Lion of Africa De Grendel Mountain Bike Classic

The time had come for my last race of the 2011 season. It has been an exciting season for me and I hope you’ve enjoyed following my journey. What I’ve been able to do this year would not have been possible without such fantastic sponsors that support me. To: Sean Williams Contracts, Cubes Bikes, Dulce Café, PVM Nutritional Science, Cycle Lab, Sludge, Squirt, Uvex and Rubena I am as always grateful. I am privileged to be associated with these brands as I feel they are the best in their respective fields and hence I use their products proudly.

 

But for now back to the race…. The race distance of 55km suited me somewhat more than the ultra-marathon’s I had undertaken in the last two weeks. Behind the chalk it was good to see familiar faces that I haven’t raced against in a while: Renay Groustra, Dominic Calitz, Adriaan Louw, Noel van Rensburg to name but a few. Sean was also down for the weekend and would be racing too.

 

All was going well until just over 10km in my chain managed to wrap itself around my derailleur. Not quite sure how or why that happened but I eventually managed to get it untangled and set off in chase of the 5 strong lead group. A chase that would prove to be fruitless, 1 rider vs. 5 into block head wind didn’t help my cause. Nonetheless I pushed on until I experienced the same chain problem again… I managed to figure out what was wrong and adjusted a screw on the derailleur, this seemed to do the trick. In the mean time I decided to wait for Sean who had had to start in a further back batch and ride with him.

 

Sean was riding very well on the day and we slowly made our way picking off riders one by one. The main climb proved to be quite a challenging beast but the views at the top and single track down through the Majik Forest warranted it.

 

Approaching the last climb we went through an area which for some reason seemed to have thousands of Devil Thorns. Not that I was too concerned with Sludge in my wheels but I did notice a few other guys using other product struggling a bit… Pays to use the best boys!

 

Entering the last few kilometres Sean and I had a bit of a race on our hands with two other riders. We managed to fend them off and finished in 7th and 8th place respectively. A podium was definitely a goal for the day but it was not too be.