Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holidays over:(

So the holidays for me are over before they start! A month flew by in which I did nothing other than spend quality time with the family, do some proper baby-sitting and played about a hundred rounds of golf with my old school mates.
However the break is over and the training has begun already. Next year is looking full up already but with some exciting changes happening in the team. The most interseting is the new bikes we will be using for next year, Volcon Mounatin bikes and Eddy Merckx road bikes, all equipped with the latest Sram components, DT Swiss wheels and suspension for the mountain bikes.
But for now it's time to focus on the base phase of my training, and most guys know the legendry rides from Plett over December, are all welcome to join in. I've just got to get use to the 4:45am wake up call for now.
Will update with pics of the bikes and kit as soon as we have them..

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Addo Mondi MTB Challenge


The Addo Mondi Mountain Bike Challenge took place on Sunday out near the Addo Reserve.
With nearly 800 riders over the three distances, it was great to see a growth in the event from last year. For me especially, it's always great to race in the Eastern Cape as this is where I first started to compete on mountain bikes.
The 85km route is extremely challenging. It starts with undulating jeep tracks through the citrus farms, and makes its way towards the Zuurberg Pass. It was on the steep climbs going up to Zuurberg that Phillip Buys(Garmin) and myself had ridden away from the rest of the field, and our duel would begin here. We had a mean sprint, again, for the King of the Mountain, which had to go down to a photo finish. Having ridden the same course now three times in 12months, I knew the hectic descend that was awaiting us down the horse trail, a five kilometere switchback pass that most would struggle to walk down. Phillip used his superb skills here to take nearly two minutes out of me, making me really have to work on the climbs once out of this section. I definitely favor control for speed and could not match his technical skills.
It took me about 10km after the horse trail to reel him back in, and then I tried my own card at softening him up. I had a few repeated attacks, of which he was able to follow all of them. The legs were clearly not firing as they had the previous week. Once again, as last years event, it was coming down to a sprint finish on the Addo Polo fields. Always a tough sprint on grass, and although on the photo, we lead it out together, he managed to get the better of me by the line and take a well deserved win.
Provisional results:
1st Phillip Buys (Garmin)
2nd Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade)
3rd Charles Keey (Cosmetek)
That race sums up my season, now I'm officially off until December when the base training and preperation begins for an exciting 2010 season. 16 race wins, 9 2nd place finishes and 3 3rd's plus my highlight being an 8th place finish at the World Championships, what a great season I had this year. Hope to be able to repeat it next year!
Watch this space for some exciting news coming soon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Telkom Satellite Challenge MTB

So Sunday it was back to the Telkom Satellite station for the mountain bike race of the event. I was not expecting too much from the event, and was surprised to see the number of riders who turned out to support the event. And once the event got underway, it was easy to see why it’s so popular! Fantastic organization, amazing routes, good markings and great weather!
The route left the satellite station and the riders headed off for two laps in the 60km distance, all in a private nature reserve. Soon we were racing amongst zebra, giraffe, antelope, wildebeest and even a cobra!
A small group had formed after the first climb, Phillip Buys (Garmin), setting the pace, Andrew Mclean and Jock Green (Toyota Cyclelab), Adrien Niyonshuti and myself (MTN/Energade).
Not only was Phillip setting the pace on the climbs, but on the technical descends and single track sections I had my work cut out for me following him. The other guys would be dropped here, but would always fight their way back. This however would slowly tire the guys out, and as we started our second lap, it had taken its toll and only Adrien and I were left with Phillip.
The rocky and rough route meant you had to concentrate the whole time and fortunately none of us had any punctures or mechanical problems. The final 15km was taking its toll on me, plus my effort from the previous day, and I only had enough legs to follow, but couldn’t try ride away from Phillip. However on the final climb, Phillip attacked and I was on the rivet as I dug deep to stay on his wheel. Adrien had been ridden off here, but he managed to keep his tempo steady and rode back to us in the final 6km.
I had already made my mind up that I would have to gamble it on the sprint.
As we got onto the tar road, with about 400m to the finish, I was on Phillips wheel and was going to leave the sprint for as late as possible. All of a sudden Phillip opened it up and got two bike lengths on me and the sprint had begun. I managed to just get into his slip, and he may have misjudged it by literally half a meter as I was only just able to put a wheel in front of him on the line!
So close for Phillip, but the win gave me a rare satellite double victory and a really great way to end my season as I head into a 4 week break now! Adrien rode superbly well after also having a hard road race the day before to take third place, whilst Jock Green took 4th, and Andrew Mclean 5th. Justice Makhale managed 6th so great to see him already progressing in the team already.
Provisional results:
1st Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade)
2nd Phillip Buys (Garmin)
3rd Adrien Niyonshuti)
4th Jock Green (Toyota Cyclelab)
5th Andrew Mclean (Toyota Cyclelab)
6th Justice Makhale (MTN/Energade)

