KAP sani2c Diary Note
Written by : Tim Whitfield
Beukes/Buys combo embracing favourites tag
Himeville - Having set alight the recent ABSA Cape Epic as Team
PYGA Eurosteel, Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys have taken on the
potential favourites tag at this year's KAP sani2c will
confidence as they build up to the three day Race from 11-13 May.
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 Eurosteel team and they are clear favourites after
dominating the local competition in recent events.
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 Eurosteel 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.
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The Team PYGA Eurosteel 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
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