“I’m happy with my performance but I went there to win, so I’m not 100% satisfied with the result,” said Buys, who completed the seven-lap course in 1:21:24, compared to Hatherly’s winning time of 1:20:27.
“I knew it would be a challenge to beat Alan; he is really a great rider.”
Buys added that it was always fun to be part of an intense battle and he knew trying to beat Hatherly would be a challenge, especially in a cross-country race.
“Alan and I got away on the first lap.
“I had to change my rear wheel in the tech zone on the third lap and could not close the gap again.”
He felt the course was fun and what stood out the most for him was the vibe at the race.
“The organisers really made a big effort to attract the supporters and I think that’s what we need in this format of racing – a ‘lekker’ vibe and a good show for spectators.”
Buys is a regular at the African champs, having taken part in most of the events over the past 10 years in places such as Rwanda, Mauritius and South Africa.
“I did not compete last year though, but I’ve won it four times – in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
“This one was one of the most fun ones.”
“Then it’s full on racing again at the first Trailseeker and sani2c.”