Telkom Satellite Challenge

The next race in the Alphapharm Series took place at the Telkom Satellite station and is a race which for a change suits the pure climbers, provided you can stay away to the finish. The classic route does a big lap around the Hartebeespoort Dam, then heads up the Hekpoort climb, and finishes about 10km further up at the Telkom Satellite station.
The team had taken the time to recce the route properly the previous few days, and we had a definite plan going into the race. Problem with plans is they sometime change and have to adapt as the race unfolds.
The start was really fast, making for some record times for the race. The bunch stayed together for most of the first half, despite some riders trying to get a gap, knowing that Hekpoort would be a decisive part in the race. Eventually around the dam there was a break of escapees that got away, containing Cristoff van Heerden (MTN/Energade), Neil Mcdonald (Medscheme), Jeremy Martens (House of paint), Nolan Hofman (Neotel) and a Minolta rider. The gap was hovering around the 25second mark until a big crash took out most of the bunch!
I was fortunate enough to be able to dodge the crash, but many others weren’t, including Ian Mcleod, who had broken his shoe and would need it to be taped together. Juan van Heerden had to have three wheel changes in the chaos and whilst all this was going on, the gap of the breakaway quickly went up to about 90seconds.
We decided we couldn’t let Jeremy Maartens get to Hekpoort in the break, and decided to put some riders on the front to chase. However we weren’t the only team who was not happy with the situation, Toyota/Supercycling and Medscheme all committed riders on the front to pull the break back.
Once we turned right and headed to the base of Hekpoort, the boys in yellow took control as planned and put the pressure onto the bunch, stringing the guys out already before we hit the actual climb. The breakaway was caught here and the guys were setting it up for Ian and myself perfectly as we went into the foot of the climb. It was Jeremy Martens who then launched a big attack at the bottom coming off our train. Jacque Janse van Rensburg (DCM) was next to go, and I used Waylon Woolcock (Medscheme) who was trying to get across to the two guys. Eventually I bridged the gap myself with Ian, as the guys had gone too early. Halfway up Ian attacked and Johan Rabie (Neotel) followed him. They had a good gap on the small group that was making there way up the climb. Just before the king of the mountain, I bridged the gap to the two riders. Hanco Kagelhofer managed to ride across too, and as he joined us, I put in another attack to see who had something left. Johan Rabie managed to come with me, but it was over for Hanco who couldn’t roll through with Ian, who then sat up allowing us to get a gap. Rabie and I worked well together and with 10km remaining, we had a 25second gap to work with. Mean time a sizable gap had formed that was now chasing us. Rabie and I continued to ride at a hard tempo and we still had 20seconds as we began the final drag before the dive down to the finish.
Thanks to the time spent training this part with the team, I knew to wait for as late as possible before trying my move. Literally with about 30meters before going over the top, I attacked with everything I had left and at first it looked like Rabie was holding onto my wheel, but as I continued, a bike length opened up and as I crested the top I had about 5 bike lengths. From there it was head down for the final fast 900m with only a tight left hand turn into the finish for me to claim my first road win for the season and a great result for our team MTN/Energade. Johan Rabie (Neotel) taking second and Arran Brown (Medscheme) finishing 3rd.
It was an amazing team effort and the boys in yellow were really happy with our performance. All that remained for me was to recover and rest up to tackle the mountain bike challenge the following day!
Provisional results:
Elite men
1st Kevin Evans - MTN
2nd Johann Rabie - Neotel
3rd Arran Brown - Medscheme
4th Dennis van Niekerk - Konica Minolta
5th Roger Beuchat - Neotel

