2015 has got off to a cracking start. On the bike Hanco and I have been getting some good miles in, in preparation for the 2015 season. Yes our team goes on this year, thanks largely to the support of Altech Autopage. There will be a more formal announcement shortly with details on the project for the year!
Off the bike it feels as though it hasn’t stopped. ASS MAGIC has been busy; I am not complaining and finalising orders for RH77 for the Epic has been manic!
After some time at my parents farm over the festive season it was back to the Mother City for a few days to get the year started, and then I was off to George for a week to do a training camp with Hanco. This year we are riding Specialized World Cup Epics… Yes everything you have heard about the bikes is true. They are fantastic machines and I am pleased to be riding one this year.
George is a great place to train, there are many dirt roads and awesome trails which allowed us to get in some good time on the mountain bikes. This can sometimes be difficult in Cape Town with you needing to do stretch’s on the tar to link the various mountain biking areas together if you are wanting to do a long ride. A ride out to Knysna on the 7 passes road was also a treat and probably one of my favourite rides along with a stop-over at the Garden Route Trail Park.
I was finally back in the Cape Town and before we knew it we were lining up for the first national marathon of the year at Meerendal Wine Estate. Ashburton Investments has come on board as a new sponsor of the series this year and there is a feeling that they have stepped up the game with a kitted out race village at Meerendal.
The ULTRA marathon was going to be an exceptionally tough long day. 106km and 2900m of ascent awaited us. The profile was jagged, and meant we were constantly going up or down without much flat roads or exceptionally long climbs.
Much of the course took in the famed trails of the Tygerberg mountain bike club’s network and I think that this was certainly right up there in one of the best courses we have done on the national marathon circuit in the last few years.
On the results side there weren’t too many fireworks for Hanco or I. We were 17th and 20th respectively. Alban Lakata won the race with Erik Kleinhans in 2nd place.
Image credit: Diana Carolin
Image credit: Zoon Cronje
New race village.
Image credit: Zoon Cronje
Over the past weekend I raced a local classic road race, the 99er. The 108km race has been on the calendar for some years now and has a tough finish to it with the ascent of Vissershok in the final 8km of the race followed by a 1km climb up Odendaal Street to finish the race.
With SA road champs on the same day one may have thought that the peloton would not be as strong as usual, this was however not the case with a host of mountain bike professionals and most notably Simon Geschke from the Giant Alpecin PRO TOUR team on the start line.
I unfortunately punctured 50km into the race and with no neutral support my race was done for the day. Geschke won the race with the Cannondale Blend duo of Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock rounding out the podium.
Our calendar is as follows:
13 – 15 February – DuToit Tankwa Trek, Ceres
21 February – Ashburton Investments Sabie National Ultra UCI, Sabie
27 February – 1 March – Garden Route 300, Knysna
8 March – Cape Town Cycle Tour (Argus), Cape Town
Come say howzit if you see us at the races!
Bike setup with my team mate and renowned bike fitter Hanco.
Cafe stop on the 7 Passes road.