Swartland Mountain Bike Classic

My first race back in the Cape, after my two month racing stint in Belgium and racing up in Joburg last week, was the Swartland Mountain bike Classic.

It was a pretty long drive out to the Org de Rac Wine Estate which hosted the event. A fairly competitive field lined up with most noticeably Charles Keey of MTN Qhubeka there, along with 3 Daiken Gu riders, Neil Bradford (Toyota/Cycle Lab) and a few other lads.

The race stayed together for the first twenty kilometres until we hit Koringberg for the first time, a tough rocky, steep and loose climb. A split of three including Craig Boyes, Greef Moolman and myself chased Charles who had managed to get away until I lost the other two as I had to stop to sort out technical issues.

I managed to chase back on the flats only to have further problems and lose the chase group again which now had six riders present. I was given a bit of a “get out of jail free card” when the group took a wrong turn and then suddenly came back up behind me again.

An old race photo from SA XC Championships earlier in the year.

Image Credit: Hanno Lategan

As we ascended Koringberg again, but now from another angle, I attacked on the steepest section of the climb. This gave me a gap and I didn’t look back. A thorn got stuck in my front wheel towards the top but the Sludge sealed the hole quickly so no problems there.  After a technical downhill I had about 15km of rolling terrain to the finish. This became quite hard as I started cramping and some of the climbs, although not particularly long, were steep.

I held onto 2nd with Charles taking a solid win and Craig finishing up in 3rd. I was quite happy with my ride considering my legs weren’t feeling too rock star on the day

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