Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Posted by Velouria Posted on 13:51 | No comments

Fun rides

The last two rides of the season have come and gone, and after the Double Century, no one really wanted to be racing anyway.

First up was the Burger. A great ride - well organised, a "nice" route, and great weather. I chose to ride in the Sub Vets (I was still a little worried after the implosion at the DC), but really shouldn't have been. The race started off by taking us up the old Helshoogte pass. That was great, and before we knew it we were at the top - I love those sort of hills. I got over the top in the first bunch of about 10 riders, but on the downhill on the other side, most people were able to rejoin the bunch (everyone except Tim - don't know where he went - he was looking good up the climb - well placed in the bunch one minute, and the next minute he was nowhere to be seen.)

From there on in it was a cruise through Pniel, past the prison, round some back roads in Paarl, and finally on our way to Wellington. After we had crossed a massive trench in the road on the way out of Wellington, the racing started. With every acceleration we lost a couple of riders, and the bunch got a little smaller. I was feeling good, and even took a few turns on the front to try to close a gap to two adventurous riders who went on the attack with about 30 kms to go. The big move came on the hill outside Liefland wine farm on the R44, and I was able to stay with the leaders, closing the gaps as they opened. About 7 of us got away, and we desperately tried to open the gap on the rest. On the next hill, 5 of us got clear at the front, when another attack came in, leaving two riders off the front. Several chase riders joined us, and we slowly closed the gap to the leaders with about 5kms to go, all the while the chasing riders were rejoining the bunch.

It came down to a bunch sprint, and I watched it all from the safety of the back of the bunch - happy with my time of 2:38.

The top of Helshoogte


The Maverick tandem at the top of Helshoogte


The last race of the season was the Tour de Winelands. I was not supposed to do this ride, but I had had such a terrible ride the year before I felt I had unfinished business.

A and B started together, and it was clear to see that this wasn't going to be a fun ride. The A boys were out to prove a point, and the surges kept coming. I hung on to the back of the bunch for the first half of the race while I waited for my legs to get going. We had ridden to the start of the race in Brackenfell, and so my legs were feeling a little lazy.

On the AgterPaarl road the moves began to happen, and I was quite comfortable keeping up with the surges. A few gaps opened up thanks to some Club100 riders, and I found myself in a 4 man group about 30 meters behind the lead bunch of about 12 riders. We chased for about 12 kms, before I decided that we were getting nowhere and decided to wait for the chase group. When the chase group did eventually arrive, it was rather pedestrian, and there was no way we were going to catch anything. I took some long hard turns on the front, and couple other riders helped out. I really was quite impressed at how my legs were coping. The run in to the finish was over a couple hills, and I was able to easily stay with the leaders of the chase group. It always amazes me how people jump out of the woodwork when the finish comes into sight. For 40kms 3 or 4 people had shared the work on the front, and suddenly there were 25 people racing for 12th spot. I just sat up and watched...

Just chilling at the back of the bunch (along with Marius)


Cobus and "friend" riding in the lower groups


Now it is the Jail Break to come, and lots and lots of Epic training.
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