Johannesburg - National mountain bike cup series cross-country runner-up Philip Buys is determined to win the National MTB Championships at Mankele Bike Park in Mbombela on Saturday.
Speaking to City Press this week, Buys said that he had been putting a lot of work into training and was feeling confident.
“I want to win this championship,” Buys said. “I have been doing intensive training in the past two weeks.”
He knows it is not going to be easy competing with series champion Alan Hatherly, who is the only person who has beat him so far.
He admitted that Hatherly would be his biggest competitor.
“It’s going to be difficult because Alan has been doing well – not just in the series, but also internationally.”
Team Spur’s Hatherly stunned the crowds as he fought a hard and consistent fight to finish second in the Under-23 men’s cross-country race at this year’s Union Cycliste Internationale MTB World Cup race in Vallnord, Andorra, at the beginning of the month.
With Cycling South Africa hosting Union Cycliste Internationale category events, Hatherly has benefited from points gained at home.
“It was very beneficial, especially for the first World Cup round for me, as I started on number three – in the front row,” he said.
On the ladies’ side, another national series runner-up, Mariske Strauss, is hoping for a win and said anything could happen.
“I am just hoping for a win going to the race,” she said.
Strauss, who will be in the female elite category, expressed her disappointment after her failure to win after coming second in the series.
“I worked hard in the series. I was disappointed not to emerge as the winner, but congratulations to Beth [McDougall], the winner.”
Race registration for the cross-country and downhill series takes place at the event on Friday and closes at 3pm. Registration for the downhill race will be on Saturday. There will be no cross-country late entries accepted on Saturday.
A R50 penalty fee is payable for all late entries.