Showing some good form and getting my first race win in the Western Cape

Just a week ago I was at the SA XCO Champs that left me feeling very disappointed when I had a bad day with now power and legs.  Leading up to the race I was feeling so good.  Riding the track the Wednesday before the race, my lap times were spot on for a very good race.  Come race day and I could not even get close to my practice time.  I was going nowhere and decided to pull off.  It was a bummer for me but I was set to race again the next week so all focus was on my next race.

It would be my first attempt at the Stellenbosch MTB Challenge ( previously know as Die Burger MTB Challenge).  It is one of the really big MTB events in South Africa with about 5 000 riders on the day. I was looking forward to race a pretty tough one with lots of trail riding and a solid 1950 m ascent over the 75 km race distance.

The Race

It was a chilly morning but not that bad and pretty good for racing. Not all of the fast racers were at this event. I was feeling good and motivated to have a good one after the previous weekend’s bad luck. From early on in the race I set a hard pace and soon it was only two of us in the front – Robert Hobson and me.

Race pic by Chris Hitchkock

There was quite a lot of climbing and I kept a good tempo keeping something in reserve to make sure I could keep the pace till the end.  With about 20 km to go Robert dropped of and I kept the pace constant to the finish winning by 5 minutes. Jurgens Uys was the 3rd rider home.

It was a really good feeling to stand on the top step, especially after a pretty disastrous previous weekend!

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