100 Cycle Challenge
This year was the first running of the 100 Cycle challenge and there was a lot of excitement surrounding it as there were UCI points up for grabs.
The route was flat and the weather conditions were perfect for a fast race, and it didn’t disappoint. The race started out fast with attacks coming from the start and the race never really settled. I followed a few moves early on but because it was a relatively short race none of the moves were allowed any real freedom. I was quite lucky as well as when a move went with Reynard Butler I decided not follow and stay in the bunch. When we went into the next corner I saw BCX’s Chris Jooste going out a lot wider than anyone else and slowing down and I realised that the turn is probably worse than it looked. As we rounded the turn I saw Reynard lying on the other side of the barriers and I must admit to being glad that I didn’t follow that move. After that I followed a few more moves until we found out that we had gone the wrong way. When they turned us around the race was neutralised till we were back on course. I decided to sit in the bunch for a while as I realised that no move was likely to stick. About halfway in I decided to get a bit more active as the race slowed down a little bit (we averaged 46km/h for the first hour including the neutralised section) but again nothing stuck. A small group eventually managed to get a slight gap but they never managed to get out of sight. Eventually the move came back and the teams started setting up for a sprint. The run in to the finish was nervous as all the teams wanted a good result and the lure of UCI points that are very rare in SA put even more pressure on the teams. The team worked well to get in position for the run in to the finish as there was a short climb just before the downhill sprint which would be crucial. The bunch split on the climb but Maurice Moller and myself made it over in the front split of about 15 riders. The finish was very fast with the last kilometre averaging 66km/h and the last 500m 75km/h. because of the extremely high speeds once we crested the climb your position was pretty much the same till the finish as it was very difficult to move up at that speed. The team finished with Maurice in 7th and myself in 10th. So, to wrap up a good race by the team we managed to get 2 top ten spots and both of us got UCI points. All in all, it was a successful day by the team.