This weekend we raced the 2nd last National marathon in Dullstroom while Julian is preparing for u23 World Champs in Australia. It is also the first race that our new assistant Matt Lachenicht travelled with us.
We arrived to a sunny and beautiful day on Friday but that soon changed as mist and rain pulled in, the next morning was very cold and temperatures was close to freezing point with an icy wind blowing.
Day one was full of drama with punctures and crashes but we pulled together the afternoon catching trout and had an amazing team effort dinner with high spirits around the fire.
Day two was a different ball game, with good tactics and very hard racing we took the stage win and secured the overall win. Also a first top 10 at national level for one of our riders. Below their feedback:
We are excited to launch our new video and full article about our team expansion.
See links below and feel free to share on your platforms :)
Article —> goo.gl/gyVibx
Video —> goo.gl/NUVAhV
Thanks to each and everyone that is making this a reality, not only are you investing in our great sport but also in each of us to follow our dreams. We look forward to the next chapter!!!
XCO Champs - Mankele, Ashburton National Marathon - Van Gaalen, Nissan Trailseeker - Wellington, Eston Classic - KZN
With three weeks of flatbox racing its been a very busy time for us.
As most of you know the family has grow with two addiotional members. Welcome Julian and Phillimon! We look forward to the road ahead and to see you grow with us. More news in this soon :-)
Below some words from each rider over the past 3 weeks of racing and a recap link of the Van Gaalens race:
Van Gaalens - https://www.facebook.com/africanmtbteam/videos/1393769234003541
In the last few weeks we've competed at two Trailseeker marathon races, the Oyster festival and USSA (University championships)
With great results and comments from the team below we are looking forward to the National XCO Championships this weekend. Kombo will hopefully do the Zimbabwean national championships, he is having some issues with his study visa and travelling to and from Zim so holding thumbs.
We would like to welcome Ashley and the Subaru team as our official vehicle sponsor, this is a great addition to our structure and we look forward to the “road” ahead :-) BTW they just released the all new Impreza check it out on the link below.
Subaru Impreza - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAHYc7eCvGc
After the successful National Marathon in Champaign valley we headed to Pietermaritzburg to do the SA cup XCO. I had the privilege to do the Enduro race on Friday before the race with the PYGA family. Thank you Patrick, Hilton, Matt, Cam and Keira for the great chats and laughs.
Below some words from Philip and Kombo.
This weekend we travelled down to the Central Drakensberg for the 4th leg of the National Marathon. Arriving on Thursday afternoon it gave us time to settle in and prepare for the race on Saturday.
Also a big thank you to Hilton Frost and family for welcoming us into their home and the great hospitality.
Philip Buys - 2nd
Race number 4 of the Ashburton national mtb series took us to the picturesque Champagne Valley in the Drakensberg.
The route and technical trails suited our riding style and tactics on day one was to take control of the race right from the start. Matthys bolted up the first and longest climb of the day, putting everyone in the hurt.
I would just sit in the chasing bunch and cover any moves if Matthys did not get away. Before we crested the KOM climb, Brendon Davids had a slight lead and I knew that I could close the gap going down the mountain again, we rode this section the previous day.
I made contact with Brandon but could not stick with him up the next major hill. Brendon lead the race all the way with me trailing about 30s behind him, hoping for a long and technical enough downhill to close the gap, but with 15km to go he just pulled away and ended up beating me with just over 3min.
Going into day 2 Matthys and I sat in 2nd and 3rd positions. Tactics today was to go flat out from the start to put Brendon under pressure, forcing him to pop or make a mistake. We saw this tactic as the only way we would have a chance to make up that 3 min deficit.
There were a few moments where it seemed that our tactic was working, but Brendon rode strong and covered everything we through at him. I was quite spent with about 10km to go and had to settle for 2nd again and also ended up 2nd on the overall standings.
Im staying in KZN for the week to do the next XCO cup race at Cascades in PMB. Hopefully the intense racing will ad that extra edge for World Champs the following weekend in Germany.
With the first 5 months of racing behind us all I can say is that its been a great journey, the results to date were fantastic and we clearly stamped our mark as the best mountain bike team in Africa.
In the buildup and planning we always knew that doing Joberg2c, Sani2c and the SA Marathon champs in one month, yes 31 days, would be a massive task! After a tough, cold and wet Sani2c our riders unfortunately fell ill. Matthys had to fly home but Philip having recovered a bit decided to soldier on and race the SA Marathon Championships. We are currently taking a small break to recover, get well and be ready for the next national Marathon in Champaign Valley 10-11 June.
Philip Buys - 2nd Overall
A few days after racing in the wet and cold conditions at Sani2C, I picked up a cold and Matthys picked it up two days after me, we had to take a few more days off to recover.
Our next race was SA Marathon champs and unfortunately Matthys felt that he would not be able to race and I also had to think very carefully whether I should race or not.
My heart rate and power seemed normal and safe to race, so I decided to give it a go and if I started feeling the slightest discomfort during the race, I would withdraw.
During the race I still had blocked sinuses and had plenty of slime, but halfway in and with most of the climbing behind us, I still managed to stay in contact with the leaders.
At one stage my left leg seized up with cramps and I had to stand in one spot for about two minutes stretching it out. With being ill and riding so little the few days leading up to the race, I sort of expected some cramping, but not as severe as what I had.
I dropped back to 5th place before the last 20km loop and managed to work my way back into second before crossing the finish line.
The plan for the next week is to fully recover from being ill and take a few extra days off before prep for the next block of racing coming up in 3 weeks time. We’ve had quite a long haul of racing up until now and its time to recuperate and refocus.
With all the drama and fierce racing at Sani2c its great to be on the top step and take the overall win.
We want to thank each and everyone that supports us, whether it be through equipment, finances or emotional support all of these aspects is what keeps us on this top step. Winning is a great feeling but happiness only real when shared.
Below some words and pictures of the guys.
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 and Matthys Beukes form the “African MTB team” PYGA Euro Steel. Previously teammates riding as Scott LCB Factory Racing, 2017 sees them with new sponsors, and of course new bikes. The pair have a solid track record riding together, and have their eyes firmly on the Absa African jersey at this year’s Cape Epic, as well as on an overall podium spot. We caught up with them to check in on their race preparation, find out more about their plans for 2017, and of course their new bikes.