Engen Dynamic Cycle Challenge Wellington

The Engen Dynamic Cycle Challenge was held this last weekend in Wellington and I some good reasons to be looking forward to the race.

 

The first being that the pro teams from Joburg would be down and this would afford me the opportunity to benchmark myself against them. With Bonitas, MTN, Westvaal-BMC and Tasol GT here it meant a number of the top road professionals in the country would be on the line to race. I wanted to see how I would stack up against them. I was quite happy with how I went, bar my sprint at the end where I got boxed in and didn’t really have much of a chance.

 

Secondly and related to the above I hoped the racing would be more positive and thus harder than what we are normally used to here in the Cape. On this front the race didn’t disappoint. The racing was on from the gun and the climb through Riebeck Kasteel provided an opportunity for the 218 rider strong peloton to be split. There was a group of 5 up front including 4 MTN Qhubeka riders, I found myself in the next group of 20 or so riders. There was also a 3rd group of also 20 riders and these 3 groups joined on the decent. This selection of 50 riders is where the winner would come from.

 

We were also lucky enough to have rolling road closure on the day. This made a huge difference and allowed us to race properly without having to worry about if we were crossing the white line and would be disqualified.

 

Lastly the organisers had put up some good prize money on the day (down to 10th place I might add). This is a great incentive to the racing and I can assure you all the pros are grateful for it.

 

So all in all a big up to the Engen Dynamic Race Organisers for a great event! Some of our local race organisers could certainly learn a thing or two from them. There will be two further events in the series, one in Port Elizabeth and another in Durban. I however will unfortunately not be able to attend due to other racing commitments.

Western Cape Spring League 2012: Race # 2 Lady Loch Circuit

It was back to the Boland this weekend, to race in second event of the Western Cape Sprint League.

 

The race would be taking part on the Lady Loch Circuit, which totals just over 13km in length, just outside Wellington. The circuit is a lumpy one with a fast downhill run in to the line.

Image Credit: Mirra Photography

Quite a big move went off the front early on with: RSA Web, Momentum Insurance and Team Focus represented. This was eventually brought back by a combined effort from Smith and Associate/O-Bike Maties and the Cape Town Market Teams. I was content to sit, wait, and follow any potentially dangerous moves.

 

Unfortunately we would only be doing 4 laps of the circuit on the day resulting in the race being a rather pitiful 56km long. This meant that it was neither long nor hard enough to whittle down the bunch.

 Image Credit: Mirra Photography

Image Credit: Ash Smit

The result was a big, fast moving bunch coming into the finish. With the speed quite high it meant every man and his dog thought he was the next Cippolini, and thus quite a dangerous run in. I was dead wheeled behind a rider who broke his wheel at over 60km’h, but managed to impressively hold it upright (nice one!). It left me with a lot of work to do and after taking a few sneaky gaps I was able to come through in 9th. Not the result I was looking for but so it goes I guess.

 

This weekend we will be racing in the Boland again at the Engen Dynamic Cycle Challenge. I am quite excited about the race as a number of the upcountry professional teams will be down to race. This will make things tough but interesting nonetheless.

Image Credit: TORQUEPICS – Ronel Rust