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February 09, Cross country:

Buys and Strauss claim victories in Durbanville

Cycling News
February 11, 2013, 16:58 GMT,
February 11, 2013, 17:05 GMT

South African cross country national series opens

Cool and wet weather welcomed cross country competitors in Durbanville, Western Province for the opening round of the South African cross country national series on Saturday.

According to Cycling SA Technical Commissioner Grevile Ruddock, excellent racing was witnessed across all categories and of particular significance, the victories in the elite men and women's groups for Philip Buys and Mariske Strauss.

For London Olympian Buys, his race started well where he went to the front and opened up a slight gap. But then he experienced problems with his gears and dropped to seventh place, spending a lot of energy chasing race leader James Reid with Ralph Naef, Florian Vogel and Brendon Davids.

Buys made his move on the fifth lap (of eight) when he launched an attack on Naef and Reid, with Naef countering the move but then experiencing his own technical problems as well, dropping back. Reid and Buys rode the final two laps about 30 seconds apart.

"The racing was pretty tight as there was a very big field, I think around 80 riders in my race, so it makes for very exciting racing, especially with the Europeans taking part," said Buys. "The course handled the rain very well - I normally struggle in the wet, but it seems like I am getting better at it now though. These were great preparations for typical European conditions."

When asked about the influx in youngsters on the start line, Buys said, "There are plenty youngsters and they are so keen. I get a lot of messages from them asking me for tips, so the sport is healthy and growing well and there should be no reason for sponsors not to get involved. There was a great spectator turnout as well."

London Olympian Candice Neethling withdrew from the race due to a sudden ailment, and it was Mariske Strauss who dominated the women's race posting magnificent times.

After a long absence from the cross country track and spending a year in the United States, Strauss could not have asked for a better start to the season. "I had the most amazing race! I felt good and know that I've done my training and my equipment was top notch," said Strauss. "My race was problem free and with my awesome supporters and feeders close by, they regularly screamed the time gaps and an abundance of motivational words."

Racing in her final year in the under 23 age category, Strauss thoroughly enjoyed the track, particularly after the rain. "The rain was perfect during our race and exactly what the track needed. I think it suited me, there was plenty of climbing and it was a very balanced course, never a dull moment. I was always working hard and never really had time to catch my breath."

Buys paid tribute to the late Burry Stander by noting Burry's absence on the start line of the race. "There was definitely a sense of emptiness in the front row," said Buys. "But we are driven to follow in his footsteps and achieve even more. I think many other younger South African cross country racers have this same drive and know now that nothing is impossible."

Both Buys and Strauss are amongst many South African participants who are anticipating the UCI MTB World Champs that will be taking place in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal in August. Many of the top racers will now prepare for the African Continental Championships, which will be taking place at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal in a month's time.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Philip Buys 1:39:04  
2 James Reid* 0:00:24  
3 Florian Vogel 0:02:06  
4 Luke Roberts* 0:02:54  
5 Gert Heyns* 0:04:32  
6 Ralph Naef 0:04:33  
7 Renay Groustra 0:05:18  
8 Travis Walker* 0:05:35  
9 Matthys Beukes 0:06:09  
10 Hamish Batchelor 0:06:45  
11 Sebastian Batchelor 0:07:09  
12 Arno Du Toit* 0:07:50  
13 Patrick Belton* 0:10:00  
14 Giancarlo Sax 0:10:41  
15 Jason Meaton* 0:10:55  
16 Tom Ettlich 0:11:43  
17 Greig Knox 0:16:01  
-1lap Stephan Reyneke*    
-1lap Bastian Labuschagn*e    
-1lap Max Sullivan*    
-2laps Marthinus Esmeyer    
-2laps Thomas Stapley*    
-2laps Willem Landman*    
DNF Dominic Calitz    
DNF Paul Rodenbach*    
DNF Brendon Davids*    
DNF Dumeni Vincenz    
DNF Andre Hugo    
DNF Stuart Marais    
DNF Rourke Croeser*    
DNF Jurgens Uys*    
DNF Adriaan Louw*    
DNF Declan Sidey*    
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Mariske Strauss* 1:27:32  
2 Helen Grobert* 0:01:29  
3 Barbara Benko 0:03:49  
4 Cherise Stander 0:04:18  
5 Yolande Speedy 0:04:51  
6 Samantha Sanders 0:05:23  
7 Ashleigh Moffatt* 0:06:37  
8 Vera Adrian* 0:09:06  
9 Sara Muhl 0:09:38  
10 Kendall Ryan* 0:11:22  
11 Amy Mcdougall 0:12:13  
12 Siska Van Der Bijl 0:14:27  
-1lap Hayley Smith*    
Junior men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Alan Hatherly 1:19:44  
2 Nicol Carstens 0:00:04  
3 Louw Kriel 0:01:38  
4 Dylan Rebello 0:02:37  
5 Sybrand Strauss 0:03:26  
6 Stephan Senekal 0:03:38  
7 Harrie Malan 0:04:28  
8 Ivan Venter 0:05:14  
9 Neil Robinson 0:05:53  
10 Raymond Wagener 0:07:31  
11 Frans Grotepass 0:09:23  
12 Gareth Andrews 0:11:02  
13 Carel Van Wyk 0:12:09  
14 Corbin Mann 0:13:01  
15 P J Luus 0:14:33  
16 Dylan Williams 0:16:25  
17 Devin Kruger 0:17:01  
18 Waldi Kuhn 0:19:52  
19 Carlo Marzoppi 3:17:07  
-1lap Keaton Korevaar    
-1lap Thinus Brink    
-1lap Lwazi Tshakaza    
-1lap Syabulela Mabaso    
-1lap Bradley Alcock    
-1lap Adriaan Anderson    
-1lap Luke Bester    
DNF Channing Smith    
DNF Jannes Buijs    
DNF Dean Morgan    
DNF Kevin Kleynhans    
Junior women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Bianca Haw 1:19:50  
2 Jessica Alcock 0:07:33  
3 Mikayla Oliver 0:09:07  
4 Marne Botha 0:09:53  
5 Marie-Christin Kempf 0:13:45  
6 Michelle Benson 0:15:46  
7 Lisle Stopforth 0:16:07  
-1lap Nicole Van Der Merwe