South African elite cross-country champion Mariske Strauss is still fighting a serious ankle injury as she prepares to mount her title defence in the Stihl SA MTB Championships (XCO & DHI), which take place in Stellenbosch on July 18.
The 24-year-old Strauss injured her ankle in Pietermaritzburg last month and it has been a tough road to recovery since then.
The Novus OMX Pro Team rider is keeping the big picture in mind however and said she would not to risk another injury.
“I am currently still on crutches and will make a call at the end of this week whether I will be fit to ride,” she said.
“It is frustrating but I have great support structures around me and with a long season still ahead I don’t want to rush back into anything if I am not ready.”
With the national champs taking place in her home town and her father involved in creating the course, she said the prospect of competing was very appealing.
“Racing at home in a national championship is something that every athlete wants to do. The motivation behind racing on tracks that you know well and are comfortable on is strong, and it helps that it is a stunning venue!
She said the technicality of the course was up there with the world’s best and that rainy conditions could make for a very interesting race for the national cross-country champion’s jersey.
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