There was some nervous energy around the breakfast tables this morning, with 125km looming ahead making day 3 the longest day distance wise of the entire JoBerg2c. And to make things a little worse, it was freezing in Reitz, proper freezing. Another mass start again saw us following a huge Massey Ferguson tractor for a 8km’s of neutral riding until the racing started. I had made a conscious decision to start slower and have a fairly chilled day.
And that I did. The pace and front bunch exploded on the first climb of the day, “Leeu Heuwel”. There are real lions at the top of the climb, hence the frenetic pace! I just kept a super steady pace, hoping not to come across any hungry lions. By the first water point I had caught the leading ladies and stayed with them until roughly the 110km mark when the photo opportunities were just too good. I stopped a couple times, taking in the scenery and enjoying some chilled time. In the end I came home in 39th position in 5hr 07min.
Generally the route way pretty bumpy, with plenty of riders, including me, complaining of blisters on their hands. However, the views of the mountains we are going to be traversing in the coming day really made it worthwhile.
The lowlight of the day for me was choking on a mixture of potato and koeksister (read cement potato) leaving water point 2. It took me about 30 minutes to clear it, no matter how hard I coughed or how much i drank it just sat there. The highlight for me was the view of Sterfontein dam, roughly 115 km into the day. It truly is a huge expanse of water in a desert like environment, beautiful.
At the front of the field there was a rerun of yesterdays results. Dave George and Kevin Evans from Team 360Life finished in 4hrs 21min, followed home by Brandon Stewart and Jacques Rossouw (FedGroup Itec-Connect) 38 seconds later, with defending champions Waylon Woolcock and Neil MacDonald (RE-CM) coming home in third. Woolcock and MacDonald had second place secured until bad luck struck just before the finish line, twisting their chain.
Day 4 sees us leaving the Free Sate for Winterton in Natal, a total distance of 116km with 1317m of ascent and 1947m descent, WHOOP WHOOP! I think this is going to be the longest stage time wise, better rest up.
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