingh claimed silver while Paul Cannon claimed Bronze. Veteran Ewan Cochran described how tough the course was. “Racing was very tough out there today with the course getting very loose and sandy on a lot of the corners. What was a firm course a few weeks ago was very loose today. Traction was a big part of today’s race and perhaps tyre selection would’ve been crucial for some of the guys to make the most of the loose conditions. “The Graveyard was okay for me, I only got it wrong once,” he laughed. “It is all about controlling your speed and not going in too fast and trying to stick with the line that you choose to go.” Team Scott LCB's Gert Heyns on the charge to third place during the Elite Men’s race at the STIHL 2016 South African National Mountain bike Championships at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 16 July. Photo: Andrew Mc Fadden/BOOGS Photography Tomorrow, the Downhill Championships take place on the much talked about new track, which is guaranteed to test the riders’ best abilities! For the STIHL 2016 SA MTB Championships – Programme of events, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/s/20160707_SA-MTB-Champs-2016-Program-1.pdf. For more information, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-sa-mtb-champs/ SUMMARY OF RESULTS – STIHL 2016 South African National MTB Championships - Provisional Results For full results please visit: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-sa-mtb-champs/ (results are expected to be uploaded by this evening after the final races of the day)Elite Men (7 laps) 1.James Reid 01:32:56 2.Philip Buys 01:33:10 3.Gert Heyns 01:36:53 4.Max Knox 01:38:00 5.Matthys Beukes 01:40:19 6.Jan Withaar 01:40:28 7.Alan Hatherly 01:41:45 8.Arno du Toit 01:41:58 9.Stuart Marais 01:44:26 10.Andrew Warr 01:47:29 Under 23 Men (6 laps) 1.Julian Jessop 01:27:21 2.Franco Pelser 01:28:09 3.Wade Prinsloo 01:31:56 Junior Men (5 laps) 1.Jarrod van den Heever 01:13:00 2.Henry Liebenberg 01:14:40 3.Matthew Keyser 01:15:11 Sub Veteran Men (5 laps) 1.Brand du Plessis 01:12:53 2.Renay Groustra 01:13:12 3.Dion Froneman 01:16:28 Veteran Men (5 laps) 1.Nico Pfitzenmaier 01:16:56 2.Warren Price 01:18:38 3.Hendrik Bester 01:21:20 Master Men (4 laps) 1.Robert Sim 01:03:43 2.Dirk Maarsingh 01:10:40 3.Paul Cannon 01:10:55
  4. Under-23 rider, Alan Hatherly, is feeling relaxed ahead of the weekend, being familiar with the course after competing in the World Cup at the same venue last year, and he feels that this adds to his favour. Kargo Pro MTB Team's Alan Hatherly is thrilled with his front row start ahead of the UCI XCO Championships u23 Men's race in Nove Mesto Na Morave on Saturday 2 July 2016. Photo Credit: Andrew McFadden/BOOGS Photography He also shares his countrymen’s views on the electricity of the crowds. “I'm feeling very confident and positive about this World Champs and, with my front row start, it's definitely the best opportunity for me to do well,” he said. “Our accommodation this side is really awesome and they've been really helpful with meeting our dietary requirements, so on the whole we as a team couldn't ask for a better pre Worlds build up,” said the Kargo Pro MTB Team rider. Looking back at himself on the bike just one year ago, Hatherly feels that his mind set ahead of such races has improved drastically. “There's a lot more to the race than just rolling up onto the line. I think the biggest thing I've worked on however is my strength on the bike as a whole, both legs and upper body/core, which I feel has helped me to be more consistent with my efforts and get my power out more efficiently. It's made my racing a lot more enjoyable because I can attack the descents now,” he added. London 2012 Olympian, Philip Buys says that he loves the peace and tranquillity of Nove Mesto, and has enjoyed a change in scenery. His focus now lies in fine-tuning his lines and looking at weather-dependent options in case of rain. “I would also like to get the bulk of my track training done a few days before Sunday, because it is quite a demanding track to get around, and I would rather take it easy the two days before racing,” he added. The Team Scott LCB rider is looking forward to high-speed downhills and power riding over the roots on the course, but is also cautious of the amount of climbs. “However, I've done the preparation in training for this. Overall I'm having fun on the track and that usually counts for a lot,” he said. Current South African XCO Champion, James Reid, describes the course as being flatter than other cross-country courses with punchier climbs, which seem to suit him better. “There are roots and rocks everywhere, but the soil is grippy and there's a bit of tar to recover too. Providing it doesn't rain, I'm sure it will be good for me,” he said. This will be Reid’s eighth World Championships in a row and intense nerves aren’t an issue for him anymore, except for the odd butterflies that kick in on race day. The Team Spur rider is hoping to have a smooth race that he will be happy with. “Having done seven of these events, it is kind of time to start making it count, you know?” he said. Reid also highlighted the challenge that comes with Elite level racing: “Being 11th in Mont Sainte Anne as a junior in 2010 was special, and 10th in Hafjell in 2014 was too, but Elite level racing is a different ball game all together – there are literally hundreds of fast riders everywhere, and you have to stick to your game plan in your own head.” In terms of the vibe and energy of the crowds at Nove Mesto, he said: “The energy here is always special - these fans are supercharged! They turn out en masse to support their hometown hero, Jaroslav Kulhavy and get really heated up during the event. The passion is contagious, even if you're having a bad day. The roads and trails around Nove Mesto are also fantastic, making for a good week’s preparation ahead of the big day.” Absolute Motion's Henry Liebenberg will be flying the flag high at his first UCI XCO World Championships race on Friday 1 July. Photo Credit: Andrew McFadden/BOOGS Photography The World Championships will be a first for Junior rider, Henry Liebenberg, who is soaking up every opportunity been offered to him. “My experience here so far has been amazing. The day I found out that I was going to worlds was one of the happiest moments of my cycling career. I kept ticking down the days to the trip to Nove Mesto. I couldn't wait to experience the atmosphere here and the trails in Nove Mesto. I've been training for World's non-stop, not peaking for any other races so that my form would be top on the day.”The Absolute Motion rider tries not to think about the race too much, because of nerves. “But I am also very excited for my race. I've been preparing for this race the whole year, so hopefully I can have an awesome one.” Liebenberg concluded by saying: “Being able to wear the South African colours makes me feel very proud. Since I’ve started cycling I’ve dreamt of wearing these colours and cycling for my country one day. I’ve always wanted to compete at world level and being able to have achieved that makes me feel like I've achieved something great. From the races that I did in Germany and Italy earlier this year, I now know what to expect on Friday on the start line.” Schedule for the South African riders: Friday 1 July 201615:00 Women Juniors [Danielle Strydom] 17:00 Men Juniors [Henry Liebenberg] Saturday 2 July 2016 11:00 Men Under 23 [Alan Hatherly] Sunday 3 July 2016 15:00 Men Elite [Philip Buys / Sipho Madolo / James Reid] Live event broadcasting: The elite races will be broadcast live on RedbullTV and SuperSport.Elite Women - Saturday at 14:50 – 17:00 Elite Men - Sunday at 14:50 – 17:00 For further information about the 2016 UCI Mountain bike XCO World Championships, which take place in Nove Mesto Na Morave in the Czech Republic from 29 June to 3 July, click here: http://www.uci.ch/mm/Document/News/News/17/71/93/Competitionguide-XCNMNM2016ENG_English.pdf.
  5. Meet the team Philip Buys Gert Heyns Arno Du Doit Matthys Beukes [/column][column=50%] Q&A with Philip Buys You’ve been to two World Cups this year, Nove Mesto and Albstadt. What is it like competing on the top level? It’s always a tough game when we go overseas. Thankfully we have the support of our sponsors and are able to get to the whole team to the events with a mechanic. It’s always good to go overseas, you always learn something new. How did the injury at Mankele impact your preparation? Yes, at Mankele I torn some ligaments in my shoulder. It happened three weeks before we went over to Nove Mesto. I had had planned a month long trip to score some UCI points. I did three cross country races and a stage race. This interruption to my preparation didn’t help and none of the races went as I would have liked. How do you find the cross country courses in Europe compared to the local tracks? The courses are manageable despite being on a different level. But the local tracks are improving quickly. The biggest difference is the amount of riders on the course. In South Africa you have time to pick your lines and have a clean run at an obstacle while at international events there are usually 3 or 4 guys fighting for the fastest line and you can’t always predict what they are going to do. The atmosphere at Nove Mesto looks fantastic. What’s it like riding there? This year was my third time riding there. It’s definitely the coolest event to race. The layout of the track allows the whole crowd to manoeuvre around to all the obstacles. The crowds follows you and the Czechs are also hardcore fans. Next years World Champs will also be there and that’s something worth looking forward to. How have you found the local XCO series this year? It appears to be doing good things for sport. This year you can definitely see an improvement. Sponsors getting involved has made a big contribution. The upcoming Rio Olympics has also seen the level of racing boosted. Instead of one or two riders, there are now four or five guys looking to qualify. There also a wealth of youngsters coming through in the series. I think it’s very good. Cross country is great platform for riders to come through the ranks. If you can ride cross country, you can ride marathon because you have the skills. Coming to cross country from a marathon background can be a more difficult conversion. Do you see cross country the discipline local riders should focus on if they want to succeed internationally? Definitely. Cross country has a much bigger following overseas than it does here. But that is changing. The Schools Series for example is helping grow it locally and hopefully events like this will help set a platform to get it to where it is internationally. As you mentioned, the competition is fierce. How do you rate your chances this weekend? Yes, there are four or five guys who could win it. It's a bit of a shot in the dark for me. I’ve just got my shoulder sorted and managed to get some quality training in. At Cascades I finished 3rd, it was the first positive result I’ve had since the injury and I feel like I’m getting somewhere again. And again, with the Olympic spot at stake and decent UCI points up for grabs, it’s going to be a proper battle up front tomorrow. How do you find the Coetzenburg course? It’s really cool. I enjoy the track. It flows well which makes for fast riding and fast racing. We rode it yesterday in the dry but we’re going to go out today in the wet and try and assess the conditions to decide on tyres if it stays wet. Is going to Rio one of your goals. We all know how tough it is to get in. How do you see it going for you? At the beginning of the year I had marked Olympic qualification as something I wanted to achieve. You can plan far ahead but it’s been a shaky build up for me. It’s been a bit frustrating for me. The year started out well but since the crash it’s been a bit bumpy. I’ve moved from the top ranking to 4th after the crash in Mankele. Going ahead now, I might miss the next two World Cups to get into proper shape. I want to go all in for World Champs and get a solid result there to boost my chances for Rio. I’m still positive and there is still opportunity to qualify. In cross-country are you seeing changes in the bike choices, specifically hardtail vs. dual suspension? It’s course dependant for us. With Scott as our sponsors we have the option between two proper bikes. They are both competitive against the other brands. Most of the year I have been riding the dual suspension Spark 29er. Nationals will be only my second race on the hardtail. It was quite difficult to decide though. If it is going to be slightly wet the hardtail will be the better option. There are also lots of kicker climbs and sharp switchbacks where you have to accelerate hard and quickly. I feel it will be more