As the end of the month draws nearer, so does the second annual Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park, taking place this year from Friday 30 April to Monday 2 May. Once again, all-important UCI points will be up for grabs at the UCI HC category XCO event targeted at the Pro-Elites and this Hors Class (Beyond Category) race is vital to those wishing to garner UCI points in order to better their chances of Olympic qualification.
Ready to put his new title to the test is recently crowned African Continental XCO Champion, Philip Buys. “My goal for the HC race of course would be to win, but I’m always going to just give it my all out on the track. After all, it is such an important race and I need to do as well as I can for points,” he said.
The Scott Factory Racing Team (powered by LCB) rider is happy with his form and mind set at the moment, and is slowly but surely taking the necessary steps needed in order to even better his performance on the mountain bike. “I feel I’ve been pretty consistent with my races so far this season, besides my unfortunate glitch when I crashed at the Stihl SA MTB Cup Series race in Wolwespruit. I feel like I am finally kind of getting where I want to be,” he said.
Buys has consecutively finished in third place in the last three races at the Stihl SA MTB Cup Series. After his victory at the African Continental Champs in Lesotho earlier this month, Buys feels comfortable with his form but still knows there is a battle ahead. “It feels really good to have the Continental title going into the HC race, it is a nice confidence boost as well,” he added.
Buys feels that one of the most challenging tasks for him ahead of the race will be bike choice. “I’m looking forward to it though, it’s going to be fun – especially if we will be riding a lot of the world-class standard course that Cascades has to offer. And it’s a ‘lekker’ spot – its very cool to be able to have an HC race there,” he concluded.
Other mountain bike events that will be held over the course of the weekend at the PMB MTB Festival are:
Saturday 30 April
UCI Junior World Series XCO
UCI Elite XCO HC
Sunday 1 May
SA Marathon Championships Masters 30+
Monday 2 May
KZN Inter-Schools MTB Series
The Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival takes place at Cascades MTB Park from 30 April to 2 May 2016 and forms part of the greater Africa Bike City project in Pietermaritzburg. The legacy project and continued development of the venue of Cascades MTB Park as well as staff, cyclists and officials strengthens the local resource pool as we build towards the 2022 Commonwealth Games. For more information on the 2016 PMB MTB Festival, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-pmb-mtb-festival/