Today’s ride from Kamberg to Underberg was fantastic. It was however brutal, with 2000m of climbing in 93km. My body seems to have recovered from the jippo guts, making the ride today way more fun. The views of the Southern Drakensberg were spectacular today. I really need to come back and explore this area some more one day.
The stage started off at a fairly brisk pace with the first climb coming after just a couple kilometers. The front bunch exploded with a couple riders, including myself getting spat out the back. Over the next couple of kilometers we managed to regain contact with the front but not for long as the same thing happened on the second climb. I got into a great bunch of riders for the next 65km, riding over the famous Snow Top Mountain (some 1864m above sea level) and Death Valley. The views of the valleys below along these climbs were mind blowing. I managed to get away from my bunch on a technical downhill 15km from the end. Luckily I had enough in the tank to keep them at bay to finish in 22nd place for the stage and first solo rider. This takes me into 28th place on GC. Some were not so fortunate. Nic Lamond had some bike admin with his freehub seizing. Luckily he managed to keep going after borrowing Gerald de Kock’s bike.
The race village and catering here at Hazeldean is top notch, really looking forward to chilling on the manicured lawn for the rest of the day. There are incredible views of Hodgson’s Peaks and the majestic Giants Cup from our tents!
At the front of the race it was Dave George and Kevin Evans (Team 360Life) who extender their lead by 3 minutes over Waylon Woolcock and Neil MacDonald (RE-CM), winning in a time of 3hrs 17min. In third was Dave Morrison and Louis Bressler Knipe. Top Contenders Brandon Stewart and Jacques Rossouw suffered some misfortune with Jacques struggling with the dreaded race village jippo guts. I am sure he will bounce back over the next two days.
Day 7 sees me on familiar ground (Sani day1), 86km from Hazeldean Farm to Mackenzie Club, a total of 1110m climbing. Pretty much downhill from here! Well, sort of…
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