efficient on a hardtail. The downhills will be bumpy but we will make up for it with the sharper accelerations. Is there anything special you do with your setup? The bike is mostly stock standard. I have custom wheels build to my liking. They are slightly heavier but are more robust and stiffer than usual. They suit my heavier riding style. Also the steerer on my RockShox fork is carbon over the standard aluminium steer. Making it a bit lighter but not as stiff as the aluminium one. But I feel my stiff wheels make up for this. Electric gearing and electric anything on bikes? I haven’t ridden electric on my bikes yet. So I don’t have an opinion on it. I’m happy with my mechanical set up but I’m keen to try anything. The Course Scott Scale 900 RC Technical specification: FrameScale Carbon, IMP technology / HMX / Tapered HT, PM 160 Disc / BB92, IDS SL dropouts for 142 × 12mm, SDS Shock Damping System Travel100mm ForkRock Shox SID RL3 Air, DNA3 custom damper with 3 modes, 15mm QR axle / Tapered steerer, reb. Adj. / 100mm travel Remote systemSCOTT RideLoc Remote Technology, 3 modes / integ. clamp HeadsetRitchey Pro Tapered 1.5" - 1 1/8", semi integ. OD 50/61mm / ID 44/55mm Rear derailleurSRAM XX1, 11 Speed ShiftersSRAM XO1 Trigger right only, multi adj. / with Carbon cap Brake leversShimano XTR XC M9000 Disc BrakesShimano XTR M9000 Disc, 180/F and 160/Rmm SM-RT81 CL Icetech Rotor CranksetSRAM XX1 GXP PF, Carbon crankarm / QF 156, 32 T BB-setSRAM GXP PF integated / shell 41x89.5mm HandlebarRitchey Carbon WCS 2X, T shape Flat / 9° / 700mm, Syncros Pro lock-on grips StemRitchey WCS C-260, oversize 31.8mm, 1 1/8" / 6° angle SeatpostRitchey WCS, Carbon 2B SDS / 34.9mm SeatRitchey WCS Streem Ti rails Front hubSyncros XR RC CL / 15mm, made by DT Swiss Rear hubSyncros XR RC CL / 142 × 12mm / RWS axle, Rachet System / XD / made by DT Swiss ChainSRAM PC X1 CassetteSRAM XO1 / XG1195, 10-42 T TiresMaxxis Tires SpokesDT Swiss Aero Comp RimsSyncros XR RC 28H / Tubeless ready Approx. Weight KG8.90 kg
  6. Pyga/Eurosteel team, Matthys Beukes (front) and Philip Buys (back) setting a hard pace on day 2 of the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series Dullstroom. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za After finishing third on Stage 1 on Saturday, Buys (Pyga Eurosteel) started Sunday’s leg 22 seconds back and in aggressive mood, setting the pace from the start with his Pyga Eurosteel teammate, Matthys Beukes and putting Heyns under constant pressure. But Buys and Beukes were simply too strong and they completed the perfect double with Beukes claiming the stage win and Buys grabbing second place and the overall title. It was the appropriate reprieve for Beukes who suffered a broken wheel while battling upfront during Stage 1 and was forced to withdraw from the stage. On Saturday, Heyns outsmarted his rivals to grab the stage win in the 70.5km leg and secure the overnight lead. He was followed by Nico Bell (Team NAD Pro) and Buys respectively. But the Pyga Eurosteel pair was just too strong on Sunday’s 62.4km route, claiming the top two spots. Bell finished third on Sunday to secure second overall for the two-day event, with Heyns in fourth and Gawie Combrinck (Team NAD Pro) rounding out the top five respectively on the second day. In the overall though, Heyns finished third, Combrinck fourth and Dylan Rebello (Imbuko Momsen) fifth. Dylan Rebello, stage 2 of the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series Dullstroom. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za “It was quite a good day for us obviously. I almost feel bad. Yesterday I only did half the race, so I was a lot fresher than the other guys. You could clearly see that today. Those are the rules and we can play that,” explained Beukes The Ashburton Investments National MTB Series rules for its two-day event permit a rider to compete on Day 2 even if they don’t finish Day 1. Series points are allocated for each day’s performance as well as for the combined result for the two-days. “My first objective was to look after Phil today and make sure he closed the gap on second and first overall after Day 1. My second objective was for me to take the stage win, which I did, which is quite nice and it will help add to my overall series points,” added Beukes. Gawie Combrick (Team NAD Pro) crosses a stream during stage 2 of the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series Dullstroom. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za “The scenery around Dullstroom is really nice. It feels like you are riding on top of the world. Thanks to Advendurance for more amazing routes. We rode some awesome trails out there,” said Beukes. “Yesterday our tactic didn’t really work out as planned, but today it worked out perfectly. Glad to take the overall win and a great stage win for Matthys,” said Buys. “Advendurance put on another good event. It’s tough racing at altitude. The climbing is good here and add in the wind and you have a proper challenge when racing here,” added Buys. Gert Heyns (Ascendis Health) followed closely by Gawie Combrick (Team NAD Pro) during stage 1 of the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series Dullstroom. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za “The racing was great. I’ve never really had a good result at Dullstroom, so it was good to finish second overall. The Pyga guys made the pace really hard. Matthys was quite fresh after not being able to finish yesterday’s stage. With this wind, it made the race even harder, so it was definitely a difficult race,” said Bell. “Gawie is getting back to full strength. He helped me quite a lot at the beginning of today’s stage. It’s great to have us both finish in the top five. Very good for our sponsors and our team,” added Bell. The seventh and final round of the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series 2017 will take place on 14 and 15 October. The venue is Kaapsehoop, near Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. For more information or to enter, visit www.nationalmtbseries.com Men’s podium (from left to right) Joseph Pieterse (Ashburton Investments representative) Gawie Combrick, Nico Bell, Philip Buys, Gert Heyns and Dylan Rebello. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za Ashburton Investments National MTB Series 2017 Round 6, Dullstroom Leading results Marathon Men Stage 1: 1 Gert Heyns (RSA) Ascendis Health 2:51:32 2 Nico Bell (RSA) Team NAD Pro 2:51:49 3 Philip Buys (RSA) Pyga Eurosteel 2:51:54 4 Gawie Combrinck (RSA) Team NAD Pro 2:54:03 5 Timothy Hammond (RSA) Spot Africa 2:56:01 6 Dylan Rebello (RSA) Imbuko Momsen 2:56:04 7 Wessel Botha (RSA) 3:58:01 8 Alan Gordon (RSA) 3:06:02 9 Pieter-Ben Korkie (RSA) 3:10:09 10 Pillimon Sebona (RSA) Pyga Eurosteel 3:10:54Men Stage 2: 1 Matthys Beukes (RSA) Pyga Eurosteel 1:55:48 2 Philip Buys (RSA) Pyga Eurosteel 1:55:53 3 Nico Bell (RSA) Team NAD Pro 1:56:49 4 Gert Heyns (RSA) Ascendis Health 1:58:27 5 Gawie Combrinck (RSA) Team NAD Pro 2:00:16 6 Wessel Botha (RSA) 2:00:34 7 Dylan Rebello (RSA) Imbuko Momsen 2:00:45 8 Timothy Hammond (RSA) Spot Africa 2:01:12 9 Ben Melt Swanepoel (RSA) Garmin Merida 2:02:20 10 Marc Fourie (RSA) 2:06:47 Men combined final positions: 1 Philip Buys (RSA) Pyga Eurosteel 4:47:47 2 Nico Bell (RSA) Team NAD Pro 4:48:38 3 Gert Heyns (RSA) Ascendis Health 4:49:59 4 Gawie Combrinck (RSA) Team NAD Pro 4:54:19 5 Dylan Rebello (RSA) Imbuko Momsen 4:56:49 6 Timothy Hammond (RSA) Spot Africa 4:57:13 7 Wessel Botha (RSA) 4:58:35 8 Alan Gordon (RSA) 5:13:42 9 Pillimon Sebona (RSA) Pyga Eurosteel 5:18:36 10 Pieter-Ben Korkie (RSA) 5:19:09 Half-marathon Males combined – final positions 1 Marc Oliver Pritzen (RSA) 3:27:21 2 Chris du Plessis (RSA) 3:29:47 3 Keagan Bontekoning 3:32:31 For full marathon and half-marathon results, visit www.saseeding.org
  7. Buys is all power as he leads his PYGA Euro Steel partner Matthys Beukes up a technical climb on the final stage of the 2017 KAP sani2c from Jolivet to Scottburgh on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The PYGA Euro Steel duo tumbled back to third midway through the 82km final stage from Jolivet Farm to Scottburgh, after crashing and then battling with chain problems in the treacherous conditions caused by the heavy cold front that gripped the region, and victory seemed almost impossible. The Beukes and Buys, and Sanders and McDougall pairings were the men's and women's winners respectively after the opening stage of the event on Thursday. After Friday's long Queen stage was neutralized, the fast final stage from Jolivet to Scottburgh – where it is normally tough to make up significant amounts of time – was the only chance for teams to overcome the deficits after Stage 1. However, the mud – the aftermath of the heavy rain which forced the neutralization of Stage 2 – created massive drive-train issues for all riders and meant the race became a dramatic case of stop, repair and chase back for all the leading contenders. NAD Pro's Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell, who started the day in second overall, were quickly out of contention when their muddied chains choked their hopes early in the stage. They eventually took fourth on the stage and fourth overall, just ahead of TIB Insurance's Andrew Hill and Julian Jessop. Fourth after the only racing day before Saturday, Matthew Beers and Tim Hammond (Ryder RED E Spot Africa) seemed to have dodged most of the early drama and even looked to have the final stage under control as they built a solid lead midway through their journey to Scottburgh. At one point they were timed at over two minutes ahead of Team BCX, and three ahead of the PYGA duo – advantages which effectively gave them the race lead. Team dormakaba's Vera Adrian (left) and Candice Lill are muddied but happy after winning the final stage of the 2017 KAP sani2c from Jolivet to Scottburgh on Saturday and taking the overall win. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger from Team BCX, just 53 seconds behind PYGA at the start of Stage 3, were thus in second position on the road, but when Kruger hit a rock at a river crossing and punctured, they were thrown out of contention for the win. The two former road riders managed to repair and finish third on the stage and third overall. But up front Buys, who also crashed heavily and later said he "was in pain", and Beukes fought back bravely and had all but caught the early leaders when Hammond suffered from chain suck. As Hammond stopped to clear his drive train, Buys and Beukes gratefully swept past and incredibly were able to take the stage win, and with it an overall victory by just over two minutes. "I don't know how we got back to win," said an incredulous Buys after crossing the line. Hammond and Beers remounted and sped to the finish to claim second on the stage and second overall. "It is great to defend the title that I won last year and we have been in great form this year, so the confidence was there for us and despite our challenges today we knew that we just needed to stay calm and we could win," said a muddied Beukes after the finish. "To have another sani2c title is great and I am glad that Phil and I could pull off the victory." Buys was a bit more descriptive of their dramas out on the route: "We had some serious problems today but that was going to happen if you looked at the nature of the stage. ";My chain slipped a couple of times and then I had a fall in a donga which set us back a bit. "It was far from the perfect day of mountain biking but its really satisfying that we can win in these conditions," he added. In the women's race, Lill and Adrian fought a rabbit-and-hare dice from soon after the start as they steadily built a lead over Sanders and McDougall. Midway through the stage they had enough of a lead on the stage to be leading on the road, however, just when it looked as if they had victory sorted, the Valencia pairing began to eat into their lead again – only for more mechanical problems to finally scupper their hopes. Riders carve their way through a cane field during the final stage of the 2017 KAP sani2c from Jolivet to Scottburgh Beach on Saturday. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Eventually the dormakaba pair reached the finish four minutes ahead which was enough for a deceptively large three-minute win. "Candice and I have become such a good combination because we are both technically really good and we compliment each other," said Adrian. "We were strong today and rode really well together in some really tough conditions. It was great to win this year but it was a really tough day for the Valencia Ladies and you never want to see others have problems like that. "We were looking forward to the second stage but it was definitely the right decision to cancel to drop in the Umko and we knew we had to work really hard today." Defeat was tough to accept for Mcdougall, who is normally one of the most consistent and toughest riders in the women's races. "I had so many problems today, I am usually really good and enjoy the mud but today just wasn't my day," the dejected runner up said after the finish. "It cost us a lot of time today but that is mountain biking and I still really enjoyed riding with Sam (Sanders) and the whole race." 2016 Olympian James Reid made a quick foray away from his studies at UCT to compete for the first time in 2017 and with South African Triathlete Mari Rabie was a convincing winner in the mixed category, finishing 11 minutes ahead of Sanet and Dana Coetzee. Provisional Results (with stage time and overall time) 1.PYGA Euro Steel (Philip Buys/Matthys Beukes) 2:50:08, 5:38:04 2.Ryder RED E Spot Africa (Matthew Beers/Tim Hammond) 2:50:17, 5:40:12 3.Team BCX (Waylon Woolcock/HB Kruger) 2:54:37, 5:43:26 4.NAD Pro MTB (Gawie Combrinck/Nico Bell) 2:56:39, 5:45:19 5.Team TIB (Andrew Hill/Julian Jessop) 0 2:56:45, 5:48:28 6.William Simpson (Derrin Smith/Michael Posthumus) 0 3:05:07, 6:04:32 7.Ballito Bicycling Company (Pieter Seyffert/Andrew Johnson) 0 3:07:35, 6:04:39 8.Home Ice Cream (Matthew Stamatis/Thomas Jessop) 0 3:06:22, 6:05:20 9.Urban Fitness Outdoor (Jonathan Cloete/Nicholas Porteous) 0 3:20:51, 6:20:39 10 Time Freight eTeam (James Burne/Aiden Nugent) 3:13:57, 6:22:26Women 1.dormakaba (Candice Lill/Vera Adrian) 3:09:45, 6:18:31 2.Valencia Ladies (Samantha Sanders/Amy Mcdougall) 3:13:42, 6:21:20 3.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Mariska Strauss) 3:19:08, 6:37:18 Mixed Team 1.Private Client Holdings (James Reid/Mari Rabie) 3:23:47, 6:37:53 2.Omnico Team (Sanet Coetzee/Dana Coetzee) 3:27:26, 6:48:19 For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za
