So, when somebody tells you that day 1 of Joberg2C is easy because its neatral and a warm up day, smack them. They are lieing. Its 115km, that is far on a mountain bike in anybodies books. Luckily we had a tail wind for most of the way which help me home in a time of 4hr36m, about 10 min behind the front couple teams, who were taking it easy.
The day started off at an easy pace until we hit the first steep little climb after 3km which split the field up. I started near the back but managed to make contact with the front group by the first waterpoint. The next 30 km was a steady roll through some incredible farmlands. At some points I felt very far from any civilisation.
The second amazing waterpoint was on the shores of the Vaal river where we had to jump into Dragon boats to get across to the other side. One thing I have to point out, coming from a canoeing background is that mountain bikers have bugger all timing, we were definately zig zagging our way across to the other side.
I managed to ride to the 80km mark with the front bunch when I realised I was perhaps pushing too hard. I cruised through to water point 3 at 90km which I wont lie to you, was pretty life changing. The amazing people working there were so friendly ( as with the other waterpoints), they even took my bottles from me to fill while I was chomping on a boerie roll!
The remaining 26km were lonely, but I was hearing voices, especially one saying ‘you might blow soon’. Luckily it was wrong. This me time allowed some bonding time with my Scott Scale Pro 29er, what a machine. It was my first day on a 29er and I can honestly see what the hype has been about. Better late than never I say.
Big up to the Pro’s who rode with us, or should I say mocked us with how easy they make it look.
And to the organisers, a huge thanks for inviting me along, I definitely see why this is a ‘must do’ event.
Tomorrow sees us riding from Frankfort School to the Reitz Showgrounds, a total distance of 93km with 1030m ascent and 959m decent. Word in the race village is that there is loads of singletrack, cant wait!
Click to enlarge.