On the weekend we travelled down or rather up to Clarens for the 3rd leg of the National Marathon series. Matthys currently wears the Polka Dot jersey as he is the leader in the King of the Mountain category.
Coming of great results at the Epic we spent the weekend in the mountains with friends and family, Michelle and Karin also joined us. We had some great laughs around the table and this served for a great atmosphere leading up to the big battle.
Kombo represented the team in KZN for the 2nd leg of the provincial XCO. We look forward to the SA CUP XCO at Wolwespruit in Pretoria this coming weekend. The race starts at 14:00 on Sat 15th, if are in town feel free to join us.
Matthys Beukes - 1st stage1, 2nd stage2, 1st overall
This past weekend was the 3rd round of the National Marathon Series in Clarens. After some good training days and efforts I knew I had great shape but the altitude factor always makes sure I don't really know what to expect.
With a flatish 2 stages ahead we knew the racing would be fast and tactical. On day 1 I played my cards right and managed to slip away with BCX rider HB Kruger with around 30km to go. We worked well together and although I didn't feel great I knew the power was good. I got a small lead on the last downhill into town and took the win around 10sec ahead.
The racing would be on for day 2 and I felt that offense would be the best defense. Me and Phil set a blistering pace on the first few sections, nullifying any attacks. On the final climb we blew the race apart and only Max Knox could follow. With a final long technical downhill into town Phil went to the front and pinned it. I just followed his wheel and soon it was just the 2 of us, how romantic! We finished together, celebrating a great weekends racing. Thanks to everyone for all the support. I'm really excited for the rest of the season! Cheers, Matt
Philip Buys - 8th stage 1, 1st stage 2, 3rd overall
The 3rd event of the prestigious Ashburton series took us to the beautiful town of Clarens.
Halfway into stage one Matthys went up the road to open up a gap of more than a minute over the chasing bunch, this also gave me a free ride in the bunch for most of the day.
With about 15km to go I had to stop for a minute to get grass out of my derailleur pulley. We had to ride through plenty of cut grass and it just clogged up in my gears to such an extent where my bottom derailleur pulley just seized up.
I managed to chase back to the tail end of strung out main bunch just before we rode into town again crossing the finish line in 8th position. The top ten riders were all within 2min from each other. It was great to hear that Matthys managed to take the win.
Stage 2 the plan was to look after Matthys and make sure I was there to help him out should he be in a spot of trouble. We both felt solid on the day and decided to wind up the pace quite early on.
We managed to cross the finish line together in first spot. Our efforts also bumped me up to 3rd place on GC, just 18s off second place. With Matthys taking stage one and the overall win and my stage 2 win and GC 3rd, I think it’s safe to say that we have the bulk of the TV time for this race. :)
For me this post Epic period has been the best one so far. I’ve managed to stay healthy. With all my previous Epics I got sick within the 2 weeks after. My legs feel solid and Its time to get back into normal training routine again.
I look forward to the rest of the season just enjoying racing all the fun stage races. Joburg2C will be a first for both Matthys and I. Thank you for all the ongoing support and messages :)
Kombo Bere - 6th overall
Raced over the weekend at the second round of the KZN xco series in Saint Ives. Very flat course which made for very high and extreme racing conditions. Implemented a new strategy under coaches instructions. Took Thursday as a rest day then had a bit of a hard session on the Friday before the race. The rest day on the Thursday is purely to refresh the body and mind, and to get rid of travelling stress and fatigue. Unbelievable race I had and a true reflection of the quality training session I've had before the race and running up to the xco cup over this coming weekend. Sat comfortably in second place and chasing the leader. Unfortunately had a bit of a scare on one of the technical sections where my front wheel washed of a rock that had shifted during the first half of the race. I was fortunate to just walk away with a few scratches and no damage to the bike. Handle bars twisted and a bit shaken.
Managed to align my handlebars with the aid of my multi tool. Having lost quite a bit of positions a cool collective mind was needed and a show of character. Drew inspiration from the phenomenal Absa cape epic Philip and Matthys had. Managed to fight back into the top ten and in the last lap managed to crawl into 6th and finished 6th. A few seconds behind 3rd. Looking forward to this weekends xco cup. Showing some good form. Have a great week everyone be blessed.