After a little over a month’s break from the racing circuit, including a good couple of days off the bike altogether, it was back to business at Die Burger Mountain bike Classic on Saturday.
Die Burger is one of the bigger local classic races, at 75km with close to 2000m of ascent it is no easy day out. Add to the mix a strong field lining up wet weather conditions and you have a tough race on the cards.
The route has changed somewhat over the years, Die Burger used to be a ‘home’ race for me a few years ago whilst I was studying in Stellenbosch and thus I felt I knew the area quite well. I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy more single track than ever before in the race! The well-built and manicured trails on the Simonsberg Conservancy and the Delvera farm were a treat!
Image Credit: Hendrik Steytler Photography
After a rigorous day out, in which I was pleased to get the hard effort into my legs I came away with two lessons. Treat the trail surface with more respect in the wet, especially red clay and wooden bridges, which I had the misfortune of meeting each up close and personal. Secondly, don’t follow a RECM rider down the trail… Just kidding, unfortunately I did puncture following Lourens Luus down one of the single tracks, I only realised it after the race when someone pointed out to me that I had in fact punctured at World Champs also following another RECM rider, Nico Bell.
Nonetheless the misfortunes could be rectified quickly and there were some good positives to draw from the day. I enjoyed being back in the racing and am looking forward to a busy second half of the year!