  8. Philip Buys of PYGA Euro Steel leads the bunch during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Val de Vie in Paarl. Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS By doing so they also claimed the Absa African special jersey - for the first team in which both riders are from the continent - thanks to a strong overall performance, finishing seventh in the general classification. Beukes was pleased at the race finish. Even without a stage win, this year’s Absa Cape Epic was educational for PYGA Euro Steel. He said the team is hungry for success in 2018 at the Absa Cape Epic, hinting that a challenge for an overall win could be on. “We obviously didn't get what we set out to get, but we definitely matured a lot and rode smartly. I think this week was incredibly tough. It’s the most I have ever learned at a Absa Cape Epic so there are a lot of good things to take home.” The 2017 edition presented numerous mechanical challenges for the Absa African special jersey winners. Their ride was plagued by punctures, but Beukes said this didn’t cost them an elusive stage win. “This year we had a couple of issues, but we handled them quickly and calmly. The level of the Absa Cape Epic is becoming more intense every year. A couple of year’s ago we set out to win a stage and won it comfortably. This year, there was no chance of that, you really had to put your head down.” Of the experience, Beukes was all smiles. “We had a good time. We always enjoy riding, whether it's well or not so well, we just try and have a good time.” Buys was also in good spirits after finishing the Absa Cape Epic seventh overall. “It was a great Absa Cape Epic! It’s a pity we missed out on a stage win, but we really put everything out there today and we are really happy with the red jersey. We learned a lot this Epic, so I'm sure we will come back smarter.” As for the immediate future, he said, “Firstly we want some time off - maybe a week or two. The Absa Cape Epic is actually the first event of our local season and we have a bunch of races up until August and then another short break.” The front bunch during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic. Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS Although they were never quite close enough to contend for the Absa African special jersey, Nico Bell of NAD Pro MTB was pleased to cross the line in good time. “It’s good racing - the competition was great this year, it seems like it is always picking up. We are glad to get to the finish today without any issues during the race. “It’s a tough race. You're either strong or you're not. A lot of guys get ill, crash or break something. A lot counts on this race.” Bell and Combrinck have much to look forward to for the rest of 2017. “Throughout the year we will be doing many South African races. We race throughout the year, but this was a key race,” said Bell. Not happy but not unhappy either, Combrinck has higher hopes for next year’s Absa Cape Epic. “It turned out okay. We didn’t come here to finish where ended up. But the riding and racing was fun. This final stage was still sandy and dusty but thankfully quite cool.” 2017 Stage 7 Absa AfricanStage Results 1. PYGA Euro Steel 9-1 Philip Buys (South Africa) 9-2 Matthys Beukes (South Africa) 2:59.15,8 2. NAD Pro MTB 14-1 Nico Bell (South Africa) 14-2 Gawie Combrinck (South Africa) 3:03.08,3 +3.52,5 3. Breedenet 549-1 Charl-Pierre Esterhuyse (South Africa) 549-2 CP van Wyk (South Africa) 3:03.37,7 +4.21,9 Overall Results 1. PYGA Euro Steel 9-1 Philip Buys (South Africa) 9-2 Matthys Beukes (South Africa) 27:36.12,8 2. NAD Pro MTB 14-1 Nico Bell (South Africa) 14-2 Gawie Combrinck (South Africa) 28:05.11,6 +28.58,8 3. The Gear Change 141-1 Justin Tuck (South Africa) 141-2 David George (South Africa) 29:16.33,7 +1:40.20,9 4. SPOT Africa-Agrichem 39-1 Timothy Hammond (South Africa) 39-2 Dominic Calitz (South Africa) 29:43.20,5 +2:07.07,7 5. BCX 10-1 Hendrik Kruger (South Africa) 10-2 Waylon Woolcock (South Africa) 29:49.03,9 +2:12.51,1 6. Imbuko Freewheel Cycology 23-1 Christopher Wolhuter (South Africa) 23-2 Dylan Rebello (South Africa) 30:00.10,2 +2:23.57,4 7. NFB - Spine & Sport 27-1 Craig Uria (South Africa) 27-2 Andrew Duvenage (South Africa) 30:58.37,6 +3:22.24,8 8. William Simpson 33-1 Michael Posthumus (South Africa) 33-2 Derrin Smith (South Africa) 31:21.20,3 +3:45.07,5 9. LGE Midas/Slender-Wonder 330-1 Igna de Villiers (South Africa) 330-2 Paul Theron (South Africa) 32:07.34,8 +4:31.22,0 10. Provincial Logistics 335-1 Franso Steyn (South Africa) 335-2 Jandri Ferreira (South Africa) 32:20.02,8 +4:43.50,0
  9. The icy start did nothing to slow down a determined field and according to du Plessis he knew Buys would be fast on the bike so he pushed hard on the runs. "It actually went a lot better than I expected, I thought I was a bit sick but I felt really good once we got going." du Plessis commented after crossing the line in first. "This is my type of riding and running, I love the technical stuff" an elated du Plessis added. Finishing in second place Theo Blignaut (Team Jeep) said "I'm not happy with second but I'll take it nonetheless. I knew I had to pace myself and when Philip flew past me on the bike I decided not to follow and I caught him on the last run." He went on to say "It was really a great show by the organisers, I loved the trails". Blignaut better known for his triathlon prowess rubbed shoulders with Buys at the Absa Cape Epic said "it was awesome to compete with Philip on my turf, these mountain bikers know how to suffer."Mountain biking specialist Buys made no bones about being out of his comfort zone on the runs saying "I thought I could at least recover on the bike but that was full throttle as well, I think I hit maximum heart rate a couple of times". Buys was full of praise for du Plessis and Blignaut and already indicated he will be back at the final event after his obligations with World MTB Championships citing the DualX series as great cross training. In a reversal of roles the women's race saw Lise Olivier a professional cyclist on the Velo Life Time Freight squad beat multisport regular Susan Sloan into second place with Nicolette Griffioen topping off the podium. According to Olivier she knew she would make up time on the bike especially because she hadn't trained running but the technical course suited her. Sloan commented: "I knew Lise would be faster on the bike and coming from a multisport background I should have had the upper hand but I just wasn’t good enough on the day". "The third DualX event will take athletes to ACR Roodeplaat and the Buffelsdrift nature reserve where they will experience trails never seen before. We've worked very hard on building new exciting trails that have never been used in an event before and this will be real mountain biking and real trail running as athletes have come to expect from the DualX events" commented Fritz Pienaar from Advendurance. For more info on the Momentum Health OatWell Dual Cross powered by PeptoPro 2014 Event dates: #3 6 September - Roodeplaat #4 25 October – Van Gaalen Find us online: www.dualx.co.za Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/momentumdualx Find us on twitter: @DualXsa
  10. Image credit: Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS The race, the biggest of its kind in the world, will offer both local and international mountain biking enthusiasts the opportunity to participate in an eight day mountain bike race of 718km up approximately 14 850m of climbing, with the final stage again finishing at Lourensford Wine Estate. Schurter has won the World Cup overall three times and has eleven World Cup wins to his name. He is a two time Olympic medallist, and also a silver medallist at the 2011 Cross-country World Championships and the Under 23 World Champion twice. He is also four-times Cross-country European Champion and 6 times Swiss Champion. Buys, on the other hand, is the current African Cross-country Champion, the 2013 South African Cross-country Champion and has 4 Absa Cape Epics under his belt. Says Schurter “We’re racing together for the first time and I’m really looking forward to it. Philip is a great guy and a great talent. His experiences on stage races in the South African heat and my experiences in cross-country races will make us super strong. Our goal is to win the race. You always need a little bit of luck to successfully complete the Absa Cape Epic.” Buys adds that he feels honored to ride with the fastest rider on the planet. “I’m slightly nervous, but my excitement overpowers the nervousness. And I feel confident! We have great support, ride the best equipment and are training hard, so we're making sure our chances are good.” Image credit: Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS With regards to training together, Schurter comments: “We’re doing training camps in Stellenbosch. My training is different to that of previous years. I’m focusing more on stage races in the first half of the year, so I'm training more on long distance.” Buys comments: “In previous years, the Absa Cape Epic just formed part of my buildup for the rest of the season. This year, the event is a peak of my 2014 season with preparations starting a few weeks earlier.” Schurter has not studied the route, but says, the “Absa Cape Epic routes are always tough, but our combined skills and experience will make us one of the favourite teams for first place.” Buys reckons “Racing is unpredictable and it’s best to take it day by day. We both have a few years’ experience racing the Absa Cape Epic and I think we’re both very efficient bike riders - efficiency is key to winning this race”. Schurter will never forget his first Absa Cape Epic: “During my first event in 2010 I bonked while in the lead with Florian Vogel on the last 10km of a stage. This experience I will never forget.” Buys concludes: “My highlight is definitely sprinting for the stage win with Matthys (Beukes) on the final day at last year’s Absa Cape Epic! I think this year’s race will be an enjoyable experience and the more fun we have, the less the pain will be and the better our result will be. I’m excited for the challenge!” Lourensford Wine Estate will once again host the finish of the race and The Grand Finale celebrations on 30 March 2014. The Grand Finale will include the Liqui-Fruit Vineyard Trail and MTB races (http://www.vineyard-races.co.za/vr/), live entertainment, a Farmer’s Market, delectable food and wine, as well as glorious scenery. Absa Cape Epic vantage points will be accessible to the general public, so that all can enjoy the mountain biking action. There will also be a Kids Zone offering fun activities such as a cycling race, jumping castles, games, face painting and more. Entrance is free. Follow the Absa Cape Epic at www.cape-epic.com, on Twitter (@absacapeepic), Facebook (www.facebook.com/capeepic) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/absacapeepic).