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Amashova


Raced the MTN Amashova last weekend in the rain. Check the pic, trust the mountainbiker not to be afraid of the line in the road!
Race went ok, despite not feeling well, especially the day before when I had to pull out of the mountain bike race, I managed to do my bit for the team. Christoff managed a third place for the team in a scary fast bunch sprint, whilst Ian came close in the final 2km to staying away.
This weekend I'll race my last two races for 2009 and the team, The Telkom Satelite Challenge, road race on Saturday, mountainbike race on Sunday. Then a few more days in Jozi, till the launch of the Cape-Epic route 2010, then home at last for the rest of the year. Think I might need to get back into my shop and do some real work!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ridemag Crater Cruise


Otherwise known as “The dirty dash for cash”, the Crater Cruise has always been a popular event in which riders from all disciplines come to compete for the biggest payout in mountain biking for the year. This year was no different and along with the usual offroad teams, Neotel, Medscheme and Konica all had riders there to compete for the overall title.
The race began with a 5km neutral zone, and once over the Vaal River, it was race on. The roadies like to go hard on the tar and the first hotspot comes before the tar turns to gravel. The first 30km is fairly straight forward, the corrugations were as bad as ever, and the early sections of jeep track helps to thin the big group out a bit. I was planning on saving all my energy for the end of the race, as I’ve learnt with experience in this race that it boils down to elimination. The road up to the King of the mountain is not actually much of a mountain but the speed up there was fast and the pace hard. I was feeling good and decided to have a small dig here. I rolled over the King in second position and when I saw the bunch splitting and in a single line, I rode a hard tempo all the way up the concrete track to hurt the bunch a little deeper. Strong winds on the day made the race even harder, and I could see guys were on the ropes already, and we hadn’t even got to the hard climb yet! I followed Garmin’s Phillip Buys up the steep rocky climb and once down the other side, the only other riders to have made it through this split were Marc Bass(Garmin), Rodger Beuchat(Neotel), Jacques Janse Van Rensburg(DCM), Phillip and myself. I told the guys to roll together as the same break worked the previous year, the gap too big for any other riders or groups to cross.
The only real confusement happened at the halfway mark, where Jacques had taken on bottles, contrary to the pre-race briefing. However after I spoke to the organizers the day before the race, feeding was permitted at the feed zones, but vehicles were not allowed on the route. I think the fact that he had a assistance from the motorbike and took bottles from it, that was following on the course would eventually lead to his disqualification. This was very disappointing as I don’t think it would have changed the result at the end, however these rules will need to be clarified prior to a pre-race briefing in future.
As the race drew on, it started to take its toll, Marc Bass was the first to be eliminated as I bridged a gap to Rodger who was looking good but would soon pay the price for his efforts earlier on. Once we were back onto the district roads, with about 20km to go, I put in a big tempo effort in the same place I have in the past. Only Jacques was able to get onto my wheel, the other two riders trying not to loose us. Once we started to roll through together, it was over for the other two guys though. As we turned under the tar road, I pushed another hard tempo effort and soon had a gap as I passed the final water point. Only 12km remained between myself and winning the race I’ve tried so hard to win in the past. The final 12km was obviously tough, the rough route combined with strong winds from the side and front, as well as an extra 2km at the end took its toll on everyone, including myself. I was going as hard as I could but was never sure if it would be enough, constantly checking over my shoulder for other riders. Only once I reached the bridge over the road, did I finally ease up and enjoy the victory that was a long time coming! Jacques came in a few minutes down in 2nd place, but his disqualification would mean that Phillip Buys(Garmin) would then get 2nd, Nic White(Medscheme) would get 3rd after just passing Rodger Beuchat(Neotel) who was riding on a flat wheel and fatigued legs would land up 4th. 5th place for the day would belong to two time event winner Ben Melt Swanepoel of Specialized.
What a way to end off my mountainbike season, with only two more road races left, I’ll be looking forward to taking some good time out before preparation starts again for the 2010 season with Team MTN/Energade.

Provisional results:
1st Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade) 3hrs32
2nd Phillip Buys (Garmin) 3hrs38
3rd Nic White (Medscheme)
4th Rodger Beuchat (Neotel)
5th Ben Melt Swanepoel (Specialized)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

