Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nissan Down and Dirty MTB Series race report

It is not often that everything just seems to go right in a race and you feel invincible. Well this was the race that will go down in history, where Richard Dawkins rode faster than his mates and stayed on his bike the whole race.
The race started at Cornwall College in Irene just outside Pretoria and then headed under the R21highway towards the Eastrand (some parts Greg and me had the privilege of exploring the Sunday before). There were one or two hills that got the heart beat up in the first half of the 70km route, but fortunately our few excursions to Suikerbosrand had helped me not to be scared of hills (I passed a twitter legend @MTBBarbie_44 on one of these hills and introduced myself while riding past).  

At the 40km water point, to my surprise I caught up with Greg (he had started 5 minutes ahead of me in group D seeding with Clint). I was good to ride with him most of the way back to the finish, all the races we have entered before, I haven't even come close to him. I was averaging over 20km/h, which for a race I had not done before (in about 700m of climbing). I felt good and could have carried on, but unfortunately at 60km, we met up with the 20 and 40km riders and this was very hazardous trying to pass them on the single track next to the highway etc. The final single track near the river at the end was also a big disappointment (not because I had to walk over the bridges) everyone was off their bikes and there was a big bottleneck at the river crossings. We wasted at least 15minutes here. Last little hill back to the College was no problem - it was so cool to pass some of the slower riders (didn't think I would ever say that, as I am usually the one being passed). I also managed to finish ahead of racing snake legend - Clint which was also a big surprise (he had mechanicals but I will take the win anyway).

After the race it was awesome to meet some of my twitter mates @hopeleighm @gmyburgh and had a beer with @clintcosgrave, @jacquescoe etc. Really chuffed with my time - moving average time (less the stops for the bottlenecks) was 3:27 - an hour faster than my last Nissan race at Hazeldean.

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