Kevin Evans and David George (Nedbank360Life) will give new meaning to the words “rush job” on Saturday (13 October) when they are competing in the MTN Ride Crater Cruise National MTB ultra-marathon (106km) in and around Parys.
Actually the words of one of the songs from the classic musicals, My Fair Lady, come to mind – “Get me to the church on time…” But in their case the big rush has nothing to do with a wedding. Barely 24 hours after finishing the Ride Crater Cruise Evans and George will start the prologue of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek Mountain Bike Tour just outside Oudtshoorn.
That is why this weekend is going to be a race against the clock in more ways than one.
To ease matters somewhat Evans convinced a friend of his to fly them down to Plettenberg Bay on Saturday afternoon in his Cesna210.
“We will be saving a lot of time flying down in a private plane. Hopefully we will be in time to attend the Cape Pioneer Trek’s dinner on Saturday night.”
Some might argue why go through all this trouble and rush? Would it not have been easier to compete in just one of these events?
“The MTN Ride Crater Cruise is one of my absolute favourite events on the local calendar as is the Cape Pioneer Trek that is why I am prepared to go the proverbial extra mile to support both races.” It should be mentioned that Evans has a proud history when it comes to racing the MTN Ride Crater Cruise.
He became the first rider last year to win it three years in succession. He can also boast with a second and third place. When asked whether if he feels under pressure to make it four in a row, Evans answer was an emphatic no.
“Last year I had to pressure to win it a third time, but not now. “All that matters is that the title stays within the Nedbank360life team. So if David or James (Reid) wins I will still be happy.”
Evans is not too worried about the fact that David and he competed over the past weekend at the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championship in Ornans, France. “The World Championship was tough but was not physically that demanding as it could have been. “The important thing is just to get over the travelling and to settle down.”
Max Knox (Specialized) who insured with his victory at the MTN Hilton Dirt Festival that he is the overall winner of the MTN series opted not to race in Parys.
How does this affect the race?
“It certainly changes our racing strategy completely but I don’t want to take anything away from the other riders. “The biggest mistake anybody can make is to write one’s rivals off.
“It is going to be a hard race. As far as I am concerned Ben-Melt Swanepoel (Merida/Squirt), Nico Bell and Gawie Combrink (Westvaal Columbia) and Brandon Stewart ((Fedgroup-Itec) are all capable of winning.”
What is the secret to winning the Crater Cruise?
“The Ride Crater Cruise is a deceivingly hard race. A lot of riders make the mistake to kind of underestimate it. You then land up racing the route and not your rivals. It is a given that you are going to take some strain during the race that is why it helps having teammates.
“As Nedbank360Life we got the advantage that anyone of us can go out and make the racing hard while one of us saves his legs for when it matters.”