Tuesday 11 September 2007

Posted by Velouria Posted on 12:26 | 3 comments

We have a winner!

Can you believe it - I won a race. And I am not talking about winning a race just because the other guy's bum wore out after 21 hours of riding. No - I won a race because I was able to ride away from the competition.

Just to clarify - most of the competition weren't at this race, leaving the competition to be two guys from Hermanus, and Craig, my Epic partner with the freshly broken (and almost healed) neck. But I still rode away from them.

The initial plan had been to do this race with Craig as a team, as it covers part of next year's Epic route. I didn't really feel like racing, and was quite prepared for a nice outing in the Stanford country side.

We set off at a reasonable pace, and I quickly tucked into 3rd position behind the Hermanus representatives. I was going to ride on their wheels, and maybe out sprint them towards the end. Craig was right behind me. Very quickly, the Hermanus representation halved, and suddenly Craig and I had the upper hand. I was feeling good, so after about 20 minutes of riding I went to the front and set the pace, with Craig hoping into 3rd place. As the road went up, I still felt good, and didn't mind setting the pace, but I could feel the Hermanus rider right behind me. On a short downhill, the Hermanus rider left both of us for dead, and I realised that if we wanted to get beat him, we would have to make him hurt on the hills.

On the next bit of steep grassy up hill I put in a hard effort, and immediately a gap opened up. I eased off a little to let Craig get across to me, and then carried on pushing hard. (All the while, scenes from various Tour de France's were flashing through my head - all I needed to do was give the Lance "Look").

Craig and I then rode on, getting to the bottom of the big climb together. Craig was not supposed to be racing, so he was going to take it easy from here on - we still had about 2 hours of racing left. I kept on going - I was feeling great, and the hill was my kind of climb - not too steep, and very loooong.

I had a motorbike marshal for company - and he would give me updates on where I was, where Craig was, what lay ahead etc. I did want to kill him when he pointed to a hill and said the small climb ahead was all that remained. It was like a mountain, and damn steep. I had to walk sections!

Although I couldn't see anyone behind me, I wasn't going to take any chances, and so I pushed on to the end - and equaled the course record in the process, with Craig coming in in second place - 10 minutes later.

What a great little ride - well laid out, well marked, very scenic and a lovely prize of a weekend away in a cottage in the area. Just a pity the race wasn't better attended (but then I probably wouldn't have won!)

I have agreed to let Craig win the next one - and he has agreed to make a real race of it!


  1. "LET CRAIG GET ACROSS TO ME...." !!!! *&%^$# Thanks dude !

  2. Hehe - It is my story and I can tell it anyway I want :)

    (The truth is that my heart rate was sitting at 187 at I was about to explode!)

  3. Well either way congrats dude! Another title to add to your palmares ;-)