Klein Karoo Klassiek 3 Day Mountainbike Stage Race
On Thursday myself and Erik Kleinhans(Mr Price/GT) set off for Calitzdorp for the 3 day Klein Karoo Klassiek. This was not before we had our fair share of bike problems but we were soon on the way with Erik being a fantastic Route 62 tour guide/navigator. We arrived at the Calitzdorp Spa 20km out of the actual town which would be our home for the next few days and promptly set up camp and then went to register. The Spa is well known for its hot water springs and we planned to make full use of the warm pools over the few days that we would be here.
Setting up camp.
The 1st stage of the race presented us with 95km of racing and 2200m of vertical ascent! The route consisted of mainly gravel roads with a long section of technical and rocky jeep track. We would also have to climb the brutal Rooiberg Pass from both sides! 30km into the race and after the first ascent of the climb Erik, myself and Pete Stopforth were on our own. We lost Pete just before the technical jeep track. One of the highlights of the race must have been riding alongside a herd of about 30 Cape Mountain Zebra for a few km’s in a private game farm. On our way back Erik surged ahead of me on the second ascent of the climb to solo ahead for a convincing win. We spent our afternoon sipping on numerous espresso’s compliments of Erik’s awesome espresso maker whilst watching the Springbokkies grazing in our camp.
Another espresso on the go.
92km was in store for us on the second day but thankfully a lot less climbing. A neutral sort of start took us back in the direction of the town and into a beautiful valley. This is where we would spend the majority of the days race winding amoungst the beautiful hills of Calitzdorp and the Red Stone Cliffs . The climbs up to the halfway point is where Erik, Pete and myself went clear again with Erik setting the pace most of the way back to the finish and taking the win again with myself in second and Pete in 3rd.
The final day was to be a race against the clock with a 40km time trial. Something which doesn’t happen very often in the mountain biking world. Compliments of Marsillo Projects a start ramp had been erected which was the biggest I had ever seen in my life. It was about 20m long and about 4m in height! Erik pretty much had the race sown up with a comfortable cushion over myself. Nonetheless with Erik starting a minute behind me i was going to push for as long as possible before he caught me. After about 25km he did. A few km later going through a water crossing that we had already passed through on the first day Erik went down just in front of me and then while trying to brake to miss him I went down! Must have been a good laugh for all those watching. Erik took the win on the day again making it 3 from 3 and winning the overall. I was second again and second overall with Pete 3rd. Thanks to the Dryland Events team for putting together a great event.
Image compliments of First Care Medics