Back to back racing this weekend and it was a nice tester to see how a road stage race might turn out, um… I wasn’t very happy but it was good training! Here’s what happened.
The 3 Passes funride was 77km and headed up Ou Kaapse Weg right off the bat. I was hoping the 99er would take some sting out of the sharp end but I wasn’t pleasantly surprised. David George had turned up and the Daiken boys were darting off the front from the gun. This wasnt going to be nice…
Up OKW the pace was fast, the bunch was split on the first section DG turning it up and taking 5 guys with him, then the second bunch with me hanging in for deal life. I lost a few meters and was in a steady rythym but it wasnt fast enough. I got out of the saddle half way up the long face and closed in on the bigger pack and made it back to the wheels, just in time for someone on the front to put in a standing effort and blow me off again 😦
I followed the pack round the top but lost too much ground to make up on the flatter top section and they disappeared around the corner. I thought my luck had changed when I caught a tandem on the bend and sat in all the way down to Silvermine road. I took the wind up the hill and urged the tandem pair on, so I could use them on the way down the remaining hill…
I caught up a lot but not enough and shot off the front of the tandem and gave chase all the way down Kommetjie road but I could only watch as the gap grew.
I rode up Slangkop alone and slower after my 8km solo, and was thankfully joined at the summit by Daniel S of cycle lab. He had a determined look on his face and without a word we shared the work trying to get back in touch. The leading group had now completely vanished and we chased time. Just after Red Hill Triangle we caught two more Elites and only one had the strength to join us. Ian M, Daniel and I took turns and worked our strengths to avoid being caught by the chasing B group, containing Luke (who would undoubtedly be driving the pace) and a few more Club100 SV riders.
We got round the point and up Boyes drive together and at this point Daniel faded, he could hang in but could do no more in front, Ian and I took turns for the rest of the ride and we rolled over the line together uncontested in 2:05:19 in 15th place.
We had done enough to stay clear of the charging bus (Luke) and they finished 40secs adrift.
It was a hard days work, turned out to be a good training ride and solidly smashed my legs for days to come.