  11. Last week Buys was still in two minds on whether or not he would be racing. “My body took quite a hammering during the Cape Pioneer Trek. My legs are tired,” Buys complained. But as a moth can't resist a flame so Buys simply can't resist competing in the Nissan TrailSeeker races it would seem. On Thursday he decided he was going to race and he made no secret as to what his goal was. “I will definitely not be racing to finish second. I love competing in the Nissan TrailSeeker Series as the racing is always fast and exciting and it is guaranteed that you will be racing through some challenging technical sections” said Buys last week. It should be no surprise that Gawie Combrinck (Westvaal/Bell Cycles) attacked early on during Saturday’s race. He realized racing from the front is a sure way to “cement” his overall victory in the Nissan TrailSeeker Series. It might also have been that Combrinck wanted to finish in style leaving no doubt about whom the strongest rider throughout the series was. Being the seasoned campaigner he is, Buys decided to play the waiting game. “Matthew (Brittain), the Olympic gold medal rower was with me. At times he was getting worried about Gawie being out in front on his own. I told Matthew to relax it would be good for Gawie to sweat it out on his own for a little bit longer especially since the conditions were quite windy." “We made sure that we could see Gawie at all times which meant that he never had more than a minute lead on us. We caught up with him with about 20km to go. For the next 15km pretty much nothing happened. We just rode together at a nice steady tempo." “I saw an opportunity to attack when we got to quite a tricky technical section about 5km from the finish. I just led my breaks go and soon I was out in front on my own,” Buys said. His winning time for the 70km race was 2 hours 12 minutes and 56 seconds. Brittain was second in 2:13:45 and Combrinck third in 2:13:59. By finishing third Combrinck ensured that he is the overall winner of the Nissan TrailSeeker Series. Robyn de Groot (Biogen) raced to her second consecutive victory winning the women’s race in 2:35:12. Christine Janse van Rensburg was second in 2:38:56. Image credit: Zoon Cronje
  12. The looped route – starting and finishing in Worcester – included some back-breaking climbs and rocky surfaces, giving rise to many tyre problems throughout the field. The sun also made conditions difficult for some of the backmarkers. Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys of Scott Factory Racing celebrate winning the 111km Stage 4 during stage 4 of the 2015 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from HTS Drostdy in Worcester. // Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS. But the top contenders for the overall win all managed to get through without much drama and the yellow zebra jersey remained on the shoulders of the Investec-Songo-Specialized team of Swiss Christoph Sauser and his Czech teammate Jaroslav Kulhavy. An elated Buys admitted after crossing the finish line that he and Beukes (Scott Factory Racing) had taken a “long shot” gamble by breaking away inside the first hour. “We went hard from the start,” he said. “I said to Matthys that I couldn’t hold the pace for another three hours, so we backed off". “But then I started feeling better and the gap just kept growing. Towards the end we controlled it … accelerating when we felt good,” said Buys. At one stage the lead had grown to over six minutes, but the big guns behind them – not too concerned about Buys and Beukes because they are not a threat in the overall general classification – closed it down a bit over the three closing “Skyscraper” climbs. Topeak Ergon’s Kristian Hynek of the Czech Republic and Austrian Alban Lakata finished together with Sauser and Kulhavy, three-and-a-half minutes behind the South Africans. Kristian Hynek of Topeak Ergon Racing leads the chasing group during stage 4. // Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS Sauser said he had been “worried about this stage … there are very sharp rocks and you have to be careful”. He added that there had also been a lot of thorns on the course: “At one stage I could see more thorns in my tyre than tyre.” Sauser and Kulhavy generally rode conservatively and to protect the yellow jersey on the day: “Every day wearing the yellow is like winning a break point in tennis and today was another set won,” smiled Sauser. Hynek and Lakata remain in second place overall, with Spain’s Jose Hermida and Dutch partner Rudi van Houts (Multivan Merida) in third. Four time winner Karl Platt of Germany and Swiss partner Urs Huber are fourth after losing another two minutes to the leading teams on Wednesday. Lakata said they had been happy with second “but we want to be more happy and win a stage”. “We tried to put the Specialized guys under pressure … but unfortunately it didn’t work,” said Lakata. Hynek and Lakata are both good climbers and might fancy their chances of closing the gap on Thursday’s 117km route from Worcester to Wellington, which includes some extended climbs. Buys and Beukes’s heroics put them ahead of the rest of the other teams from the continent and into the Absa African special jersey. Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock (RED-E Blend) had been leading the race for the jersey before the stage but lost more than eight minutes on the Scott pair. They are now two minutes behind them in the overall standings. Stage Results1. Scott Factory Racing 7-1 Philip Buys (South Africa) 7-2 Matthys Beukes (South Africa) 4:19.19,0 2. Topeak Ergon 1-1 Kristian Hynek (Czech Republic) 1-2 Alban Lakata (Austria) 4:22.50,5 +3.31,5 3. Investec-Songo-Specialized 2-1 Christoph Sauser (Switzerland) 2-2 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) 4:22.50,6 +3.31,6 Overall Results1. Investec-Songo-Specialized 2-1 Christoph Sauser (Switzerland) 2-2 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) 19:05.20,4 2. Topeak Ergon 1-1 Kristian Hynek (Czech Republic) 1-2 Alban Lakata (Austria) 19:12.42,2 +7.21,8 3. Multivan Merida 6-1 Jose Hermida (Spain) 6-2 Rudi van Houts (Netherlands) 19:18.05,9 +12.45,5 4. Bulls 4-1 Karl Platt (Germany) 4-2 Urs Huber (Switzerland) 19:20.10,9 +14.50,5 5. Novus OMX Pro 23-1 Martin Gujan (Switzerland) 23-2 Fabian Giger (Switzerland) 19:49.31,3 +44.10,9 6. Meerendal Centurion Vaude 5-1 Jochen Kaess (Germany) 5-2 Daniel Geismayr (Austria) 19:52.48,0 +47.27,6 7. Scott Factory Racing 7-1 Philip Buys (South Africa) 7-2 Matthys Beukes (South Africa) 19:53.09,7 +47.49,3 8. RED-E Blend 36-1 Darren Lill (South Africa) 36-2 Waylon Woolcock (South Africa) 19:55.14,8 +49.54,4 9. USN #1 11-1 Rourke Croeser (South Africa) 11-2 Travis Walker (South Africa) 20:03.07,5 +57.47,1 10. EAI South Africa 33-1 Gawie Combrinck (South Africa) 33-2 Johann Rabie (South Africa) 20:08.08,6 +1:02.48,2
  13. Stage 3 of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek came down to a sprint finish with SCOTT Factory Racing (in yellow) just edging out Team Bulls (in white) for the victory. // Photo credit: Zoon Cronje/Nikon/Xtremedia. Second place went to the German Team Bulls pair of Tim Bohme and Simon Stiebjahn with South Africans Lourens Luus and Adriaan Louw (Fairview Elite) filling the final podium spot. Buys and Beukes retain their General Classification lead of 3 minutes 26 seconds over Team Bulls. In the women’s race, the Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co. pair of Robyn de Groot (RSA) and Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) claimed their fourth successive stage victory, also in a sprint finish, against Asrin Cycling’s Catherine Williamson (GBR) and Alice Pirard (BEL) and maintained their overall 13-minute lead. Jennie Stenerhag (far right) and Robyn de Groot look back down the finishing straight after getting a small gap on their rivals in the final sprint. // Photo credit: Zoon Cronje/Nikon/Xtremedia. After Tuesday’s gruelling stage, which culminated with a mountaintop finish at the summit of the iconic Swartberg Pass; and with Thursday’s brutal Stage 4 looming, the riders appeared to consolidate somewhat on Wednesday’s Stage 3 over 107km from Prince Albert to De Rust. In the men’s race, a pack of five teams reached the final 20km in the lead group – SCOTT Factory Racing, Team Bulls, EAI Cycling, Fairview RECM (Lourens Luus and Adriaan Louw) and Asrin Cycling’s (James Reid and Herman Persteiner). Unfortunately for Asrin Cycling, Persteiner encountered a mechanical with his chain, which eliminated them from the final dash. The remaining quartet shared the workload into a strong headwind, but rode a tactical approach to the finish, which included two 90-degree turns and a slightly uphill finishing straight. The field of over 400 riders is stretched out under the fast early pace during the opening kilometres of Stage 3 of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek. // Photo credit: Zoon Cronje/Nikon/Xtremedia. “We predicted this morning the stage might finish in a sprint so were ready for it. We’ve discussed our sprinting tactics quite a bit, but didn’t have to implement them today as Simon (Stiebjahn) made the first move and we were forced to react. Matthys went after him and I watched Tim (Bohme). Simon faded a bit and that allowed both Matthys and I to go across the line ahead of them,” explained Buys. “We accepted with about 10km to go that it would come down to a sprint,” said De Groot. “Catherine and Alice rode really well today and we knew that we’d have to be tactically smart to beat them. Fortunately we got our timing right and were able to win. We still have a 13-minute lead, but it’s not big enough to allow us to relax, especially with tomorrow’s big stage.” Matthys Beukes (far left) and Philip Buys enjoyed a perfect first day in Yellow by winning Stage 3 of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek. // Photo credit: Zoon Cronje/Nikon/Xtremedia Thursday’s Stage 4 is likely to be the most decisive of the 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek. With 2690m of ascent in 109km, it promises to make or break podium ambitions. It could also prove the toughest test for many of the amateurs, who are aiming to just complete the event.The stage starts with a 25km steady drag before taking riders through the dry, rocky Kammanassie Mountains and over to the forested coastal belt area of George. The contrasts on this stage are remarkable and could well contribute to a General Classification shake-up. “It will be a tough stage tomorrow. But Matthys and I will not be riding defensively. We’re keen to push the technical sections hard, but will stay as safe as possible,” revealed Buys. In the other team racing categories, South Africans Brian Lennox and Hannes Hanekom (Klein Karoo Giants) were the top Amateurs, moving into the GC lead in the process. South Africans Kobus and Fienie Barnard (Klein Karoo Mixed), won the sprint for the stage, but are still second on GC to Germans Max Friedrich and Jana Mischance (Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk). Heinz Zorweg (AUT) and Bartie Bucher (SUI) of Team Meerendal Wheeler 2 claimed a fourth consecutive stage win and further extended their category lead; while South Africans Johan Labuschagne and Gerrie Beukes (Klein Karoo Veterans) secured a second successive stage win and moved to within