MTN Clarens Marathon, #6




The penultimate leg of the MTN National Ultra Marathon series took place over the weekend in the picturesque town of Clarens. The last time one of the series races was held here was in 2004, and then the race was tough. Now we were back there to race an ultra marathon, over 110km and no one expected it to be easy!
Most of the big teams were there, and being the second last event in the series, riders would still be racing for overall positions. Weather on the morning was cool and overcast, but with heavy afternoon showers the previous two days, the course would have its fair share of slippery sections.
The race started with a 2km neutral zone, and the guys settled into the race as everyone was expecting the course to take its toll later on. Also being up at over 1800m above sea-level, would also make the riding harder. The organizers had set out a true mountain bike marathon, not very far off what you might find in the European Alps! The longer distances went up to about 2000m, where we were racing on slick rock, which appears smooth from far away but is actually really rough and made the going tough on the hard tail. The front group of about 10 riders stayed together until this climb, and it was Garmin’s Phillip Buys, currently wearing the King of the mountain jersey who made good use of his technical skills on a very tricky climb, to get a gap on the group which was splitting into pieces. I was chasing hard, not wanting to give him too much of a gap before the hectic downhill section. Ben-Melt Swanepoel (Specialized) joined me near the top, and from there on we would stay together for the rest of the race.
At the bottom of the descent, Phillip had put 2minutes into Melt and I, with Marc Bass chasing us about another minute behind. Once the technical section was over, Melt and I worked together to start catching Phillip. It took us about 15km to get to him, and he stayed with until about 20km to go. I sensed him taking strain and forced the pace, Melt and I still sharing the work load.
With a uphill finish of about 300m, I gambled on saving my energy for a sprint, and fortunately for me, I had a little more left in the tank to get a gap on Melt in the final 300m, taking my third win in this years series, and securing my 5th consecutive overall marathon series win. This year was special too as MTN have been the title sponsor for the series and was the first year of the new ultra marathon distances. MTN/Energade team mate Adrien Niyonshuti rode really well to take forth place ahead of Francois Theron (Garmin). Buys held onto a well deserved 3rd position.
The next race will be in Hilton, the 50miler, and I have my doubts I’ll be racing there, but for sure I’ll be there to support my team and sponsors.
Provisional results:
1st Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade) 4hrs13:15
2nd Ben-Melt Swanepoel (Specialized) 4hrs13:22
3rd Phillip Buys (Garmin) 4hrs20:22
4th Adrian Niyonshuti (MTN/Energade) 4hrs26:00
5th Francois Theron (Garmin) 4hrs28:23
Pics by Zoon Cronje

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Raleigh LTD


It's going to be the end of an era for me as I start my last month of racing this weekend. I've been on Raleigh bikes for the past 5years and they've taken me to some amazing places. Although it's time to move on, I do feel a little sad to say good bye to the Raleigh "Probike" stable. They have done an awesome job in being the professional supplier to the MTN Cycling team over the years and myself and Doug have been with them for some time. So just a small thanks and good luck in your new directions. It's good to know there are companies like Probike who support South African Cycling as you guys have.

Herald Newspaper front page picture


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Karoo to Coast

Karoo to Coast Mountainbike Challenge

The 11th edition of the classic mountainbike race, The Karoo to Coast took place on Sunday in near perfect conditions for the event. This year would also see a record number of entrants, in excess of two and half thousand riders! And there is only one distance in this event, the grueling 100km, from Uniondale in the Karoo, over the Prince Alfreds pass all the way down to Knysna. The event featured on the Drifter series for a few years, and though it’s not part of a series anymore, it’s great to see a continuous growth in this event. As usual the organization was really good, and everything went like clock work at registration and on the day.
The race is fairly straight forward, apart from the first 15km which goes over the “Ou Wapad” or wagon trail, the rest of the race is on good gravel roads, but with plenty of climbing and fast speeds. I was content to sit back as the race started and see who would make the racing. It was Team GT’s Arno Viljoen who set the tempo up the first climb, followed by team mate and SA XC Elite champion Erik Kleinhans. I decided to ride cautiously down the other side to try and avoid my regular flat wheel in this section. Soon afterwards, the three of us were caught by 2 other riders, C Muller (Maties Cycling) and Dominique Calitz also from the Cape.
After the long descend down the Alfreds Pass, I took over setting the pace on the next climb and soon it was just myself and the GT boys for company. I kept working with them, slowly putting in bigger efforts to begin wearing the guys down. As we traversed from the Karoo into the indigenous forests of Knysna, I managed to ride Arno off as he was tiring from his first hard efforts of the day. Now I was left with Erik who was still looking good. When I won the race in 2005, I did it on the final climb up Gouna, a steep 3km pull before dropping down the last 5km into Knysna and the finish. I threw everything I had left into the last climb, and made a big effort as we started it to get a gap. As soon as I had a gap, I pushed on to extend it as much I could to the top. It was all down from there into Knysna where I had amazing support from all my local supporters who’d come to watch.
It was probably my tenth time in the race, and having only won it once before, it felt really special and ended off a good hard week of training. So I should be ready for my final month of racing coming up, hope to hold the form till then!
Provisional results:
1st Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade)
2nd Erik Kleinhans (GT)
3rd Dominique Calitz

