After having my wisdom teeth out last week it was a frustrating and sore few days of not being able to ride. This coupled with a disappointing Attakwas (the stomach bug) was not how I envisioned the start to my 2011 season.
I eventually managed to get back onto the trainer first and then onto the road. No mountain biking just yet.
Skinny wheel racing it was to be and I joined up with my Cycle Lab Toyota Team for the 3rd race in the pro Classis Series. Paarl would be the start finish venue for the Boukaert Soenen race over 126km. The elite team would be 3 members strong represented by Ryan Binedale, Matt Wentworth and I.
The race kicked off to a usual fast start with numerous attacks going off the front but the bunch was not letting anything go. Ryan and I represented the team in these moves with Matt saving his legs for later on.
Ultimately near half through the race would be the deciding point with the Botmaskop Climb just out of Riebecks Kasteel. The bunch did split here with a much smaller group forming on the other side. Unfortunately we lost Ryan on the climb and Matt was forced to withdraw due to injury problems.
Fourth from left.
Photo Credit: Ronel Rust – Torque Pics
Heading back in the direction of Paarl there were many moves going off the front until a group of 6 went away and built a lead of up to a minute at one stage. Most of the big teams were represented so were not interested in bringing it back. I decided to help a few of the individual riders and smaller teams in pacing on the front in order to try and bring it back.
A lot off aggressive riding on the Paardeberg circuit almost saw the bunch split again until shortly thereafter everything came together again in anticipation of the finish. Heading into the last ten kilometres a big attack by Darren Lill (DCM) saw a group of 5 riders go clear including Carl Pasio (RSA Web), Alistair Davies (Daiken) and two other riders. The pace was very high in this last part as we covered the remaining 10km’s in 11 minutes. The breakaway just managed to stay away with only 50m in the end with Darren Lill once again taking the win.
I finished safely in the bunch not taking any chances mixing it up in the sprint as I knew if something happened and I bumped my mouth there could potentially be another visit to the hospital and more days off the bike.