This is probably Cape Town’s first proper Cat1 Race, so it was always going to be tough and would attract some Pro riders into the mix. The course was mostly fast, a few rollers in the middle and two killer hills as a sting in the tail. We’d have to save our men with climbing legs and set them up to do the business in the last few kilometers.
The weather was chilly and cool. not really much wind but it did pick up a little later in the morning. The start was fast paced with twists and turns through the Durbanville suburbs before getting spat out into the wide open roads towards the R44. The front end was pacing it with some early moves all being covered, serving only to rudely awaken the pack and string them out into one long line. into Phesantekraal we were back to a sustainable pace and the group swelled to fill the road.
The early rollers came and went and only when we hit Voorpaardeberg road did the fireworks start for real. i was boxed in, trying to move into some space on the right but every wheel that slid by just brought another to encase me. I saw it happen, Kevin Evans moved up into position and Laister Davies took notice and as Kevin went so did Alister, I couldn’t follow and no-one else gave chase. it was early days still right? Wrong.
One world class rider up the road is enough to be a threat over any distance and I got to the front and gave chase as soon as I could, there was already a 20 or more second gap and growing. Jos came to help and we rotated efforts until the Grand Prix hill just before the T-junction. I rode a hard but controlled pace up the hill, staying in touch but not killing myself. Over the top I rolled into the front of the pack again on the descent and resumed the grind. We could not let up for a minute or their gap would double and we’d have to ride even longer, or not catch at all.
Rob joined us on the Front and Jos faded, actually picking up a flat and having to ride back into the bunch, we rolled in a two man TT for 10km until the turnoff left back towards Durbanville. Our breakaways were still in sight and we continued into the headwind. I went back into the peloton and urged other teams to put a man on front to help bring the break back, a short while later CTM and GT maties had 2 riders each on front and that made a 6 man chase on front, with Daikin playing sheepdog on the back wheel.
This was the order for most of the day, some riders faded on front and others carried on, I rolled hard on the flats and downhills and took it easy on the climbs. At the left turn onto Old Malmesbury road BothersSport sent three men up the road, we quickly remerged as the pace hotted up again. on this road it is difficult to hold a wheel as it’s very rough and the false flats and drags take it out of you. I sat in and looked after my climbers here a bit, making sure they weren’t too exposed. Once we were over the worst of it I got a second wind and hit the front again upping the pace, I knew if Kevin had any sort of advantage into Vissershok it would be all over. Past Zone 7 MX we were hot on their heels and closing fast, the wide open N7 with it’s drop downhill was the last spark we needed to finally close in and we caught the two just after the left turn.
We stayed alert for counter attacks for a little while on and once satisfied with our position our Jobs were done. Rob and I sat up to rest for the following days racing and left it up to Carl and Ed.
Since I was not in sight of what unfolded I can recount my teammates experience, over the first roller to Vissers, the pace cracked up again and the first test thinned the group, then they hit Vissers and Lill, and Kriek and Carl went over in front, with Ed and David George just behind, but as david sat up a bit on Vissers he slowed Ed down too. Up the last climb Kriek took the sprint from Lill and Carl Third! So Close!
Well done again to a superb team effort.