London Olympian Philip Buys and Samantha Sanders put down a dominant charge to claim the elite cross-country titles at the 2013 Cycling SA-MTB National Championships, powered by Frontier Events near Port Elizabeth.
The Hayterdale Trails near Addo in Port Elizabeth played host to the prestigious mountain biking event on the annual calendar with one of the biggest participant turnouts that South African mountain biking has seen in many years.
Representing the elite category, Olympian Philip Buys completed seven laps of the technical 4.2-kilometre XCO course in 1min 24min 26sec to secure his national title. Matthys Beukes finished in second place in 1:26:59 with XCO stalwart Ben-Melt Swanepoel third in 1:27:27.
The women’s race saw Samantha Sanders take top honours in her six laps, in 1:28:25 with Amy Mcdougall and Cherie Vale finishing second and third respectively.
Rourke Croeser’s victory in the hotly contested Under-23 category was the result of a close tussle with James Reid. Croeser’s winning time over six laps was 1:11:37, only two seconds ahead of the chasing Reid. Gert Heyns wrapped up the podium positions in 1:12:26.
Continuing her early-season form, Mariske Strauss dominated the five-lap women’s Under-23 race in 1:09:01, placing more than three minutes ahead of second-placed Candice Neethling. Ashleigh Moffatt finished in third place.
Alan Hatherly and Bianca Haw won the Junior categories in 1:01:25 (five laps) and 1:04:34 (four laps) respectively, whilst Julian Jessop and Frankie du Toit are proud wearers of the national jersey in the Youth categories. Jessop completed five laps in 1:03:53 and Du Toit won her 4-lap race in 1:04:36.