Yawn, early morning start!
Some six years ago I lined up for the first edition of the Amarider 100 Miler. It was my second year at University in Stellenbosch and some 6 weeks before I had finished my first Giro del Capo. I had my head kicked in a bit at the Giro and motivation wasn’t high, so I didn’t train much. With a week to go and realising that I was going to be in for a long race, I did two 3 and a half hour, ‘long’ rides. Little did I know that they probably didn’t help much for the 8 hour onslaught I was about to take on in the pouring rain and gusting wind.
On Saturday I came a bit more prepared to the 100 miler. I had some good training and racing in my legs, my support crew for the day was fully briefed and I was eager to impress in my first outing in my new team’s strip. I had suspected that the main competition on the day would come from Johann Rabie (EAI Cycling/Bike Addict) who has recently come off winning the Joberg2c and placing second at the Sani2c.
The initial selection of 9 riders, including most of the stronger veterans was whittled down to four of us up the first major climb 60km into the race. This included Rabie, Tim Hammond, Quintin Myburgh and I. The steep punchy climbs shortly thereafter provided the springboard for Rabie to make the race harder and soon it was just the two of us left.
The initial selection.
As we still had some 100km to go we formed an allegiance with a powerful North wind which felt like it was consistently against us for much of the day, we would need to work together. I only found out at the finish line but we had managed to put some 15 minutes between us and the chasers.
Rabie had managed to ride away from me on the climb out the last water point at just over 140km and took the big W, after a solid day’s worth of bike racing, 6 hours and 160km or 100 miles later. I was pleased with my efforts and happy to repay Hanco and the Altech Autopage team’s faith in me. I was fortunate enough to have my ‘in-laws’ (Ash’s parents) as my support crew on the day and they did an amazing job of getting me fresh bottles and food, a big thank you to them.
With some heavy rain scheduled for Cape Town this week I’ll be dodging the weather as best as possible as I continue preparations for a busy month of racing in June. First up will be the SA National Marathon Champs, followed by the MTN Hilton Ultra Marathon two weeks later and then the big one, the UCI World Marathon Champs on the 29th.
Upcountry Hanco raced the MTN Rooiberg National Ultra Marathon. Rooiberg is renowned for being a very rocky, rough and energy sapping course. After a strong start he finished 12th in a competitive field. All in all it was a good weekend for the team and this gives us a good foot to work off from here.
Suffering to the finish.
All Images Credit: Oakpics