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Holidays in Mauritius.. mmm







So we back from our holiday on the Island, was great! Ruby had an awesome time and I got some family quality time in. Ruby found a new favorite drink too! Oops, sorry Kari:)
Now we back in Jozi, I'm racing the Dome to Dome Alphapharm race this Sunday, before returning home for 10days. Been away since I left for Worlds. Looking forward to seeing the whole family, hearing from Dr Evil, running the Saeco slob and riding with the OC's!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Blockhouse MTN Marathon #5


Blockhouse MTN Marathon #5

The fifth race in the MTN series took place in Meyerton in the south of Johannesburg. It comprised of some of the Walkerville route of old, but consists of mostly just very dry and dusty, rocky jeep and singletrack. It flows nicely however and makes for a very fast course. The last time I raced here was five years ago in the first South African Marathon Championships.
The route was completely flat, in the 110km race, we only had 800m of climbing. So the front group was fairly big, at least until about 25km. I thought at this stage, heading into the rough climb, that I would test the legs and competition, and threw my cards on the table. No one followed my hard tempo which I kept up till after the King of the Mountain hotspot. I now had a nice gap of about a minute, and decided to gamble on the fact that being a single rider through this type of course, might just be faster than riding in a group, especially with riders looking at each other to do the chasing.
My gap grew steadily and at the 80km feed zone, I had extended it to around 4minutes.
Without being able to get time gaps, I continued on with my hard but steady tempo. My only mishap on the second loop was a minor crash around one of the loose corners, and I jumped back up, wiped the dust off and carried on.
I crossed the line in just over 3hrs45min, with an average speed of 30.5km/hr, not bad for a mountain bike race in which I had an 80km time trial. Ben Melt came in second place, ever consistent with good form at the moment. Third place went to Andrew Mclean, I think probably his best result in a national marathon to date.
Now I look forward to my first break since last season, will be off the bike for 8days, and hope to come back fresh for the last 6weeks of racing.
Provisional results:
1st Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade)
2nd Ben-Melt Swanepoel (Specialized)
3rd Andrew Mclean (Cyclelab)

Monday, August 24, 2009

8th, Marathon World Championships

World Marathon Championships, Graz, Austria
The seventh World Marathon Championships took place yesterday in the Austrian city of Graz. Luckily for me I have a good friend, Silvio, who lives 2hrs away and who was once again happy to accommodate me and help me out for the event. We had travelled to Graz the previous weekend to check the course with the Austrian team, and this would prove vital for having a good race.
The course was extremely physical, made up of lots of rocky and wet rooty singletrack sections, rough gravel roads and a little bit of tar. But for the most part, you were either going up or down. The total distance was 104km, with 3820m of vertical climbing.
I once again had a bad seeding, but with a 3km tar road to start with before the first climb, I rode aggressively to make sure I was near the front when we went up the first climb. I had a really good climb here, going over the top with Roel Paulison in 4th position. I had to tell myself to slow down but the feeling was amazing and I quickly realised I was going to have good legs today.
Then we went into the first of many technical sections, and with the two days of heavy rain, it was extremely difficult. I was also over cautious here as it was the same place I crashed in training. Soon the front group had swelled to around 15 riders, and I managed to come through the technical bits just hanging on the back.
The next big climb saw the race split up, well at least for me. I rode my own tempo and had good company, Bart Brentjens, Alban Lakata, Mirko Celestino and Urs Huber. I was content to stay at this tempo, knowing how hard the final 40km would be. Unfortunately I lost this group through another technical section as I rode into a tree, coming to a forced stop. But it didn´t take me long and I was back with them, around 13th position.
The race went by fairly quickly, and before I knew it, we were at the base of the last climb and the final forty kilometers. This was where I had saved my energy for and knew it would be important to move up as many places as possible before the last 10km descent, which was the most technical. I caught De Bertolis and Paez near the top and was close to my top ten goal. Silvio was standing at this crucial point, giving me valuable time splits and positions, and this was all the motivation I needed to really push hard.
By the top I was in ninth place but had some good technical riders behind me. My confidence was high by now, and the technical sections seemed easier with more speed. Of course the full suspension here was incredible and helped so much. Three kilometres to the finish I passed Dietch who had a flat wheel and was chasing Dario Cioni, who finished in 7th place, only 12seconds in front of me.
So 8th place in the end, a solid top ten result on what they said was the hardest marathon worlds course to date. Now I have more valuable expeirence and will set my goals for a top five next year!
Thanks to all who have given me support to achieve this, you know who you are!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Worlds recce, Austria

