The friendly city of Port Elizabeth, was the host of the second round of the national XCO cup series.
An awesome course had been set up in Baakens Valley within the city itself. It consisted of; good flowing single track, a few technical rock garden sections, three punchy steep climbs and a couple of bridges. I really enjoyed the course after practising and was looking forward to racing on it the next day.
After keeping an eye on the weather charts in the days leading up to the race, overcast and drizzly conditions greeted us on the start line. The favourites for the day were no doubt the Garmin pairing of Phillip Buys and Marc Bassingthwaite.
A fairly fast start set us off and I was happy to follow, settling into my own rhythm about half way through the lap. I rode on my own through the most of the race from there on as the field split up. This makes it particularly challenging to keep on pushing yourself as you don’t know how far ahead the next guy is in front or how far behind the one chasing you is.
Nonetheless I felt quite good, flowing through the technical stuff and finishing in 6th position in the elite men category which I was particularly pleased with.
Hopefully that will translate into a couple of UCI points and bump me up a few places in the rankings.
Phillip took the win in the elites followed by Marc and then Matthys Beukes with James Reid having a very solid ride to win the U23 category.
A big thank you to the Bowrens for hosting me for the weekend, your hospitality is great and I always enjoy staying with you guys in PE.