This past weekend saw the 3rd round of the WP XCO series taking part on Paul Cluver farm in Grabouw. The course was especially build for the race and by all accounts leading up to the event it was going to be the best course of the series so far.
Unfortunately the rain made things a bit miserable. There was mud, and alot of it. Some people hate it, others love it, I am somewhere in between. I think it makes the racing interesting, you can be strong but you have to know how to handle a bike to get it around the course. The lap consisted of roughly 80% single track, perfect!
I raced in the SubVets category which was shortened from 5 laps to 4 due to the conditions. After the first brutal climb, affectionately known as ‘Heartrate Hill’ I entered the forest single track in 5th position. I managed to get into third position behind Neil Bradford and Jan Schutte by staying on my bike through some of the uphill corners and some quick portaging. I got passed Jan half way through lap 1 and that’s the way is stayed until the end. Neil Bradford was in a class of his own winning the Vets while I took the SubVets race with Tim Osrin in 2nd and Jan Schutte in 3rd.
There was also a great race in the Single Speed class. I have no idea how those guys got around the muddy lap with only one gear but the times were impressive with Daniel from iRideAfrica showing his skills again and winning comfortably.
In the Elites race it was Conrad Stoltz, more renowned for being multiple Xterra World Champ who powered through the laps winning ahead of Oliver Munnik who had a solid ride.
A huge thanks goes out to Mitzi Knipe and the Makadas crew for braving the cold weather on Saturday while riders registered and practiced and then again on Sunday for race day . It was a great weekend of riding and your hard work is much appreciated.
More photos can be found here.
Photos courtesy Dave Mackay