less than a minute off Veteran category leaders Fanie Venter and Wayne McDuling (Pynfabriek) in the overall. In keeping with tradition, the terrain of the 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek is unforgiving. The leaders tackle a loose, rocky climb during Stage 3 on Wednesday. // Photo credit: Zoon Cronje/Nikon/Xtremedia. In the Solo men’s division, Travis Walker (RSA) won the stage in his category and moved into the General Classification lead, while Christine Janse van Rensburg (RSA), claimed another stage and extended her overall lead in the Solo women’s race. For more information on the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek, visit www.capepioneer.co.za. For race updates, follow @BridgeCPT on twitter and Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek on Facebook. Stage 3 Results Men: 1 Philip Buys (RSA) / Matthys Beukes (RSA) – SCOTT Factory Racing 3:54:35 2 Simon Stiebjahn (GER) / Tim Bohme (GER) – Team Bulls 3:54:35 3 Adriaan Louw (RSA) / Lourens Luus (RSA) – Fairview Elite 3:54:37 4 Johann Rabie (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – EAI South Africa 3:54:39 5 James Reid (RSA) / Herman Persteiner (AUT) – Asrin Cycling 3:56:38 Women: 1 Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) / Robyn de Groot (RSA) – Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co 4:33:03 2 Catherine Williamson (GBR) / Alice Pirard (BEL) Asrin Cycling 2 4:33:10 3 Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Esther Suss (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 1 4:41:00 Amateur: 1 Brian Lennox (RSA) / Hannes Hanekom (RSA) – Klein Karoo Giants 04:19:47 2 Jaco Ferreira (RSA) / Alexander Lamberts (RSA) – Columbia Europcar Bridge 4:32:35 3 James Tennent (RSA) / David Garrett (RSA) – Giant 2 4:30:42 Veteran men: 1 Johan Labuschagne (RSA) / Gerrie Beukes (RSA) Klein Karoo Veterans 4:19:57 2 Fanie Venter (RSA) / Wayne McDuling (RSA) – Pynfabriek 4:33:13 3 Noel Droomer (RSA) / John Swanepoel (RSA) – Cornerstone Cycles 4:38:01 Master men: 1 Heinz Zorweg (AUT) / Barti Bucher (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 2 4:19:05 2 Waleed Baker (RSA) / Glen Haw (RSA) – Pitstop 4:50:52 3 Izak Visagie (RSA) / Lieb Loots (RSA) – Wilde 3 4:55:00 Mixed: 1 Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 4:36:01 2 Max Friedrich (GER) / Jana Zieschank (GER) – Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk 4:36:03 3 Igna de Viliers (RSA) / Daleen Van der Leek (RSA) LGE Midas Bells Cycling 4:44:37 Solo men: 1 Travis Walker (RSA) 4:02:30 2 Renay Groustra (RSA) 4:02:32 3 Ken van den Bulke (NED) 4:03:20 Solo women: 1 Christine Janse van Rensburg (RSA) 4:55:30 2 Katja Cauwenbergh (BEL) 5:17:06 3 Nina Hind (RSA) 5:34:14 General Classification after Stage 3 Men: 1 Philip Buys (RSA) / Matthys Beukes (RSA) – SCOTT Factory Racing 12:12:56 2 Simon Stiebjahn (GER) / Tim Bohme (GER) – Team Bulls 12:16:23 3 Ismael Venture (ESP) / Ramon Sagues (RSA) – ESMTB.com 12:32:29 4 Waylon Woolcock (RSA) / Darren Lill (RSA) – Cannondale Blend 12:34:49 5 Michiel van Aelbroeck (NED) / Robby de Bock (NED) WMTB.Be – Feenstra 12:35:56 Women: 1 Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) / Robyn de Groot (RSA) – Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co 14:02:49 2 Catherine Williamson (GBR) / Alice Pirard (BEL) – Asrin Cycling 14:16:36 3 Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Esther Suss (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 1 14:43:34 Amateur: 1 Brian Lennox (RSA) / Hannes Hannekom (RSA) – Klein Karoo Giants 13:43:44 2 Mattias Winkler (SUI) / Francois Naf (SUI) Meerendal Wheeler 13:58:39 3 Jaco Ferreira (RSA) / Alexander Lamberts (RSA) – Columbia Europcar Bridge 14:03:06 Veteran men: 1 Fanie Venter (RSA) / Wayne McDuling (RSA) – Pynfabriek 9:32:38 2 Johan Labuschagne (RSA) / Gerrie Beukes (RSA) Klein Karoo Veterans 9:46:39 3 Marne Dirks (RSA) / Pierre Griffioen (RSA) – Bridge Torq Zone Vets 9:58:36 Master men: 1 Heinz Zorweg (AUT) / Barti Bucher (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 2 8:52:48 2 Izak Visagie (RSA) / Lieb Loots (RSA) – Wilde 3 9:56:34 3 Waleed Baker (RSA) / Glen Haw (RSA) – Pitstop 10:30:56 Mixed: 1 Max Friedrich (GER) / Jana Zieschank (GER) – Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk 14:09:59 2 Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 14:20:51 3 Igna de Viliers (RSA) / Daleen Van der Leek (RSA) LGE Midas Bells Cycling 14:50:46 Solo men: 1 Travis Walker (RSA) 12:43:02 2 Alan Gordon (RSA) 12:45:10 3 Ken van den Bulke (BEL) 12:48:24 Solo women: 1 Christine Janse van Rensburg (RSA) 15:14:12 2 Katja Cauwenbergh (BEL) 16:42:14 3 Nina Hind (RSA) 17:53:57 Elite points Men 1 Philip Buys (RSA) / Matthys Beukes (RSA) – SCOTT Factory Racing 33 2 Simon Stiebjahn (GER) / Tim Bohme (GER) – Team Bulls 30 3 Ismael Venture (ESP) / Ramon Sagues (RSA) – ESMTB.com 16 4 Johann Rabie (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) – EAI South Africa 16 Women 1 Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) / Robyn de Groot (RSA) – Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co 35 2 Catherine Williamson (GBR) / Alice Pirard (BEL) – Asrin Cycling 29 3 Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Esther Suss (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 1 27 For full results visit www.capepioneer.co.za.
  14. South Africa’s Yellow Jersey wearers, Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes (SCOTT Factory Racing) claimed a second consecutive stage win when they outsprinted a small lead group on Stage 3 of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race on Wednesday. Click here to view the article
  15. The red Absa African special jerseys changed shoulders for the first time in the 2015 Absa Cape Epic on Wednesday when Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock (RED-E Blend) put in their second compelling performance in two days. Click here to view the article
  16. In 2014 Philip Buys thrilled South African audiences buy winning two stages of the Absa Cape Epic with the then Cross Country World Champion Nino Schurter. On the final stage the South African/Swiss combination worked to help their Scott Factory Racing teammates Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns take the much sought-after win of the Grand Finale. Click here to view the article
  17. Cycling South Africa’s Mountain Bike Commission has great pleasure in announcing that the following riders have been selected to represent South Africa at the 2017 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships in Singen, Germany, from 24-25 June. Click here to view the article
  18. The third round of the 2017 Gauteng Nissan TrailSeeker Series attracted close to 2500 participants, who enjoyed the warm conditions and challenging bush trails of the Mabalingwe Nature Reserve in the Waterberg, north of Pretoria. The elite men, led by Henry Uys, Nico Bell (Team NAD Pro) and Philip Buys (Pyga/Eurosteel) nearing the last stretch of the Nissan TrailSeeker Gauteng Series Lionman. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za Buys (Pyga Eurosteel) was challenged for most of the race by South African marathon champion, Nico Bell (Team NAD Pro) and Declan Sidey (Bells Cycling). But Buys’s superior technical ability gave him the edge on the Vodacom mast climb and descent, which saw him claim victory in a time of 02 hours 41 minutes 26 seconds. Bell was second and Sidey third. “There were quite a few technical sections that suited me and I knew exactly where to push the advantage. That was on the big climb and the technical downhill. That’s where I got my lead. Then I just had to put my head down for the last flat section to stay away,” said Buys. “On that Mast Climb, which is steep and loose, it’s very important to get the right gearing in order to maintain consistent traction. You don’t want to put a foot down or start walking because it’s difficult to get going again,” explained Buys. “It was quite a challenging route. I think this is the most technical of the Gauteng Nissan TrailSeeker Series routes. The climb was quite rocky to the top. Firstly, you need to have the legs to get up there. And then the downhill, you have to choose good lines to avoid cutting a tyre or crashing. It’s a proper mountain biking challenge,” said Bell. Sam Sanders reaches the top of Vodacom Mast after overtaking her Valencia teammate Amy Beth McDougall at the Nissan TrailSeeker Gauteng Series Lionman. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za “That climb was rocky and super steep. Not a lot of traction. Philip and Nico’s technical skills are really superior. They are world class riders. I was paying for my early efforts up there,” said Sidey, who had lead the race to halfway. In the women’s race, defending champion, Amy Beth McDougall (Valencia) was forced to withdraw with a mechanical, leaving Valencia teammate, Sanders relatively unchallenged to secure the win in a fast time of 3:04:54. Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk) was second and Christie-Leigh Hearder third. “This is a really hard race. It’s quite loose and rocky and my tyres were a bit too hard for the terrain, so I struggled on the technical climbs. But the wind killed and those sandy patches just chow your energy. But I’m happy to take the win,” said Sanders. “The organisation of the Nissan TrailSeeker Series events is always excellent. You just have to look at the number of people here to see what a quality event it is. They also make it worthwhile for the pros. I am always happy to take part in this series,” added Sanders. “Amy had a mechanical on the descent, which is the only way I could pass her on a downhill as she’s very skilled. I could see Amy and Sam ahead of me for most of the first half of the race. I hope to try and catch them but when I couldn’t I just focused on my own race,” said runner-up Ralph. In the half-marathon, Hennie van Wyk was the fastest male and Tanya Kotze the first female. Philip Buys (Pyga/Eurosteel) victoriously wheelies across the finish line as he claims the Nissan TrailSeeker Gauteng Series Lionman Victory. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za Sam Sanders (Valencia) arms raised in victory as she crosses the finish line at the Nissan TrailSeeker Gauteng Series Lionman. Photo Credit: www.zcmc.co.za Leading results Marathon Men 1 Philip Buys (Pyga Eurosteel) 2:41:26 2 Nico Bell (Team NAD Pro) 2:42:41 3 Declan Sidey (Bells Cycling) 2:48:18 4 Henry Uys 2:54:40 5 Alan Gordon 2:54:54 6 Andrew McLean 2:59:24 7 Walter Childes 2:59:59 8 David Cooke 3:00:43 9 Lucky Mlangeni 3:01:20 10 Pierre Smith 3:01:25Women 1 Samantha Sanders (Valencia) 3:04:54 2 Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk) 3:20:01 3 Christie-Leigh Hearder 3:31:59 4 Cincy Porobich 3:32:32 5 Maricel Bekker 3:37:11 6 Heila Meintjes 3:37:57 7 Melanie Roux 3:39:56 8 Carly Kent 3:50:26 9 Mariske McLean 3:52:53 10 Janine Stewart 3:55:19 Half-marathon Male 1 Hennie van Wyk 1:30:44 2 Wikus Breytenbach 1:30:47 3 Ryan Kellerman 1:31:09 Female 1 Tanya Kotze 1:49:48 2 Rimari Sutton 1:50:35 3 Monique du Toit 1:53:51 For full results in all events, visit www.saseeding.org Round 4 of the 2017 Gauteng Nissan TrailSeeker Series is on 23 September at Hazeldean Farm, east of Pretoria. For more information, or to enter, visit www.trailseekerseries.co.za.
