After a day to forget on day one of the Dutoit Tankwa Trek, to finding my legs on the second stage to a surprising result which I am stoked about the race really has come a full circle for me. I snuck onto the podium in 3rd place with the Bull’s hot shot profis Urs Huber and Karl Platt grabbing the top two steps. Convincingly I might add.
The 3rd and final stage had somewhat of a different take to it. It was shorter at just 63km but we would ride 26km in a neutral procession, to where the stage proper would start. The poetic side of me related this to the Tour riders leisurely pedalling into Paris on the final stage, sipping on champagne before the final business, laps on the Champs Elysees started, in our case, one last lap in single track heaven around the Koue Bokkeveld.
We rode some truly phenomenal single track on the third and final stage. I boxed smart, spending my penny’s wisely. Fortunately I had my super back up team at the 2nd water point and topped up the energy and morale levels from their support. From here it was a good 30km to the finish line. Racing with teams and individuals adds a somewhat different dynamic to it and it takes a day or two of working out who is involved in which race. I had thus calculated I was in 3rd on the day but you can never know for sure. Being on my own for the final 30km resulted in me riding a consistent, hard effort all the way to the line. I wanted to eliminate the possibility of having some of the other solo guys catching back up to me, and having to dice in the closing kilometres. The gap which I built would also allow me a minute or two’s respite should I have any mechanical incidents.
Water point replenishment.
Image Credit: Kirsten Smit
Image Credit: Oakpics
I was pleased to hold the chasing group of 3 solo guys: Nic Lamond, Oli Munnk and Waylon Woolcock at bay and get a foot onto the podium on the final stage.
I know I have raved about the exceptional quality of Dryland’s events day in and day out. I can assure you they are NOT paying me to say this and if you have a look at the Tweets they have received it only confirms what I have said. Dryland certainly have set the bar high with this race and hopefully other race organisers can follow suit. A big thank you to the race sponsors notably Dutoit, Wilde and Kaleo Manor, without whom this race would not be as big a success as it was.
This coming weekend I head upcountry to Sabie to take on the MTN Sabie Ultra Marathon which also doubles as a UCI World Marathon Series race.
Loving the Merida Big 99 Team.
Image Credit: Oakpics