The 1st round of the UCI World Cup Mountain bike series was held in Pietermaritzburg this last weekend, and it was the biggest race I have done so far in my life.
Just over 120 elite riders, including some of the world’s best, lined up at 2.30pm on Saturday afternoon for two hours of battle!
The course was just over 6km in length, including over 200m of ascent per lap and some highly technical rock gardens and drop offs.
The Start – Fast and Furious
The pace was hot off the line but soon slowed to a walk as the first single track congested up. It was then full gas as the course opened up again. I had practised the big rock garden on the course the previous day six times and was feeling confident about it; as I approached it, I lined up correctly, hit the right rocks but then came unstuck. A fairly big crash at the exit of the rock garden… entertaining the many spectators watching.
My confidence on the technical sections was shot. Coming down the last rock garden I made another stupid mistake and came down again. I picked myself up and got going again although rather slowly. I continued to ride the technical sections at a somewhat slower pace through the rest of my race unfortunately slipping further back in the field.
I was pulled off the course because of the 80% rule and finished down in 103rd position. Although I was very disappointed with my race and didn’t achieve what I wanted to, it was a great experience to be able to line up with some of the world’s top riders but I still need to improve a lot to be able to be more competitive in years to come.
Sean and I after the race.
A big thank you to all who supported me!
Friends who cheered and shouted and rung those cow bells! My family who came out in full force with vuvuzelas and my sponsors; the guys from Cube: Jacques, Paul and Darryl who supported me in the tech zone and Sean and Celeste who came out to watch.
Thank you all