  19. The PYGA Euro Steel pair of Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes were too strong for the rest of the field after the opening stage of the Race at the 2017 KAP sani2c from Glencairn in Himeville to Mackenzie Club just outside Ixopo. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The PYGA Euro Steel duo, who were the form pairing going into the 2017 showpiece event, showed their mettle and strength to shrug off the chasing combinations and open up a handy 44-second lead going into the notoriously tough second stage on Friday. "Our plan was to put the hammer down after the final water point up that little kicker," Philip Buys mentioned after their stage win. "We then got a slight gap going into the trails and then we just put our heads down all the way to the finish. "Racing always hurts but we are happy to take the win today." Buys and Beukes' pedigree and current form will be worrying for the chasing teams but with some tough racing ahead of them the duo feel that the other teams are under the pump chasing them to the coast. "We don't really feel pressure," Beukes said. "The other guys have got the work to do to try and close the gap to us and we made sure that we didn't push too hard today, so we have a lot in the tank. "We know that tomorrow is going to be tough and we took it easy for the first 60km today and then threw one punch on Bowman's climb and then consolidated from there on." The men's race was not devoid of drama as the NAD Pro MTB team of Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck came unstuck when the latter took a tumble which cost them valuable time and the opportunity to claim a stage victory. NAD Pro MTB's Gawie Combrinck took a nasty tumble towards the end of the day which meant him and partner Nico Bell finished in second place overall after the opening stage of the Race at the 2017 KAP sani2c from Glencairn in Himeville to Mackenzie Club just outside Ixopo. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media "The PYGA guys picked up the pace after the second water point and we were able to keep up with them. "The fall for Gawie obviously didn't come at the right time for us and we were hurting a bit towards the end. "Hopefully the damage to Gawie is nothing too serious ahead of another massive day tomorrow! "The rain and the weather is going to be a factor tomorrow but there is just as much luck involved and we are hoping that the luck can go our way from tomorrow," Bell added. The Team BCX pair of Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger came home in third overall, just a few seconds behind the NAP Pro pair. They are in turn are about a minute ahead of the Ryder RED E Spot Africa duo of Matthew Beers and Tim Hammond while the Durban-based Team TIB combination of Andrew Hill and Julian Jessop ended fifth. The women’s race was full of excitement as pre-race favourites, Team Ascendis Health's Robyn de Groot and Mariska Strauss, struggled with punctures which put the brakes on their push for a stage win. The laid-back Valencia Ladies pair of Samantha Sanders and Amy-Beth Mcdougall were motivated to put the rest of the women's field to the sword once they managed to get ahead of the chasing pairs. In what was the ride of the day, Valencia Lady's duo of Sam Sanders (left) and Amy Mcdougall (right) surprised everyone to take the stage win in the ladies race at the opening stage of the Race at the 2017 KAP sani2c from Glencairn in Himeville to Mackenzie Club just outside Ixopo. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media "It is nice to be underestimated," Sanders said at Mackenzie Club. "We didn't have any pressure on us coming into the race so we could just go out there and enjoy ourselves. "The track today really suited Amy and I in the sense that we are both technically very fast on the trails. "I don't know what happened to Robyn and Mariske, but I am glad that we were able to get away from them and win the stage." On what was a day to forget for Team Ascendis Health's Mariska Strauss (front) and Robyn de Groot, the pre-race favourites had to settle for third place in the ladies race after the opening stage of the Race at the 2017 KAP sani2c from Glencairn in Himeville to Mackenzie Club just outside Ixopo. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The second stage of the sani2c on Friday has the potential to be an epic encounter, however the weather is going to be a defining factor as the riders aim for Jolivet. "We are just going to take each day as it comes and we don't really feel too much pressure," Mcdougall commented. "It is nice to have a bit of a buffer, but we are just going to take it as it comes because the other girls will be chasing hard." The defending champions, the dormakaba team of Candice Lill (neé Neethling) and Vera Adrian, are just over a minute behind the Valencia pair and in a good position to pounce on the testing second stage. Dormakaba hold a nine minute advantage over the third placed Team Ascendis Health pair meaning that they can focus their energy on catching the leading ladies rather than fighting off the team in third place. 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympian James Reid and Mari Rabie (Private Client Holdings) hold the cards in the mixed category with a minute advantage over Bluff Meat Supplies' Trevor Rowe and Robyn Price, with Omnico Team's Sanet and Dana Coetzee third. The Private Client Holdings duo of Mari Rabie and James Reid took the spoils in the mixed category at the opening stage of the Race at the 2017 KAP sani2c from Glencairn in Himeville to Mackenzie Club just outside Ixopo. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media The second stage takes riders from the overnight stop at Mackenzie Club to Jolivet. The stage takes riders down into the Umkomaas valley and then out via the new Iconic Climb. The 96km stage is known as the toughest of the race and with some inclement weather predicted it will be a tough task for all. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za SUMMARY OF RESULTS - KAP sani2c 2017 (Stage One: Glencairn to Mackenzie Club)Overall 1.PYGA Euro Steel (Philip Buys/Matthys Beukes) 02:47.56 2.NAD Pro MTB (Gawie Combrinck/Nico Bell) 02:48.40 3.Team BCX (Waylon Woolcock/HB Kruger) 02:48.49 4.Ryder RED E Spot Africa (Matthew Beers/Tim Hammond) 02:49.55 5.Team TIB (Andrew Hill/Julian Jessop) 02:51.43 6.Ballito Bicycling Company (Pieter Seyffert/Andrew Johnson) 02:57.04 7.Home Ice Cream (Matthew Stamatis/Thomas Jessop) 02:58.58 8.William Simpson (Derrin Smith/Michael Posthumus) 02:59.25 9.Urban Fitness Outdoor (Jonathan Cloete/Nicholas Porteous) 02:59.48 10.think 360 (Leeroy Emslie/Jason Davies) 03:00.26 11.KAPRestonic 13 (Craig Uria/Andrew Duvenhage) 03:00.31 12.Bells Cycling (Declan Sidey/JP Jung) 03:02.38 13.Business Print (Andrew Cairns/Fanie Venter) 03:05.28 14.Revolution Cycles (Brenan Anderson/David Cooke) 03:07.00 15.Lge Midas/Slender Wonder (Igna de Villiers/Paul Theron) 03:07.10 Women 1.Valencia Ladies (Samantha Sanders/Amy Mcdougall) 03:07.38 2.dormakaba (Candice Lill/Vera Adrian) 03:08.46 3.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Mariska Strauss) 03:18.10 4.Galileo Risk Velocity (Carmen Buchacher/Theresa Ralph) 03:20.20 5.KAP Safipol 1 (Anli Smith/Tamaryn Kietzmann) 03:55.32 Mixed Team 1.Private Client Holdings (James Reid/Mari Rabie) 03:14.06 2.Bluff Meat Supplies (Trevor Rowe/Robyn Price) 03:15.13 3.Omnico Team (Sanet Coetzee/Dana Coetzee) 03:20.53 4.Cycle Nation-Bring it On (Tijl van de Winkel/Joanna van de Winkel) 03:26.39 5.Bell Equipment (Darryn Purtell/Hayley Smith) 03:31.10
  20. Last year Beukes won the sani2c with Gert Heyns despite an injury which kept him off the bike and away from training for much of the build-up. This year Beukes is partnering Philip Buys as the Pyga Euro Steel team and they are clear favourites after dominating the local competition in recent events. The Team PYGA PYGA Euro Steel duo of Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys are in brilliant form and will go into the 2017 KAP sani2c with the favourites tag hanging over their heads, a tag that they are not too phased by, when the race gets underway from 11-13 May. Graham Daniel/ Gameplan Media Their most notable effort was a clear win in the African category at the Absa Cape Epic where they finished seventh overall against the strongest field ever assembled for the famous stage race. Then last weekend Beukes proved he has already fully recovered from the Epic when he cruised to a solid victory in Round 3 of the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series at Clarens. And, to make sure nobody can deny the Pyga Euro Steel team’s tag as outright favourites, Buys was third behind HB Kruger (Team BCX). “Phil and I are in a very good place at the moment with our riding,” said Beukes this week. “I think we are possibly the favourites for the sani2c, but I don’t think that means there is any pressure on us, in fact I believe it means the pressure is on the other teams! “But, as we all know, in mountain biking anything can happen. Anybody can have a mechanical or some other problem and then it is the end of their chances. “Last year at sani I was injured and was only able to train properly for about two months before the race. This year we are going into the race in the best shape of our lives. “We are both in good form after the Epic and I think that is because both Phil and I trained super hard for the Epic and we were super strong for that. “Obviously when you target a race like that you peak at that event, but I don’t think you lose fitness that quickly and we have both come out of the Epic well – four days after the finish we were able to start interval training again. “We went into the Epic after coming fifth in 2015 so we wanted to try and do better than that and were aiming to get on the podium. But the Epic is now on a different level, so walking away we have to be happy with how things went.” Beukes and Buys have a heavy schedule before they line up for the three-day dash from Himeville to Scottburgh on May 11. They both raced at the CSA Series event in Pretoria this past weekend, and then head to Johannesburg for the nine-day Old Mutual joBerg2c, which also cover the final three days of the Sani2C route. “We are really looking forward to the sani2c, it really is one of the must-do events on the calendar. “Last year was the first time I have done it with the descent down into the Umkomaas Valley – and that descent is really something else - it is spectacular. It is almost emotional when you get down to the bottom. “The route for the race is super fast so we have to change our tyre choices and because it is so smooth as well we almost have to use semi-slick tyres. “The super-fast race suits the road guys. We would prefer the route to be a bit more rough and a bit slower which would suit us more, but the way it is prepared means the race is almost like a road race, but that also makes things quite exciting.” This year is the twelfth edition of the KAP sani2c, the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, which takes place from Himeville to Scottburgh during the second week of May. There are three races which form the event. On May 9, the Trail riders set off from Himeville for MacKenzie Farm near Ixopo. Then on the next day, while they are heading for Jolivet Farm in Highflats, the Adventure riders take on stage one. As the Trail riders dash to Scottburgh on May 11, the serious Race riders set off on their three-day journey from Himeville. For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za.
