This weekend’s racing news comes from the prestigious Nelson’s Creek Wine Estate where the first ever Engen Dynamic Mountain bike race was held.
On paper the route didn’t look too bad, as it appeared flat the whole way apart from a 5km climb in the middle. Surely it couldn’t be too bad as the climb would be a good place to try split up the field, which sounded like a good plan, except when you’re the one who is being split from the front…
The first 25km of this race took us on flat farm roads and jeep tracks through the vineyards. After a short power climb 10km in, Geddan Ruddock (Schwinn) put the hammer down there were only 5 of us in front. Geddan, Carl Pasio, Adrian Louw (GT/Mr Price), Timo Cooper (Wilde) and I (SWC/Cube).
For the next few kilometres it seemed as though it was a road race. Flat roads again and attack after attack and a counter attack was launched. I was content to follow the moves thinking I would wait for the main climb. Soon Carl launched a move which seemed to stick. Timo quickly covered with Adrian trying to bridge and me on his wheel. I decided to sit and let him try close the gap but Carl was putting the pressure on. Geddan soon realised we were in trouble and tried to bridge us across. I patiently waited until he brought us back to within 10 metres of the front two and as I saw he was fading I jumped across, taking no passengers.
At the front we combined fairly well opening the gap to 30 seconds. The climb started to appear in the distance and as we got closer and closer, soon we were right on the base I looked around and saw no road. I was like “well now where do we go? How are they going to take us up this?” My questions were soon answered.
In the most difficult manner possible.
The first kick!
Very glad I still have a triple chain ring!
The last part proved not to be ride able and we walked. Carl being a tri-athlete ran and opened a gap. Adrian and Geddan came back and kick after kick of 20% plus grades I was taking shots. I clicked into survival mode and kept the front four in sight thinking I could go flat out on the descent, take risks and get back on as the last part of the course was again flat and would most likely be tactical. On the last part of the climb I lost sight of the front four and pushed myself over.
John Hishin – Cape Town Sports Photography
I hit the downhill hard hoping to make back time, a bit too hard as I washed out on one of the first corners having a bit of dirt for mid morning tea. Back on again I approached the rest a bit more cautiously.
Eventually on the last flat parts I could see Geddan ahead of me. At first he was a good 1.30 ahead but I pushed and closed it to 1minute and then 30 seconds but I ran out of kilometres and had to settle for 5th position on the day.
A bit disappointing but nonetheless, a solid result. Up front Carl took a good win proving to be strong on the flats.
1. Carl Pasio
2. Adrian Low
3. Timo Cooper
4. Geddan Ruddock
5. Chris Wolhuter