Ok, so it wasn’t quite a World Cup, but by the difficulty of the course and the quality of riders on the line, the feeling after the race has left me in a pretty similar way to how one feels like after racing one. What am I talking about? I am talking about an amazing initiative taken by the guys Bike Plus to build trails and organise an exclusive event which has allowed many riders the privilege of riding on one of the Capes’s most historical wine farms, Contstantia Uitsig. The event SOLD OUT really quickly as so many people cherished the chance to race just on their doorstep.
Over the past months Xavier Scheepers of Bike Plus has been hard at work designing a route and planning with the land owners in a bid to bring mountain biking to Uitsig farm in the form of a 3 race series: The Constantia Valley Mountain Bike Series. It essentially consisted of one 22km loop, the short distance did one lap, and the long distance two. Don’t let the short distance fool you though. There were no gifts on this course!
With a smallish area to work with, the result was an XC style course; Short steep climbs and descents, some pretty sweet purpose built singletrack, and not a flat gravel road in sight. The riders had to work hard to cover the distance, and made for a very entertaining race at the front end. Really hard! Darren Lill, Waylon Woolcock, James Reid, Nico Pfitzenmaier and I rode clear early on, and by midway on the first loop James and I managed to create a small gap off the front.
The unrelenting nature of the track meant that it was hard for riders to come back as the downhills were really technical, and the climbs incredibly tough work. Unfortunately I lost James when a slip of a gear at the 20km mark cost me 20 seconds, and try as I might I just could not close it down over the next 24km! Pure torture I tell you. I crossed the line 20 seconds behind the kid with Darren Lill a few minutes behind.
This weekend we race the same route in reverse, and I hope to reverse the finishing order too. This is perfect training for the upcoming Cape Pioneer Trek!
Keep it rubber side down,