Beukes and Buys take Spioenkop battle to win Berg & Bush war

As expected, the final skirmish in the Grindrod Bank Berg & Bush Descent was won on the slopes of the historic site of the Battle of Spionekop with the PYGA Euro Steel pair of Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys making the race-deciding break up the steep slopes.

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Image credit: Berg & Bush.


Beukes and Buys started the final 48km third stage on Sunday with a two-second deficit to Nico Bell and Matt Beers (NAD Pro) after losing out on the final sprint on Day 2. But on Sunday they planned not to leave the final result dependant on a finish sprint and were quickest up the Spioenkop climb which was enough to secure the overall victory.


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Image credit: Berg & Bush.


On the mini-climbs leading up to the main section of the historic battle site, Beukes and Buys began to make things tough in preparation for the steep climb up to the top of the mountain.


“As soon as we hit the gravel road, even before we hit the gate that signals the start of the main climb, we made it difficult for the others,” said Beukes after celebrating the victory at the finish.


“Yesterday we saw Nico struggling on some of the climbs but they were just a bit too short for us to get away.


Image credit: Berg & Bush.


“So we knew today we needed to make it as hard as possible and began attacking early and then on the steep part of the climb we got a gap and just pinned it on the downhill – that was so much fun.”


On the 14km descent off Spioenkop down to the finish it was a super-fast downhill time-trial between the leading teams. As they weaved their way through the single-track descent the PYGA riders managed to open the gap from “about 20 seconds” at the top to just under a minute at the finish and so claim victory by 54 seconds.


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Image credit: Berg & Bush.


In the women’s race, Amy McDougall and Samantha Sanders (dormakaba) were never challenged and wrapped up their hat-trick of victories and won their category overall by a substantial 50 minutes ahead of Hayley Smith and Christie-Leigh Hearder (Bell Equipment).


Despite the large winning margin, McDougall said it was not so simple.


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Image credit: Berg & Bush.


“I would not say that was easy … we still rode as hard as we could,” said Mcdougall. “It was so much fun. The trails were spectacular… I mean the descent off Spioenkop is one of my favourite trails in the whole country and it leaves everybody with a smile on their face at the end of the race,” added the race winner with, appropriately, her trademark smile shining out from her muddied face.


Image credit: Berg & Bush.


In the mixed category Yolandi du Toit and Ben Melt Swanepoel (Garmin) also claimed their third stage win to beat Theresa Ralph and Tom Wetton (Galileo Risk Mixed) by 10 minutes, while Luke Chambers added his third win to claim the solo category from Deon van Vuuren and Grayson Keppler.


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Berg and bush 2018 3.jpgImage credit: Berg & Bush.




ByronH, Oct 08 2018 10:18

Gees....beautiful images. #changingscreensaver

Vegan Warrior, Oct 09 2018 09:24

Agreed. Good write up and stunning pics! Sick finish line send from Matthys.