Thursday 5 August 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 17:46 | No comments

Gansbaai MTB

A week after Dirtopia's 9-5 we trekked out to Gansbaai for another mountain bike race. It promised to be a great event - a bit of climbing, some flat fast sections, and nothing too technical.

The Routes
After her good performance at the 9-5, I thought Nelly the Niner deserved another outing, and what a good choice that turned out to be.

The 60km Profile
The start was a furious affair, and I quickly jumped across to join the leaders as we made our way to the first climb. With my lungs dragging alongside me we flew up the climb, legs burning. Just as we were about to pass out from the high pace we crested the top and had a fast crazy descent to deal with. I not only lost contact with the leaders dues to my shoddy descending skills, I also lost a bottle.

Thankfully, I was joined by Marius at the bottom of the descent and the two of us set about reeling in the guys ahead of us. We were sitting in 5th and 6th place. Nelly did a fantastic job - Marius was barely able to keep up as we made short work of the rolling hills. By the time we got to the bottom of the climb in the middle of the route, we had caught the rider in 4th place, and could see the guy in 3rd.

With a procession of little bikes behind us, Nelly and I slowing closed the gap to the rider in 3rd place as we neared the final climb of the day. By this time Marius was looking a little glazed over (perhaps the stress of asking Tania to marry him was starting to take its toll). As we started climbing, he was the first to get dropped, and I thought I might be next, as the other two guys pushed hard up the hills. My only saving grace was that the hill wasn't too steep, and I was able to grind my way up, hanging on.
Almost finished
When the next rider unexpectantly fell off, I suddenly had a chance of getting third. The two of us crested the climb together, and I promptly lost touch with the other rider (again) on the descent. The run into the finish was nice and flat - perfect for Nelly to show her true colours, and slowly but surely we managed to make up the ground we had lost on the treacherous downhill.

With two corners to go, I had sussed out a plan to win the sprint to the finish - I had to get into the first corner in first place, and then hold that place till the finish. A bit of traffic congestion played into my hands and I managed to finish in third place quite easily.

Bonte was out to defend her title from the previous year and had some tough competition from some 13 year olds, as well Tania, and managed to come second. It was Yolanda's first time on a bike in almost 4 months, and all things considered, she had a good, if not slightly slow ride, but thoroughly enjoyed it.

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