So Saturday early morning Silvio and I drove to Graz to join the Austrian National team to pre-ride the course for worlds. We spent two days there and on Saturday rode the first three quaters, then Sunday we rode some more of day1 and the rest of day2.
The verdict, hectic. It starts with a tar climb, 29% where your rear wheel even slips on the tarmac. Then you head into the forests for a never ending maze of singletrack trails, littered with slippery roots and wet rocks. I´m not sure which is more slippery, the roots or rocks? Although I did crash on the roots, the technical sections are all fairly short, 1-2km but come thick and fast. The longest climb will be near the end of the course, and will take around 50minutes to ride. The full suspension is the only choice for this course. The descents I have more control, but will not risk the chance of going too fast and crashing, but the rough climbs are where the big difference comes in.
After this climb, the final descent is about 10km, really tough, extremely technical. There is also two portage sections where you need to litterally climb with the bike for about 5-7minutes each. The forest sections are incredibly humid, around 90% humidity, so much so that the rocks ´sweat` and thats what makes them so slippery, I almost think it will be better if it rains!
The winner of this race will be well worthy of the title of World Champion, thats for sure. It has been good to see these sections, make some tire changes and prepare mentally for the physical challenge that awaits us.
Silvio has organized two people to feed us as there are 7 feed zones on the route, and so we should be well looked after. Only the minor matter of accreditation is left!
We will travel back to Graz on Saturday, race is Sunday, 10:30 start.
Till then, thanks and ciao.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SA Pics..




Disappointed afterwards..
Focused during race..

Saturday, August 8, 2009

SA Champs, Harrysmith

Dirty Harry MTN Marathon #4

The forth leg of the MTN Marathon series took place in Harrysmith and also doubled up as the South African Marathon Championships, a title I’ve held for three consecutive years. Unfortunately this year lady luck would desert me and I suppose I can’t really complain after having so much good luck in the past.
The weather on the morning was clear and crisp, great racing conditions and one could sense the pressure in the air on the start line. As expected it didn’t take long for Burry Stander to turn on the gas and reduce the front bunch early on down to four riders. The SA champion would come out of this small select group. Near to the King of the mountain, Burry surged and on the rough jeep track I was not able to follow his rhythm any longer and watched him slowly ride away. Add to this I had Max Knox sitting on my wheel adamant not to work with me although the title was riding away from us. Soon after the technical descent, Ben-Melt Swanepoel joined us and was eager to help me with setting the pace for the chase. Although I must admit I was battling to stay on his wheel as the track got even rougher. In fact at that stage I was the only rider left on a hardtail, and finding the going very tough.
Just when things were looking like they wouldn’t get worse, I had a front wheel puncture. I had to stop twice to repair it and still managed to ride back to Melt after getting a spare wheel in the tech zone. By this stage it was only the two of us chasing and would look likely that we would be racing for second place. Nonetheless I set about on a hard tempo, never wanting to give up, when my rear wheel flatted. I had cut the tire and needed to put my spare tube in to fix it. I managed to fix it before anyone had caught me, and got stuck into the race again, only for the wheel to go flat half a kilometer further on. So I was now reduced to walking, as Francois Thereon rode past me. I was sure I would get a dnf for this race although being in the middle of nowhere had to continue walking. Matthys then caught me and being a good team mate gave me his wheel. By doing so I managed to salvage a 4th place, which will actually go a long way in defending my overall MTN Series title. Matthys fixed the wheel and held on for 5th place, really good ride for him over the distance.
That’s mountain biking and the wheel turns. I will carry on with my preparation for the World Champs in two weeks time and after that is the Blockhouse MTN Marathon, so lots to look forward to, till then, ciao.
Provisional results:
1st Burry Stander (Specialized)
2nd Ben-Melt Swanepoel (Specialized)
3rd Francois Theron (Garmin)
4th Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade)
5th Matthys Beukes (MTN/Energade)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Illovo Eston MTB Race

After only 3days at home, it was off to Eston in Kwazulu-Natal for the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge. This would be my fourth year at the event, and with great organization it’s always a pleasure to come back to. However this year they never organized the weather, and it poured through from registration right until we left the race. This would turn the dust into really hectic conditions, super slippery sticky mud, and make a usually fast race extremely hard and slow. The race was 10km shorter this year, but the times would be significantly slower due to the terrain.

