With Sani2c just day away I had to keep my head high and head into battle at the biggest mountain bike stage race in the country, if not the world. The racing was hot as expected, as some of the best riders in the country were on the grid.
The first stage didn’t start well and I was on the back foot with cramping earlier on than I would have liked. The second stage encompassed the famous descent into the Umkomas valley and I was keen to amends following a disappointing first day. The famous descent lived up to expectations and the legs were better but unforeseen tyre issues plagued Andrew. It was the luck of the draw and we salvaged what we could to fit again the final stage. Again we were ready to fight, and fight we did until Andrew unluckily cut a tyre 30km from the finish.
The form felt good after Sani and I headed off to the AMARIDER 100 Miler in Malmesbury for another weekend of racing. I had by super backup team in Ash’s parents on hand to help. 164km is after all a long way and a solid nutrition strategy, as well as mechanical back up is always key. Fortunately the dreaded black mechanical bag (the bag where all the tools and spares are kept) didn’t need to be brought out. On the nutrition side I had an array of first class PowerBar drinks, bars and gels on hand to get me through the day.
The 100 Miler is a race I’ve wanted to win for some time and I was happy to finally get it right. To win a targeted race is a great feeling to tick it off the list.
With the confidence back after another win, I packed my bags and climbed aboard the big bird and headed off to PE for my first go at the PWC Great Zuurberg Trek. I had again teamed up with Andrew and we were looking to improve on our last outing. We finished the first stage in 2nd place a minute and some change off Kevin Evans and Pieter Seyffert. From here it was up to us to make back the deficit and it afforded Kevin and Pieter the luxury of forcing us to push the pace. In doing so we managed to take the second stage, but we were unable to close the gap.
The final stage was a more technical stage encompassing the famed Hayterdale trails, we went out guns blazing in order to try and put our counterparts under pressure. Whilst we did initially manage to get a gap they showed panache in riding back to us. Ultimately it came down to a sprint again which we managed to win. Kevin and Pieter won the overall.
It has been a busy few weeks. There have been disappointments but I feel that the successes have outweighed these and I am pleased with how these have panned out. This weekend it’s a weekend at home to relax a bit before the preparation for further events.