  21. Nico Bell of NAD Pro MTB leads the bunch during stage 4 of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic. Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS Diepsloot MTB Academy (William Mokgopo and Phillimon Sebona) flew triumphantly over the finish to extend their lead for the Exxaro special jersey to over an hour. The leading all-African women's team of Vera Adrian and Candice Lill (dormakaba) experienced yet another strong stage to add to their dream Absa Cape Epic debut. Riding as support team for Investec-Songo-Specialized, NAD Pro MTB raced hard on the day to finish ninth with a time of 4:16.39,3. Combrink was happy after the strong result. “Today was more of a marathon stage, so if you were smart you could hide away in the bunch. We were just in the front at the right times and Nico really set a tough pace. In the end, guys really got going but being in the front made it a little easier for us. “Our goal was just to stay in the front and support Christoph Sauser and Jaroslav Kulhavy if they had problems. We want to be right there to help if they they have any mechanical issues,” said Combrinck. The NAD Pro MTB pair were well prepared to keep up with the pace of the front runners. “Conditions were good. It had been raining nonstop last month in Nelspruit so we are used to cooler temperatures. Today was a little less punchy so it suited us better,” added Combrinck. Phil Buys of team PYGA Euro Steel during stage 4 of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Elandskloof in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin. Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS PYGA Euro Steel have managed keep the Absa African special jersey, though. Having a healthy overall lead in the category, the South Africans could afford small mishaps. Although they finished 15th for Stage 4, they still lead the chase for the special jersey. They are nearly 17 minutes in front of NAD Pro MTB in overall time. Buys says he is happy to have the Absa African special jersey heading into Stage 5, but admits Stage 4 didn’t go according to plan. “Before we started that long climb I was a bit off the pace. There was a particular area where we went over what I think was a piece of fence, and it looked like half of the bunch got caught out by it too. So from there we had to chase them all over again just as we started with the climb so it was tough going,” said Buys. Buys continued that in spite of PYGA Euro Steel’s mediocre day, there is no need to change strategy and a stage win is still possible. Meanwhile, Diepsloot MTB Academy are growing in confidence. With a lead that is worth over an hour in time, the Exxaro special jersey leaders are among the few content teams on the Absa Cape Epic. Their time today was 5:09.13,9. Sebona said, “Yesterday was a very strong day; today we continued with that strength. It wasn't easy though because we spent some long hours out there on the saddle, but everything is going according to plan.” His partner Mokgopo, added, “Today, the most important thing was keeping consistency and pacing ourselves from the start and we did that. We weren't trying to kill the legs today because I think the test is going to be stage six where we are going to try as hard as we can because we only have one day to go, so we can risk whatever we have. If we manage to build up an hour’s gap then I think we can afford to play around. The dormakaba riders Vera Adrian and Candice Lill finished fifth yet again. The pair have looked fit every day of this year’s Cape Epic, collecting a time of 5:14.42,6 on Stage 4. Candice Lill explained the conditions on Stage 4, “ In the beginning it was a lot of open roads and quite windy so being in the group it was a bit difficult because you had to fight for position all the time to stay out the wind and there were even a couple of crashes. “Then there was a point when it got really hard and we did not make that break, so we were in the second group, but I think we still rode strong and maybe made a bit of time on the leaders near the end.”
  22. Philip Buys (left) and Matthys Beukes (right). You will be racing the Pyga Stage this year, which is pretty appropriate: the African MTB team, racing South African bikes. How have you enjoyed getting to know the Pyga Stage and what about the bike will help give you a competitive edge in the quest for those podium spots? It was refreshing to jump onto the new Pyga platform after being on the same bike for the past four years. I feel that the bike is perfectly designed with South African conditions in mind. Terrain in South Africa is like no other place I have raced in the world, so you need a solid bike that can handle it.One of the first big plus points of the bike, is that I can fit two big 750ml water bottles in the front triangle of the frame. The frame really feels super solid underneath me and with its “+Five” design the straighter chain-line gives me power transfer that is more direct. The stiffness of the Pyga Stage frame obviously adds to how the bike handles on the tight trails and with the Pyga's longer head tube, it allows me to ride a shorter stem, and I feel much more in control of the bike. The slacker head angle gives me a better feel of stability on high-speed downhills. The suspension design on this bike also gives good traction on bumpy climbs. All of these elements pulled together in the Pyga Stage, gives us a super efficient bike, and I feel that this is where our competitive edge lies for Epic, and any other race for that matter. Phil Yes, it's really exciting that things have come together the way they have. My first thought after getting on the Pyga Stage was how solid the bike is. I enjoy that solid feeling on the downhills as I can really push hard without worrying about the bike, and I can feel that the power transfer on the climbs is exceptional. My Strava also proves it and we all know: Strava doesn't lie! Matthys Matthys Beukes competing in the SA National XCO Cup at Rhebokskloof. Photo credit: Hayden Brown. You have raced together successfully in the past. What characteristics do you each have that help you work well together as a team? Matthys and I both have a passion for bicycles and thoroughly enjoy racing them. We are good friends and there is not much that will cause us to back off or give up in a race. Matthys really has a strong mind and I can feed on that. I think sometimes we race better together as a team than when we race as individuals. Phil We get along really well and I think that is probably the most important thing. We are not too serious and at the end of the day just enjoy riding our bikes so that helps with dealing with the pressure. Philip is really quick on the technical stuff so most of the time I’ll just follow his wheel. I’ll do some of the hard pulls on the flats and set most of the pace on the climbs. I think one thing that we are known for is our never give up attitude: we’ll always give it 100% even if things go pear shaped. We’ll never give up and take it easy, it's fun to go fast! Matthys How has your preparation been going building up towards the Cape Epic? Would you say you are on track? Can you give us an idea of your average training week? So far for me it has been my best buildup for Epic ever. Usually Epic forms part of my buildup for the rest of the season, but this time it is a main focus point for the first part of our 2017 season. The goal in my training specifically for Epic was to get my body to be more fuel efficient and to lose a bit of weight. This meant a bunch of IMTG rides and a few double sessions with them. I did not do many weeks over 20 hours, maybe one or two. The adaption with IMTG rides made up for the longer rides that I did not do. Phil After my crash at the end of last year, I was a bit worried when the Doc said I’d only be able to walk at the beginning of January. But everything went so well, I was only passive for 5 weeks then spent a month on the indoor trainer and after that trained super hard to catch up. After getting on the road, I have done a couple 30 hour weeks but mostly around 25 hours with my rest weeks around 15hrs. It's probably the hardest I’ve ever trained but after my injuries, it was so much fun getting out and riding that it didn’t feel hard. Matthys What remains in terms of your preparation for Cape Epic? Will you be doing any races together as build up? We won't be doing any races before Epic from now. We'd like to leave our hunger and motivation for racing the Epic. It's just one more hard week of intervals and then the focus is on staying healthy and injury free during the taper phase. Phil I've just got one more hard week before I’ll start to taper off for Epic. The hard work is done: now it's just about fine tuning and most importantly, staying healthy, and enjoying the build up. Matthys Philip Buys. Photo credit: Hayden Brown On paper, you have a good chance of winning the African jersey. Where do you think your advantage lies in the race? We set pretty high goals for ourselves, and I'm sure at least the African Jersey will follow with the goals we have set out to achieve. With the Epic, paper does not mean much We will take the race day by day. The one advantage we have is that our partnership racing together has been tested over a few years, and we have the experience. Phil I would say the fact that we don’t think about the African jersey and set our goals higher, towards the overall podium, elevates everything we do. Train harder, eat smarter, and just be more committed to being the best athletes we can be. This gets us in better shape on race day than we would be if we were preparing to just beat the local teams. Matthys A lot of the top level teams ride with a support team to supply spares in the event of mechanical. Will you be riding with a support team or simply hoping for the best? Winning Epic is a long term goal for us. We will not have a dedicated support team but we will have a rider in the UCI field with an identical team bike for when things go wrong. We would like the members of a second team to be part of our structure for the whole season and currently our setup cannot support this. Phil Backup team or not: we're always hoping for the best! Matthys Beyond Epic, what will be your focus for 2017? Philip particularly: you raced XCO very successfully last year. Will this be a focus for you again, or with the Olympics out of the way will you be more focused on marathon racing? Do you have any other races you will be targeting particularly? We enjoy cross country racing a lot and feel that it keeps our skills and intensity sharp, so we will still be doing the XC races. After Epic we start racing plenty. Our focus will be on races with good publicity and we would like to rake in the National Champ titles for the team. Phil Yes, it is important to not get stuck on just one race and goal. After Epic the racing has just started, and I will focus on both XC and Marathon National Champs, and hopefully get to Marathon Worlds to see if I can crack a top 10. Matthys The African MTB Team name continues with the new sponsors but how much remains the same in the background? “African MTB Team” is an idea and dream that we started building since 2013. I raced one season as an individual rider and realized that the key to performance lies with the people around you and the support structures they offer. From there on Matthys, Ruan (manager) and I started riding together as a team and over the years partnered with sponsors that share the same vision. Although our title sponsors have changed, most of our other sponsors have been relationships going from strength to strength over the past few years.We have signed a 3-year partnership with PYGA and Euro Steel and look forward to building a relationship with them to achieve the goals we set out. We would like to create a self-sustainable local platform for any youngster with the dream to be part of a pro mountain bike setup. This is not limited to just being a rider, but also the other facets of a professional team: mechanics, managers, media crew, masseuses, cooks and more. And on the riding side, we would like to win Epic Phil New title sponsors with Pyga and Euro Steel, but we were also very blessed to have a solid support structure from guys that have been with us for a while now. Got to give them a shout out, chasing our dreams wouldn’t be possible without them: Liqui Moly, Cadence Nutrition, Kalas Sportswear, SRAM, Nike Vision, Maxxis, Ritchey, Stages Power Meters, and Trail Wolf Cycles. Other new sponsors are John Burnett Insurance Brokers, Penetron South Africa and Sidi shoes. Matthys Philip Buys, Matthys Beukes, and Kombo Bere. Photo credit: Hayden Brown.
