• Mariske Strauss

SA XCO Champs 2022

What a whirlwind of emotions. To tell you the truth I am in two minds, on the one side am I disappointed that I wasn’t able to take back those beautiful strips but on the other hand … I am super proud and blessed to have been able to line up in the first place; considering exactly 6 weeks prior I was airlifted out of a race in the Czech Republic with a fractured hip.


I knew from the start that SA’s would be a push but as an athlete, we are wired to go big even if the cards are stacked against us.


My body is still finding itself and with all injuries, it takes time. I had a solid couple of weeks of training banked before SAs but unfortunately, that was not quite enough for a top-step finish. I did however manage to only be 1 minute behind Candice and to me, that is a phenomenal performance considering everything.


So the end result was 2nd in SA XCO Championship AND I was crowned the SA XCO Cup Series winner YEAY!


I would like to take a moment to thank everyone that helped me to get to the point where I was able to put my wheel on the start-line in such a short time. My family and heavenly Father, Heidi & Cathy from Cathy Carstens Physios, Henriette from Oxygenate, Prof Jeroen Swart, and of course my coach, Prof Mike Posthumus, and my amazing Sponsors. Those who I missed I am truly grateful to and cannot express how much your support means to me.


One thing I have learned through this injury again is that your body is an amazing thing. That and the fact that because something might have worked in the past it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work in the future. We must adapt and move forward, so this is me trying to figure out how this newly and slightly modified body of mine works.




Next up is a serious training block in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games, which will take place in Birmingham England on the 3rd of August.


As always keep it rubber side-down and good luck with all the winter training rides.


M




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