Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Die Burger MTB Challenge in Stellenbosch

After the disappointment of not completing the Freedom Challenge, I set about getting back into shape. This took longer than I anticipated. After I receovered from the kindney infection, I picked up a stomach bug, which took 10 days to clear. I therefore only got into cycling on 7 July, only three weeks before Die Burger. As I have done the Attakwas and the Saronberg MTB, I received an invitation to ride in the 75 km race. Being the succer that I am, I could not resist the challenge and accepted.

The three weeks training went well with a couple of outings to Hillcrest and the rest around the Koeberg Nature Reserve. Not much hill training. I decided that I will go out and enjoy the race and ride at my own pace.

My friend Mike Smit entered for the 60 km race and we went through to Stellenbosch on Saturday morning 30 July at 06:00, as he still had to register.

The race started at 08:10 in good weather conditions. I maintained my leasurely pace and by the time I hit the beginning of Botmaskop, the front guys from the 60 km race were screaming past me. Our route was the same up to the 35 km point, where we went right towards Kanonkop. I therefore had lots of "company" up to that point. From there on it was quite a lonely ride. The ride up the "koppie" behind Warwick and Delvera farms was quite challenging, but very nice. There were about five of six of us that kept on passing and repassing one another. In the end the 75 km took me 5:26 and I finished 113 out of 122 finishers. I never felt exausted during the ride and really enjoyed it.

Now I am looking forward to the Garvel Travel on 27 August. A challenging 110 km ride around the hills of Wellington. now that is going to be a tough one!

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