  23. The following riders have been selected according to the 2015 CSA-MTB Selection Criteria. Cross-country (XCO) ELITE Philip Buys Matthys Beukes James Reid William Mokgopo Rourke Croeser Sipho Madolo Mariske Strauss Candice Neethling Cherie Vale U23 Brendon Davids Gert Heyns Bianca Haw This is the second time that Rwanda is hosting a continental cycling event having hosted the 2009 African Cycling Continental Championships for the road cycling discipline. Rudy Hauser and Ueli Gunpli, who work for Trailworks, a trail design and consulting company in Switzerland, have been working hard on constructing the track that will be 6km long on a piece of land next to the Africa Rising Cycling Centre (ARCC), the home of Team Rwanda Cycling (TRC).* Good luck on your selection and we wish you every success.
  24. But it was a gamble that paid off handsomely and saw them winning the stage and donning the red Absa African special jersey. “We finally got the red jersey … that is what we came for,” said an elated Buys. “There are still three days of racing to come and the trails are becoming more fun, so we are excited for the racing to come.” He added that “today was very special, not only because of the win but because we are now in that red jersey.” Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys of Scott Factory Racing in a break away during stage 4 of the 2015 Absa Cape Epic. // Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS. RED-E Blend’s Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock wore the Absa African special jersey on Wednesday’s stage but had to give it up after finishing eight-and-a-half minutes behind Buys and Beukes . They are now two minutes behind in the overall standings. KwaZulu Natal’s Rourke Croeser and Travis Walker (USN) are lying third in the race for red. Meanwhile, the race for the Dimension Data Masters category continues to be a thrilling one, with Dutch mountain biking legend Bart Brentjens and his Brazilian teammate Abraao Azevedo (BETCH.nl-Superior) just one minute and 26 seconds ahead of South Africans Nico Pfitzenmaier and Robert Sim (Dorma/Robert Daniel). The local team won Wednesday’s category race by just 12 seconds and have battled to shake off the Dutch/Brazilian combination. “It was so tough today … we tried to get away the whole time,” said Pfitzenmaier. “On the uphills and downhills we tried to drop them, but Bart just kept going. It is really hard racing this.” Brentjens responded: “It’s a battle. We were behind the whole day because I just did not feel great – I fell on my handle bars yesterday so my ribs were quite tender today.” he said. “I broke my shoe and had to do some damage control so, all in all, not a good day. We are still in the lead though and that is important.” The Grand Masters race was again donated by Swiss strongman Barti Bucher and Austrian Heinz Zoerweg (Meerendal BIXS KTM), who now lead by nearly 50 minutes from South Africans Greg Andersen and Andrew Mclean (Ascendis Health) The Mixed category again went to ETIS’s Peter Vesel of Slovenia and Ivonne Kraft of Germany, with South African Nizaam Essa and his British partner Catherine Williamson (Asrin Cycling) having an excellent day to come home second. The Slovenian/German combination are now 22 minutes ahead overall in the category. Kraft said afterwards: “Today was a tough stage. To win and still be in the lead is the goal though, so we are happy. We came to the Epic for the overall victory in the Mixed category so we are achieving what we set out to do thus far.” In the Exxaro special jersey contest Phillimon Sebona and Jan Motshioa (Exxaro PWC) have extended their lead over Exxaro/EOH’s Rilamulele Gadabeni and Tovhawani Mavundavhi to nearly 19 minutes. There was bad news though for pre-race favourite for this jersey, Sipho Madolo, who pulled out with a badly-injured knee. He had been riding with Azukile Simayile in Team Investec-Songo-Specialized. Dimension Data Masters stage results 1. Dorma / Robert Daniel 61-1 Nico Pfitzenmaier (South Africa) 61-2 Robert Sim (South Africa) 4:39.24,2 2. BETCH.nl-Superior 60-1 Bart Brentjens (Netherlands) 60-2 Abraao Azevedo (Brazil) 4:39.36,9 +12,7 3. Assos Werksmannschaft 258-1 Daniele Nardello (Italy) 258-2 Karl Zoetemelk (France) 4:48.30,5 +9.06,3 Grand Masters stage results 1. Meerendal BIXS KTM 65-1 Barti Bucher (Switzerland) 65-2 Heinz Zoerweg (Austria) 5:02.40,4 2. Ascendis Health 66-1 Greg Anderson (South Africa) 66-2 Andrew Mclean (South Africa) 5:11.05,4 +8.25,0 3. Pitstop1Sport24hrs 69-1 Waleed Baker (South Africa) 69-2 Glen Haw (South Africa) 5:20.44,6 +18.04,2 Mixed stage results 1. ETIS 71-1 Peter Vesel (Slovenia) 71-2 Ivonne Kraft (Germany) 5:14.32,1 2. Asrin Cycling 70-1 Nizaam Essa (South Africa) 70-2 Catherine Williamson (England) 5:18.36,5 +4.04,4 3. Dietrich/Rocky Mountain 73-1 Carsten Bresser (Germany) 73-2 Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) 5:18.51,5 +4.19,4 Absa African special jersey stage results 1. Scott Factory Racing 7-1 Philip Buys (South Africa) 7-2 Matthys Beukes (South Africa) 4:19.19,0 2. USN 11-1 Rourke Croeser (South Africa) 11-2 Travis Walker (South Africa) 4:27.42,1 +8.23,1 3. RED-E Blend 36-1 Darren Lill (South Africa) 36-2 Waylon Woolcock (South Africa) 4:27.52,2 +8.33,2 Exxaro special jersey stage results 1. Exxaro PWC 82-1 Phillimon Sebona (South Africa) 82-2 Jan Motshioa (South Africa) 5:10.31,4 +51.12,4 2. Exxaro / EOH 108-1 Rilamulele Gadabeni (South Africa) 108-2 Tovhawani Mavundavhi (South Africa) 5:13.53,2 +54.34,2 3. Absa Diepsloot MTB 440-1 Clement Mabula (South Africa) 440-2 Sean Baloyi (South Africa) 5:34.14,7 +1:14.55,7
  25. The Elite men had to complete 7 laps of the 4.2km XCO track that offered 130m of climbing per lap. Buys had strong start together with Gert Heyns (Heart-Sports ASG), posting a 12-minute 15-second lap time. The chase to the singletrack off the start line saw Buys enter first, followed by Heyns, Matthys Beukes (Scott Sports SA), Rourke Croeser (Kargo Pro MTB Team), Arno du Toit (Heart-Sports ASG) and Brendon Davids (Trek SA). The gaps began to open, and Buys showed his strength as he continued ahead in the lead. Croeser moved into second place, unable to close the gap. Buys took the win in 1 hour 30 minutes and 13 seconds, with Croeser second in 01:31:26. Heyns claimed third place, followed by Davids and Beukes for fourth and fifth respectively. It was Cherie Vale (Paarl Media) who claimed the Elite women’s 6-lap race. Samantha Sanders (Valencia) had a great start to complete the first lap in first place in 15 minutes and 37 seconds, followed by Candice Neethling (Time Freight VELOlife) and then Vale. But Vale fought back and was in strong contention after lap two, when the race between her and Sanders ignited. Vale continued the latter part of the race ahead of her challengers and posted a winning time of 01:39:18. She was followed home by Neethling half a minute behind, with Sanders finishing third (01:40:47). Junior competitors once again had the chance to earn UCI points at Hayterdale Trails, which formed part of the UCI Junior World Series. Alan Hatherly (Heart-Sports ASG) set a cracker pace from the get-go to record a lap time of 12 minutes 43 seconds. He maintained a consistent pace throughout his five laps to finish in a commanding time of 01:06:27. He was followed by Team Jeep’s Julian Jessop in a time of 01:08:57, with Tristan de Lange claiming third place (01:08:58). Bianca Haw (Time Freight VELOlife) claimed victory in the Junior women’s race, completing her four laps in a time of 01:07:17. Haw dominated her race, and was followed home by her teammate Frankie du Toit, 43 seconds off the pace. Genevieve van Coller (Heart-Sports ASG) finished in third place (01:10:21). KwaZulu-Natal’s Thomas Jessop claimed the Youth men’s victory over Matthew Keyser by over half a minute, while Allison Morton won the Youth women’s race ahead of Sabrina van Wyk. The downhill race took place along a 1.77km track with a vertical drop of 240m on Sunday. Team Jeep’s Gregg Brown claimed top honours with a winning time of 3 minutes 19.928 seconds. It was a KZN 1-2-3 as Andrew Martin finished second (03:20.499) and David Hogan third (03:29.428). With the series done and dusted, riders will now look ahead to the once-off 2014 SA National MTB Championship, which will take place at Thaba Trails in Gauteng, from 19 to 20 July. Cycling South Africa extends a big thanks to the hosts, Hayterdale Trails and their team for preparing the tracks and for hosting the event. We also thank our sponsor, Stihl, for their continued support in mountain biking. Download the full set of XCO results here. Download the full set of DHI results here. The 2014 Series Log for the XCO and DHI disciplines has been uploaded and can be viewed here at the following web links: XCO http://www.cyclingsa.com/App_Resources/Uploads/FILE00003769.pdf DHI http://www.cyclingsa.com/App_Resources/Uploads/FILE00003770.pdf Summary of results: SA XCO Cup #4 (Hayterdale Trails) 21 June 2014 Elite Men – 7 laps 1 Philip Buys 01:30:13 2 Rourke Croeser 01:31:26 3 Gert Heyns 01:32:10 4 Brendon Davids 01:33:03 5 Matthys Beukes 01:34:06 Elite Women – 6 laps 1 Cherie Vale 01:39:18 2 Candice Neethling 01:39:49 3 Samantha Sanders 01:40:47 4 Ashleigh Moffatt 01:54:31 Junior Men – 5 laps 1 Alan Hatherly 01:06:27 2 Julian Jessop 01:08:57 3 Tristan de Lange 01:08:58 4 Marco Joubert 01:09:26 5 Nicol Carstens 01:10:11 Junior Women – 4 laps 1 Bianca Haw 01:07:17 2 Frances du Toit 01:08:00 3 Genevieve Van Coller 01:10:21 4 Jessica Alcock 01:13:42 5 Alexandra Mapstone 01:14:19 Youth Men – 5 laps 1 Thomas Jessop 01:13:32 2 Matthew Keyser 01:14:05 3 Jarrod van den Heever 01:14:21 4 Andrew Sparks 01:14:57 5 Andreas Kuhn 01:17:24 Youth Women – 4 laps 1 Allison Morton 01:15:42 2 Sabrina van Wyk 01:24:05 Summary of results: SA DHI Cup #4 (Hayterdale Trails) 22 June 2014 Elite Men 1 Gregg Brown 03:19.928 2 Andrew Martin 03:20.499 3 David Hogan 03:29.428 4 Tian Strooh 03:32.016 5 Duran van Eeden 03:32.041 6 Adriaan Smit 03:34.449 7 Jonathan Philogene 03:35.342 8 Timo Godfrey 03:39.547 9 Wesley Auths 03:39.704 10 Nicholas Camp 03:44.793
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