The MTN Sabie will be the first race of Rossouw’s second comeback.
Rossouw demonstrated how important it is for him to give a good account of himself at Sabie by flying out to Namibia to do some high altitude training with his coach, Mannie Heymans, starting this week.
Training with Heymans may prove to be the proverbial ace up Rossouw’s sleeve because Heymans won the Sabie race no less than seven times.
After taking the wrong turn in 2011 not even a problematic chain could stop Jacques “Big Blade” Rossouw from winning the past weekend’s Die Burger MTB Challenge over 75km in Stellenbosch.
He was joined on the podium by Ruan du Toit and Renay Groustra who was second and third respectively.
Charles Keey (Team Blend Property Group) added his name to the impressive list of riders that won the RE:CM 100Miler when on Saturday he crossed the finish line in first place after a grueling 160km.
Keey’s winning time was 5 hours, 55 minutes and 58 seconds. The times were a bit slower than previous years and not only because of the wet and muddy conditions, but also because the organisers added a singletrack section 2km from the finish.
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.
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.
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.
Today’s 95km saw us riding through some incredible parts of the Free State, parts that you would never see unless you ride this race. Long district roads separated by some great single track was the order of the day. A chilly mass start saw us following a huge Massey Ferguson tractor for a couple kilometers until the racing started. It was fast and frantic, not even two cows stampeding across the road could slow the bunch down.
Last year’s surprise winners Neil MacDonald and Waylon Woolcock will be out to silence their critics at the Old Mutual joBerg2c mountain bike race, which starts at Heidelberg in Gauteng on Friday.
The former road cyclists are determined to prove that their victory in the second edition of South Africa’s longest paired stage race was no flash in the pan.
This year, the Team RE-CM riders will be up against a formidable field that includes the likes of Kevin Evans and David George (Nedbank 360Life), Brandon Stewart and Jacques Rossouw (FedGroup Itec-Connect) as well as Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell (Transact).