Western Province Mountain Biking Commission

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Category: Mariske Strauss

TeamPaarlMedia shines at 2014 Commonwealth Games

Leading commercial printing group, Paarl Media has proudly supported Mariske Strauss and Heiko Redecker on their journey to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The two mountain bike riders represented their countries in the Women and Men’s Cross-Country Mountain Bike events respectively, on Tuesday 29 July.

Mariske Strauss of the Paarl Media sponsored Orange Monkey Pro Team, placed 10th overall in the Women’s Cross-Country category. As a novice in her first Commonwealth Games Federation race, Mariske was seeded fourth and performed exceptionally despite a crash during practice the day before where she incurred a serious injury to her hip.

“Mariske raced hard despite her obvious discomfort and achieved a respectable time of 1:47:17 which is a result of her commitment and focus for the sport.  Mariske will now turn her attention to qualifying for the World Championships in Norway,” says Stephen van der Walt, CEO of the Paarl Media Group.

Heiko Redecker of the Paarl Media MTB Team, placed 18th in the Men’s Cross-Country category. Heiko came in at a time of 1:53:44 positioning his home country Namibia 18th overall.  The current Namibian MTB Cycle Challenge Champ will now turn his attention the Commonwealth Men’s Cycling Road Race on 3 August 2014.

“The two riders featured strongly within their individual categories with the challenging course set out. Nurturing of talent and supporting those who put in the hours of work it takes to achieve high levels of performance, these are the principles behind the sponsorship of the Orange Monkey Pro Team and the Paarl Media Mountain Biking Team,” says van der Walt.

WC Czech & Albstadt…A race report from Mariske Strauss

Originally posted on Mariske’s site over here. Mariske is one of our own. Her dad, Bryan, is the WC Commissioner and our track designer and general dogs body.

O my gosh I can’t believe its June already!

Okay so I am back home safe and sounds and thought I will take a quick minute or two to report back.

As many of you know this past two weekends what the 3rd and 4th rounds of the EU world cups. The first one was two weeks ago in Czech Republic.Image

What a trip, we took bit of a detour through Frankfurt…bit of a oops but arrived in Czech with our trusty motor home (Charlie 🙂 ). From there it was the usual story to get race ready…and trying to not think too much of the upcoming exams. Needless to say I wasn’t too successful at wiping Uni stress from my brain and must say this one was a little bit of a floppy race. It was almost like an out of body experience and it took me three laps to gather myself and get going…by that time I had lost a lot of places and I was 80%, very crappy feeling…but o well there was no times grovel over the bad result (that also happens) and my dad didn’t raise me to give up that easily 😉.

Next up was Albstadt, and I was super fired up and ready for action. The track was pretty similar to the previous years and must say there is just no way to describe how steep it is 🙂.

Anyway prep went well and before I knew it race day arrived. EXCITING…

With the lap being a little shorter, and faster, than last year we had a superb 7 laps waiting for us…ouch.

I must say that I don’t think those prerace jitters ever really goes away, think you just get used to dealing with it. So with my butterflies fluttering around my tummy and the race vibe consuming every other thought in your mind we lined up.

After the race started everything seemed to slot into place.  I kept calm and tried not to focus too much on the riders around me, you see this track is pretty much single track…with some sections being just wide enough to squeeze past but that being said on one side you have a wall and on the other there was a sheer drop, so passing in the single trImageack is a little silly (which one girl soon realised when she was pushed off the track by the rider she tried to pass haha, see you even get in race entertainment!) So needless to say overtaking in the single track is a no no , unless you come up at Mach 4 and surprise attack them the flats were the best bet for a pass 🙂, and that what I did… mach 4 ‘ed them on my trusty Poly-GONE haha , kidding I just did that once the rest were on the jeep track sections 😛. Before I knew it we were out on our last lap…unfortunately my engine was fading a bit but luckily my amazing Swable rocket rons helped keep me gripping to the finish I unfortunately just didnt have the legs to stay with the German rider that caught me on the last lap which meant a 23rd spot in the end.

I am super thankful to everyone that has helped me and keeps offering me support. I can not thank you all enough! Orange Monkey Pro team thanks for all the tech support, Shimano for the amazing equipment Polygon…keeping me going forward, Swable for keeping me rubber side down 🙂. Then MASSIVE thanks to my amazing coach ! Jeroen I can’t imagine training with anyone else the professionalism support and scientific approach to training is just second to none, thanks for  all the help, cant wait to see what we can achieve 🙂

Then lastly, my family and friends…YOU ARE AMAZING!!! Thanks so much for loving and having my back so blessed :)!!

Till next time…now to go kill some exams YES!! 😉 

Keep it safe out there in the cold wet winter ( o and by the way if you are looking for phone cases to ride with this winter go check out OverBoardAfrica…awesome product! ) 

M 🙂 

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