SA National XCO Cup #1 – Durbanville

The first round of the 2012 SA National XCO Cup series was held at the Slammer Track in Durbanville. A fairly short but very tough and technical track awaited us. There was one particularly long climb but for me the cumulated hit of all the short steep climbs took their toll. Technically speaking I really enjoyed the track with a good mix of rocks, berms, single track and drop offs to fully test a riders abilities.

Racing got underway at 12 mid-day on Saturday with the elites and U23’s starting together. There was a bit of debate amongst the riders and the commissure on the start line discussing matters regarding the race which in my opinion looked highly unprofessional; especially in front of what would be considered to be a fairly large crowd for a South African race. In the end the commissure put her foot down and made the decision which I thought was for the best.

I had a decent start but then struggled through the two laps following this. I was having trouble following a wheel up the climbs but making up a place or two on the descents.

Pushing through the first rock section followed by Renay G.

Image Credit: Ehlers Smit

Through laps 3 and 4, I managed to find more of a rhythm and got going. It was difficult to establish where I was lying in the elite field with u23, juniors and youths all on the course at the same time.

The cumulated hit of the power climbs started to take their toll on me towards the end and it became a race of attrition to hold on to the end. I managed to catch and pass Stuart Marais (who is making a return to mountain bike racing) in the last lap to finish 9th in the elite race albeit 1 lap down. Mr Stander showed once again why he is one of the best in the world and took a convincing win followed by Phillip Buys and Marc Bassinghtwaite.

Down the drop.

Image Credit: Damian Patterson Photography

On paper my race may not sound too bad but I feel there is still a lot I can and need to improve on especially over the next few weeks with the upcoming Momentum UCI XCO international races in KZN.

I must say a big thank you to all my friends for their incredible support on the day. Especially to my sister and Sean for their help in the feed zone and to Damian for coming out to snap a few photo’s.

Final Results Elite Men

  1. Burry Stander
  2. Phillip Buys
  3. Marc Bassinthwaite
  4. Matthys Beukes
  5. Renay Groustra
  6. Louis Bressler Knipe
  7. Oliver Munnik
  8. Andrew Warr
  9. Chris Wolhuter
  10. Stuart Marais

This pretty much sums up how I felt through the race.

Image Credit: Damian Patterson Photography

Image Credit: mirra photography

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