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Strauss and Buys claim cross country titles at African championships

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Mariske Strauss on the saddle as she prepares for her first Cape Epic

Mariske Strauss on the saddle as she prepares for her first Cape Epic (Image credit: Marlene de Villiers/
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Scott Factory Racing's Philip Buys approaches the summit of a steep climb on his way through the Kammanassie Mountains in stage 4

Scott Factory Racing's Philip Buys approaches the summit of a steep climb on his way through the Kammanassie Mountains in stage 4 (Image credit: Zoon Cronje)

Durbanville's Mariske Strauss (Orange Monkey Pro Team) and Pretoria's Philip Buys (Scott Sports) claimed African Continental Championship titles in the elite women's and men's mountain bike cross country categories in the Western Cape on Saturday.


The elite men's racing followed later in the afternoon at 15:15. The tempo was high and the stacked racing groups tackled the track, all hungry for the title. It was Philip Buys who packed the final punch to take the victory over 8 laps in a time of 01:39:15. Buys' victory did not come easy in a tight tussle with fellow South Africans Rourke Croeser and Lourens Luus.

"It was a hard race today," said Buys. "I knew I had the shape, and I tried to wear the guys out in the first 4 laps. I really wanted to play it safe out in front for the final laps, but then I cut my wheel, and had to limp to the tech zone."

"When I rejoined, I was about a minute off the lead pace of Rourke and Lourens, and was lying in third place. It took me a lap to get back to them, but I rode that too quickly and it took me another lap to recover. I just made it difficult for myself, but these things do happen in mountain biking. I am very happy with the win."

Luus claimed the silver medal in a time of 1:39:20 followed closely by Croeser in 1:40:06.

In the under 23 men's category, it was South African James Reid who took the title over seven laps in a time of 1:23:54. Defending champion Brendon Davids (South Africa) crossed the line in second place in 1:26:02, with Arno du Toit (South Africa) finishing third in 1:26:35.

South African Stephen Senekal took top honours in the junior men category when he completed six laps in a time of 1:15:56. Local rider Sybrand Strauss (South Africa) finished in second place in 1:16:18 with Alan Hatherly (South Africa) finishing third in 1:17:35.


Racing in the elite category this year, local rider Markiske Strauss was out at the front right from the get-go, retaining her position until the end of the race in very hot and dry conditions. The 23-year-old local raced a calculated race, taking into account the extra lap and time required to be completed in her new category, to take the top honours on the six-lap, technical course.

"It was a good, hard race," said Strauss. "The first race of the season is always an interesting one. It's always good to be in control from the start, and I was happy to do that and just keep it together because it was very hot out there. In the second last lap, I just kicked in. I could really feel the last lap, but my training has been good and I've been preparing for this beforehand. It was an awesome track and there was a great vibe out there today."

Samantha Sanders (South Africa) finished in second place in 1:30:44 with Cherie Vale completing the podium in third place, in a time of 1:33:56.

Candice Neethling (South Africa) won the women's under 23 race over five laps in one hour, 15 minutes and 23 seconds with Ashleigh Moffatt (South Africa) second in 1:20:26 and Hayley Smith (South Africa) third in 1:21:01.

The junior women's race saw Bianca Haw (South Africa) take top honours over four laps in 1:02:48. Haw was followed by Frances du Toit (South Africa) in second place in a time of 1:04:41 with Mauritian Kimberley Le Court De Billot rounding out the podium in 1:06:22.


Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Philip Buys (South Africa)1:39:15
2Lourens Luus (South Africa)0:00:05
3Rourke Croeser (South Africa)0:00:51
4Renay Groustra (South Africa)0:01:42
5Dominic Calitz (South Africa)0:04:25
6Matthys Beukes (South Africa)0:05:38
7Stuart Marais (South Africa)0:06:31
8Jan Withaar (South Africa)0:06:52
9Kevin Evans (South Africa)0:07:21
10Yannick Lincoln (Mauritius)0:10:19
11Sipho Madolo (South Africa)0:11:11
12Heiko Redecker (Namibia)0:11:37
13Louis-Bresler Knipe (South Africa)0:13:53
14Phetetso Monese (Lesotho)
15Teboho Khantsi (Lesotho)
16Robin Moore (South Africa)
17Given Phetla (South Africa)
18Albert Kirevha (Zimbabwe)

