On Friday I went with a crowd of friends to Groot Brak where we stayed over night before heading to Uniondale at 4.30am to get there in time to register for the Karoo To Coast 100K MTB Challenge. We had a lot of fun before and after the race but had agreed that during the race it was each man for himself. So at 7.30 the race kicked off and we had a fantastic ride through to Knysna, over the Prince Alfred Pass and through some truly stunning scenery.
The race itself was tough and at the 50K point I wanted to puke, but held on. I caught Pete at that point which helped motivate me through a rough patch before hitting the 65K mark at which point I got my second wind and really stepped it up. For the last 35K's I was tearing through the field desperately trying to catch Paul and in the process dropped a few other guys who I know (see results below). The last 40K's were very wet and I had to stop twice to put extra lube on the chain due to chainsuck, which was a complete pain as it slowed me down quite a bit. In the end I just couldn't catch Sholto, Paul or James which was a bit frustrating. However, Sholto started 20 minutes ahead of me with Paul and James starting 5 minutes ahead of me which was annoying. This also meant I was riding on my own so had no-one to pace with. Having said that, my stated aim before the race was to finish in the top third of the field which I achieved easily, finishing 340/1244 riders which almost took me into the top quarter so I'm quite happy with the results. I beat over 900 other riders!
All our recent training really helped, especially the hill climbing in the middle ring as we all dropped a lot of guys on the hills which is where it all really counts. Also, Despite the two week lay-off with a bad dose of Flu I coped well and felt quite strong on the bike.
Our official results are as follows:
Sholto: 4:19, 167/1244
Paul: 4:23, 192/1244
James: 4:43, 307/1244
Dean: 4:47, 340/1244
Pete: 5:17, 571/1244
Alan: 6:25, 1053/1244
Three other guys we occasionally ride with also did quite well, their times were: Petie 4:55, Paul 5:05 and Charl 5:30. Click Full Results for more details.