With the prospect of winning a case of Darling Brew beer I was excited about this new race on the calendar. So early while the owl’s still called to each other I set out for Darling on Saturday morning. Fortunately we got a gap in the weather and we escaped the largely rainy conditions which we have been experiencing over the last few days in the Cape and instead had some heavy mist.
The mist made riding in an unfamiliar area feel even more disorientating and hid the looming hills from our view, perhaps a blessing in disguise.
In other news there was a world first on Saturday morning, I won a KOM (King of the Mountain) hotspot, now in all fairness it wasn’t a ‘real’ mountain but I don’t see any comments section on that results sheet!
The main completion on the day would come from fellow local rider Dom Calitz, we rode away from the rest of the field some 10km into the race and then Dom got away from me a further 15km later. I wasn’t firing on all cylinders early on, in a relatively short race and had my work cut out for me trying to chase Dom down later on.
Unfortunately with some marshal confusion we both went off route at a point, both managed to find it again and remained as we were at the line with Dom taking out the win and us both logging in a couple of extra kilometres. Besides this mishap it was a well organised event with some great single track and one which I will be sure to return to next year.
The race served its purpose and I got in one of my last hard sessions before the upcoming SA marathon championships this coming weekend. The 3000+ metres of vertical ascent that awaits us seems daunting, it will require a smart race, spending pennies in the right places and keeping a couple ready for when it counts most.