Monday, October 20, 2008

Seweweekspoort MTB Challenge

The last time I took part in the event was two years ago and I was pleasantly surprised to see how this great event has turned into such a fantastic race, attracting nearly 800 riders from all around the Southern and Western Cape. Not only has the race grown in numbers but also has some great sponsors onboard, with the faithful Ladismith Cheese Company still being the main sponsor, to MTN and Nokia who have now come on board and added a new dimension to the even, as well as many others on the day.
As usual for the Klein Karoo region, the weather on the day was near perfect, and the ride through the Seweweekspoort is a spectacular ride. If you take your time to have a look around especially when you get to the top of the Poort, the views into the Great Karoo are amazing.
Unfortunately the “racing snakes” in the front didn’t have so much time to look around but I did manage to sneak a couple of looks around the Poort. Soon after the start a small group was established at the front of the race with about six riders. Dave George and I took a few hard pulls on the front and when the time looked right, I put in a big effort to break away and claim the new “King of the Poort” prize. Soon there after I slowed down as I saw Dave riding about 30 seconds in front of the chasing group. Once he joined me we made a fast descent back through the Poort and slowly extended our lead from 30 seconds to a minute. With the chasers working together and holding the gap at a minute, we couldn’t take it easy and enjoy the final 25km, which is the same final 25km as in stage 3 of the Cape-Epic from 2007.
Through the farms Dave and I enjoyed the ride and managed to increase our gap to the finish where we fought it out in a sprint finish. Dave needs to work on his sprints! In the end it was a great day and another good one two for our team MTN who are a sponsor of the event. Thanks to Pieter and the organizers for accommodating us and having us at your super event, hope to be back next year!

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