Wow, what an amazing day of riding, one I will not forget for a long time. It was tough, no doubt, 122 km with 2000m of climbing, this after 125 km yesterday. This morning saw some weary riders lining up for what was going to be the longest day of this years Joberg2C. Another mass start in a chilly 7 degrees behind the Massey Ferguson tractor saw us riding 3-4km of neutral zone before the racing started.
The first 40km of the stage can only be described as mind blowing. Starting at the Sterkfontein dam in the Free Sate, we headed down some breathtaking passes into KZN. There was never ending single track, drops, jumps, climbs and crossings. I decided to start fairly quickly to try get into the single track up to the escarpment near the front. Nic Lamond and I were together as we crossed the border into KZN with a great gap in front and behind of us, meaning we could jam down the incredible trail into the valley. It was quite possible the best single track that I have ridden, and at serious pace, whoop whoop.
We entered the first water point at 44km well inside the top 20 after the decent. I cruised on at a gentle pace, ticking off the kilometers until about 80km’s when the wheels started to fall off. Let me tell you, 45km’s on bumpy trails and steep climbs is a long way to ride when you are broken and by yourself. The long concrete climb up Spionkop was particularly tear jerking. I ended up finishing in 6hr 01min, and in 30th place.
At the sharp end of the field it was Brandon Stewart and Jacques Rossouw (FedGroup Itec-Connect) who won a sprint finish in a time of 4hr 41 min, followed home by Dave George and Kevin Evans from Team 360Life 1 second later, with defending champions Waylon Woolcock and Neil MacDonald (RE-CM) coming home in third.
Day 5 sees us riding 102km to Kamberg with a total ascent of 1625m, its gonna hurt after the last two days.
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