Himeville – While the pairing of Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns might be untested in the heat of the KAP sani2c battle, they have set their sights on using the three day classic from 12-14 May to bounce back from a disappointing start to their stage racing year.
The Scott LCB Factory Racing pair have been involved in the sani2c in the past with Beukes having taken part in one previously, in 2010, while Heyns’ latest effort was in the 2013. Despite the fact that they have never raced it as a team they have firm plans to see their names at the top of the overall classification.
“We have always set ourselves really high standards and despite not having taken part in sani for a few years we are still confident,” Matthys Beukes mentioned. “We made the decision to take part in the sani2c after both of us had disastrous ABSA Cape Epic’s and we wanted something new and we want to do well.”
Beukes’ absence from the KAP sani2c will add an interesting dynamic to how he and Heyns tackle the three-day challenge however the two are tucked into the top of the elite section of mountain bikers in South Africa so the pressure of a semi-foreign race should not prove to be too daunting.
“When I did the race in 2010 with Philip Buys we had an absolutely horrendous first day and lost each other long the way which meant that we were under pressure throughout. There was so much rain that on the second day they had to cancel the descent into the Mkomaas Valley because it was too dangerous.
“The sani2c has always clashed with Cross Country events however now that I have been unable to ride the Cross Country races it was the perfect chance for us to get out there and take on the sani2c challenge – one that we are really looking forward to.
“We know that the trails are awesome and the competition is going to be tough so the racing should be great,” an enthusiastic Beukes added.
2016 has been a difficult year for both Beukes and Heyns who both had to withdraw from the Cape Epic, Beukes before and Heyns during, due to differing injuries however with the sani2c presenting a chance to get things back on track Beukes is hopeful.
“This has been the worst start to a season for me,” Beukes admitted. “Having to withdraw from the Epic due to nerve damage in my back which took all the power from my legs was devastating but I maintain that it should be looked at in perspective.
“I have been part of the last three pairs that have won the African jersey at the Epic so if you can have one bad start to a season in four then it’s really not that bad!
“I have been struggling through a bit of a chest infection lately but I will be ready to go when sani comes around!”
The pair are familiar with each other both on the bike and off it which should stand them in good stead when they take on some of the country’s top stage racing combinations at the 2016 edition of the KAP sani2c.
“We are both originally from George and we have done quite a bit of riding together with us riding the 2014 Cape Epic together as well as winning the Cape Pioneer Trek in 2015 so we are no strangers on the bike.
“We are very similar riders which means there isn’t any waiting around and we are both technically strong,” Beukes concluded.
The Trail, Adventure and Race events of the 2016 KAP sani2c take place from Glencairn in Underberg to Scottburgh on KZN’s South Coast from 10-12, 11-13 and 12-14 May respectively. For more information visit www.sani2c.co.za.