Today, for a change, felt more like a road race. With attacks flying off the the front from the gun, and accelerations like a criterium, people blowing spectacularly, and a lot of confusion it had road race written all over it.
Funny enough this is actually the Argus MTB challenge I am talking about. With a star studded field containing many a big name out here finishing their pre- Epic training, things got really hot out there.
Having not ridden the Gape Escape, which had taken place over the previous days I was somewhat optimistic about my chances at winning the race, especially since I had upgraded my weaponry since last year to a dual suspension for this bumpy ride. Last year saw me lose the wheels on the first 3 riders as I couldn’t get the power down on a bumpy section near the end.
Halfway into the race I found myself on the World marathon Champion’s wheel in 3rd place in a lead bunch that was strung out over a few seconds. Suddenly we were all standing together in an over grown grass single track wondering where the route went. With the race clearly on hold for the moment we soon headed off in what we thought was the right way. Things soon hotted up again and I found myself hanging off the back of the 3 leaders bleeding through my eyeballs!
Eventually my body said “enough is enough” and I limped home to cross the line 5th behind winner Christof Sauser, Matthys Beukes, Philip Buys and Darren Lill.
The drama was not over though, as for some reason only the lead group had gone the wrong way. Erik Kleinhans (RE:CM) crossed the line as the first person to have completed the route in the correct way. The organisers very graciously decided have a double prize giving; one for the riders that went the right way, and one for the riders that did not. Even the lead motorbike went the wrong way! Anyways, neither of this changed the fact that I wasn’t on the podium! Today was a day where I think my bike out performed me, as well as my competition.
This week I’ll be focusing on resting as much as possible ahead of big one, the African Continental Championships (I bet you thought I was going to say Argus Cycle Tour didn’t you!) at Cascades in Pieteraritzburg. All hopes are on a great performance!
Keep it runner side down!