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mariske Strauss (South Africa)1:29:42
2Samantha Sanders (South Africa)0:01:02
3Cherie Vale (South Africa)0:04:14
4Heletje Van Staden (Namibia)0:09:46
5Amy Mcdougall (South Africa)0:11:10
6Irene Steyn (Namibia)0:18:26

U23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1James Reid (South Africa)1:23:54
2Brendon Davids (South Africa)0:02:08
3Arno Du Toit (South Africa)0:02:41
4Jason Meaton (South Africa)0:06:46
5Martin Freyer (Namibia)0:08:17
6Dylan Rebello (South Africa)0:08:34
7Gert Heyns (South Africa)0:08:55
8Travis Walker (South Africa)0:09:59
9Jurgens Uys (South Africa)0:11:25
10Paul Rodenbach (South Africa)0:13:10
11Matthew Beers (South Africa)0:15:31
12Carel Esterhuyse (South Africa)
13William Makgopo (South Africa)
14Johannes Scribante (South Africa)
15Michael Pretorius (Namibia)
16Luyanda Thobingunya (South Africa)
17Willem Landman (South Africa)
18Brandon Willcocks (South Africa)
19Mandlankosi Mlotshwa (South Africa)
20Declan Sidey (South Africa)
21Reich Lategan (South Africa)

U23 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Candice Neethling (South Africa)1:15:23
2Ashleigh Parker-Moffatt (South Africa)0:05:03
3Hayley Smith (South Africa)0:05:38
4Vera Adrian (Namibia)0:14:42
5Emily Clarke (South Africa)0:15:38

Junior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Stephan Senekal (South Africa)1:15:56
2Sybrand Strauss (South Africa)0:00:22
3Alan Hatherly (South Africa)0:01:39
4Tristan De Lange (Namibia)0:02:23
5Nicol Carstens (South Africa)0:03:00
6Marc Fourie (South Africa)0:04:45
7Wade Prinsloo (South Africa)0:05:27
8Julian Jessop (South Africa)0:06:47
9Ivan Venter (South Africa)0:07:19
10Harrie Malan (South Africa)0:08:17
11Johan Hartzenberg (South Africa)0:08:59
12Frans Nel (South Africa)0:09:35
13Marco Joubert (South Africa)0:11:47
14Morne Hollander (South Africa)0:13:54
15James Durr (South Africa)0:14:37
16Matthew Lombardi (South Africa)0:19:39
17Connor Korevaar (South Africa)
18Wian Botma (South Africa)
19Michael Lambrecht (South Africa)
20Corbin Mann (South Africa)
21Dillan Juul (South Africa)
22Hugh Webb (South Africa)
23Baphelele Mbobo (South Africa)
24Edward Mckenzie (South Africa)
25Karel Keyser (South Africa)
26Mathew Allen (South Africa)
27Marinus Van Sandwyk (South Africa)
28Nicholas Warren (Zimbabwe)
29Chad Scallan (Zimbabwe)
30Siyabulela Mabaso (South Africa)
31Malefetsane Lesofe (Lesotho)
32Francois Terblanche (South Africa)
33Luke Collins (Zimbabwe)
34Aidan Van Niekerk (South Africa)
35Manie Lubbe (South Africa)

Junior women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bianca Haw (South Africa)1:02:48
2Frances Du Toit (South Africa)0:01:53
3Kimberley Le Court De Billot (Mauritius)0:03:34
4Michelle Benson (South Africa)0:07:06
5Genevieve Van Coller (South Africa)0:08:12
6Amy Williams (South Africa)0:08:38
7Alexandra Mapstone (South Africa)0:10:22
8Jessica Alcock (South Africa)0:16:30
9Kayla Edwards (South Africa)0:19:34
10Skye Davidson (Zimbabwe)
11Helen Mitchell (Zimbabwe)

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