The 26-year-old BSc student at Stellenbosch University said he was ecstatic about the win, especially as it came in his last year as a student.
“This is also the first time I’ve been able to win it – after claiming victory in the road tour for the last three years.”
The Knysna Cycle Tour MTB race champion said he went into the race, which consisted of five short laps around the Coetzenburg XCO course, determined to win.
“I started pretty hard on the first lap, with Tristan de Lange and Johan Trotsky following me. Tristan and I took turns at the front, but neither of us could get away.”
He said in the end, as he rode up a steep climb, he managed to put in a final hard effort and opened a small gap. Thereafter he was able to stay ahead of De Lange until the line.
“I knew my fellow Maties teammates would be the main opposition and it did turn out to be a tight battle between me and Tristan.”
Heyns ultimately prevailed with a winning time of 38:20. De Lange was second in 38:29 and NWU-Potchefstroom’s Brendan van Eeden was third in 39:28.
“Fortunately there were no major obstacles, only tired legs from all the previous day’s racing.
While the tournament was “definitely not as successful” for him as in previous years, he did enjoy a couple of good days and managed to help Maties secure the team competition.
“With the tour starting a day after SA Marathon Champs I knew that to win it overall would be a very difficult task,” said Heyns, who came fourth in the XCM champs in Pretoria.
He added that USSA was a secondary goal after the marathon champs, but it was still an event he looked forward to and an experience he relished.
“I’m now going to take a few days off to recover and then I’ll start building up to the last remaining races for the year.