An early burst in the sprint to the finish saw Matt Beers win the first event of Gauteng’s Trailseeker Series at Legends MX in Pretoria East today.
After riding together over the final 3km of the course, the 25-year-old Beers got the upper hand over teammate Wessel Botha and Pyga-Euro Steel’s Philip Buys when he attacked first in the final sprint.
Beers, who lives in Cape Town, set the pace from the start of the race to try and thin out the group. His plan worked as a bunch of six or seven riders went clear at the 5km mark.
“There were a lot of us so it’s better to be in a smaller group with the singletrack on the route,” he said.
After the first singletrack section there was a rocky and technical climb around 15km into the race where he increased the pace again. This resulted in a smaller breakaway of four comprising Beers, Botha, Buys and Pieter du Toit.
“We rode together until about the 25km mark when Pieter suffered a puncture, leaving the three of us to ride away.
“Wessel and I were attacking Philip. Obviously it was two against one so we were seeing if one of our moves could work.”
With about 10km remaining Botha opened a gap of 30 seconds on Buys and Beers.
“I sat on Philip’s wheel while he chased down Wessel. He was caught with around 3km to go, which resulted in a sprint finish.
“It was a good day for the team as we managed to take the top two places on the podium. We played our cards well and I am glad we could pull it off.”
Beers, who rides for NAD MTB Pro, said although the fast course suited him well he would have liked more climbing.
“But it’s a different type of tactical race so it was a nice change.”
He added that the weather made for perfect racing conditions, with the temperature cool and no wind.
Beers felt today’s win was a great confidence booster after the Cape Epic.
“I’ve had a few disappointing races so I’m happy to get the monkey off my back.”