This last weekend it was back to the other side of the mountain, Worcester that is, through the Du Toits Kloof tunnel… An engineering marvel – as my Dad would say. This time it would be for the Afrimat Keeromberg Mountain bike race.
The opening kilometres of the race saw us traverse the walls of a number of dams. These were quite rocky and not much different to riding the cobbles on a road bike. Petrus Malherbe and myself took turns at pushing the pace to try whittle the group down. We were soon four riders off the front including Robert Sim and Reniel Matthysen.
I was quite disappointed by how the latter two decided to race on the day. Helping with the pace making was not high on their list of things to do for the day. Petrus and I took turns in attacking in an attempt to dislodge them but this was to no avail.
Unfortunately for me I started losing air from my rear wheel some 35km into the race. Over the top of one of the short steep climbs Sim put in a bit of a move and was awarded with a 5 minute gap. I couldn’t chase him on the rocky downhill with my soft tyre successfully and the gap opened a bit more thus I was faced with the decision whether to ride it conservatively and hope to make it to the finish or stop and bomb it and surely loose the group.
I decided to ride it. Approaching the main climb of the day, only 500m long at that, I tried to close the gap on my own. The climb although only 500m long is exceptionally steep and has to be walked up, which took close on 10minutes.
I rode conservatively to the finish in 2nd place pushing it where I could and backing off on the down hills and corners. This is how I finished with Matthysen in 3rd and Petrus in 4th.
A post on Belgium coming soon!