It was a family affair as brothers Matthys and Gerrie Beukes won their respective age categories at the third round of the Madibaz XCO Series at Nelson Mandela University in George on Sunday.
Matthys, who finished third at the SA National MTB Championships last month, said he woke without plans of racing but the enticing Bergadder course made it impossible to stay away.
“That morning I went to see how the younger kids were riding and the course looked like such fun, so I decided to race rather than go training,” said the younger Beukes brother.
The PYGA EuroSteel professional proved that he was in a class of his own when he completed the five-lap elite race in 1:07:12 to finish well ahead of his rivals. Jan-Paul Gerber and Luke Cocksedge completed the podium.
In a race over four laps, Beukes’ brother led the veteran men home in 1:00:36, around two minutes ahead of Iniël Hattingh and Deon Barnard.
Beukes said he set himself the goal of trying to lap his older brother as a means of motivating himself even further.
“I started the race really hard to see if I could try and lap him, but looking back now it might have been a bit optimistic. I wouldn’t say there’s officially any competition, but there definitely is unofficially. Between brothers there will always be some rivalry.”
The sani2c and joBerg2c winner credited his brother for his career as he said he had grown up watching him compete.
“He’s definitely the reason I’m doing this at the moment. He’s 16 years older than me so I was a little kid when he was starting to do races and I always wanted to do what he was doing.”
Beukes said the event offered a rare opportunity for them to spend some time doing what they loved and it added an extra element of fun knowing he was on the track too.
“We don’t get to race together too much because he has other commitments and doesn’t get to as many races as he’d like.”
Beukes, who had been unable to lap his sibling, said he had been impressed by the course as it was a fast, flowing track.
The George local commented on the overall turnout and said it was good to see a sizeable field.
“For this area, it was definitely a good turnout. Local cross-country racing used to be quite big here, but it’s died down a bit.
“Now they’re getting more and more with each event so it’s definitely a good thing for the sport.”
The four-part series, presented in association with Old Mutual Private Wealth Management, started in April and concludes with the Chameleon event at the end of September.
For more information, visit www.madibazmtb.co.za.