With bikes loaded on the back of the car and the excitement building, the Dutoit Tankwa Trek start is just hours away now. By excitement I mean trips (yes that’s right with an ‘s’ at the end) to the pain cave. Rumour has it, that as a reward the local boere have built some exceptional single track to compensate us for the suffering.
The second edition of this premier stage race sold out last week, and from what I have heard for good reason too. No doubt with Dryland being the event organisers it will surely be another great weekend of racing in the Koue Bokkeveld.
I will be taking on the race in the solo category, i.e. if I lose my sh!t out in the Karoo, there will be no-one to help me. I’m a big boy though; I should be fine and will have a front line seat to the battles between the big boys each day. On paper, the first two stages look anything but easy with a shorter, although I’m sure if reputation is anything to go by, not necessarily easier run in to the finish on the 3rd and final stage come Sunday.
Once again we will have a rock star line up on the grid. The rumours of another euro invasion on the race, has not being taken lightly by the South African pros, who will want to prove their mettle on home dirt. It does also mean, scarily, that we may be subject to replays of 90’s euro dance music each night in the race village. Which will cause more suffering? I’m not sure…
Many teams will be using the event as their first major test for the upcoming Cape Epic. Thus it will clearly show who is in tune with each other and which partners are no longer on speaking terms at the end of the three day extravaganza in the Koue Bokkeveld. As mentioned the route profiles and descriptions sound anything but easy. Thus not only will team dynamics be tested but fitness levels too, either all is on track or you may be considering selling that Epic entry come Monday morning.
With myself and many others being virgins to the event I’m not quite sure what we have all got ourselves into. Surely though, it will be another awesome weekend of mountain biking in the African bush. I’ll keep the news coming each day, relaying our adventures to you lot stuck in civilisation.
You can also follow the race action on the official Twitter account here.