Momentum Health UCI XCO International #3 Cascades

Traditionally the weekend before the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup a sort of mini world cup is held on the same track we are to race on the next weekend with many of the world’s best already in town.

The Cascades track is one of Nic Floro’s masterpieces, for the rider this means that it is one of the toughest circuits they will race on this year. It compromises 230m of ascent per lap and includes numerous technical sections including the famous rock garden, a new vertical drop and the log chute.

Getting ready for the start call up.

Image Credit: Mike Wolhuter

The home straight.

Image Credit: Mike Wolhuter

With not many UCI points to my name I had to start near the back of the 75 rider field. This said I did have a relatively good start. On the whole however the race wasn’t my best to date; I perhaps started a bit too slow, something which isn’t an option when racing against the likes of Nino Schurter, Burry Stander and Florian Vogel. Something I’ll have to work on for this coming weekend as with the 80% rule it is a battle to survive as many laps on the course as possible.

I had also had two quite big crashes on the course in the weeks leading up to the race. A crash on the log chute required x-rays, fortunately these were clear and a spill coming off the drop resulted in added cuts and roasties to my already impressive collection. The drop is something I will have to ride this coming weekend as I am losing 15-20 seconds a lap riding the B line.

The elite men’s race kicks off at 2pm on Saturday; come down to Cascades to watch some of the best XCO mountain bikers in the world. Tickets can be bought at the gate.

Single track climb.

Image Credit: Mike Smith

Single track down to the rock garden.

Image Credit: Gavin Ryan – Quick Pix

Video Credit: Mike Smith

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