Most of the teams were represented at the start, and with the “king of the mountain” after 5km, fireworks early on would be inevitable. I decided to go hard for the King, testing the legs but also as the race has previously worked out, force the split from there. I won the king with a fair gap, and then gambled on going on my own. I set about at a fair pace initially, looking back at about 4guys who were chasing me. I did see Dave was comfortably there so thought if I do get hauled back, at least he will be a little fresher than the rest. I continued on and after a couple drags had opened a good gap. I could also see the group had split and with guys riding on their own, would be harder to chase. Although in such adverse conditions, it’s usually better on your own, going at your own tempo. That was exactly what I was doing, keeping my efforts steady and trying as best I could to stay smooth and avoid crashing or mechanicals.

The rest was fairly straight forward, I managed to open the gap up to a good couple minutes and take my second Eston win ahead of DCM’s Stewart and third place Garmin’s Philip Buys. Dave unfortunately suffered multiple rear wheel punctures, but was at least on the mend from the flu he had at Transalps. All in all we are looking fairly good and on track for the National Marathon Champs next weekend in what looks likely to be a cold and wet Harrysmith. Till then, cheers.

Provisional Results:
1st Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade)
2nd Brandon Stewart (DCM Chrome)
3rd Philip Buys (Garmin)
4th Max Knox (DCM Chrome)
5th Ben Melt Swanepoel (Specialized)

SA Team Selection

South Africa announced the Marathon Team for the World Champs later this month in Austria. Congrats to DG for his first MTB selection. The rest of the team will be myself and Max Knox. Worlds is on the 23August in Graz.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Home at last..

Just got it, always great to be home, albeit for two days! Thought I'd leave a great pic of the Alps in the header, thanks to Jo and Tajana. days of good riding here with some cross sessions, then we head off to defend SA's Marathon Title, bring it on... Ciao.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Transalp update..

It's a pity for those who don't know, Dave landed up getting a virus and pulled out of the race on the sixth day. I continued on my own and used it as some good hard final preperation for SA Marathon Champs in Harrysmith next month. It should be perfect training with similar altitude adaptions and loads of technical trails. Other than that the event was brilliant with some of the most beautiful mountain passes you'll ever see. Loads of great scenery and catching up with the Euro vibe.
We staying in Riva Del Garda till Tuesday when we travelling home. Shew it will be fantastic to see the family again, missing them all now!
See ya soon, Ciao.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Transalp here we come...

Team MTN/Energade Transalp Challenge

Stage 1: Mittenwald - Reith im Alpbachtal
Stage 2: Reith im Alpbachtal - Mayrhofen
Stage 3: Mayrhofen - Brixen
Stage 4: Brixen - St. Christina
Stage 5: St. Christina - Sarnthein
Stage 6: Sarnthein - Kaltern
Stage 7: Kaltern - Andalo
Stage 8: Andalo - Riva del Garda 73,00 km -
88,17 km -
94,83 km -
83,52 km -
82,20 km -
77,40 km -
73,63 km -
60,71 km - 1976 hm
3384 hm
2127 hm
3665 hm
3297 hm
3173 hm
3041 hm
1454 hm

So Dave George and I will leave tomorrow evening for the Transalp Challenge, starting in Germany and finishing 8 stages later in Italy. This will be my fifth Transalp Challenge and the first for Dave. Dave however is no stranger to the Alps and big mountains, having completed a couple Tours of Spain, he’ll be right at home there.
As you can see from the stages above, there will be no shortage of climbing in this years edition. The race traverses the Alps, starting in Germany, through Austria and ending in Italy. The scenery is breath taking and the trails incredible. Both of us are ready and on form to challenge for a podium position. We’ve had a couple of Epics between the two of us now, and this race will just be another one for us to gain more experience in our quest to become the best stage racing paired team in the world. The competition this year also goes a little deeper than in the past, so we expecting a tough race and hard duel for a podium place, especially in the mountains where a bad climb can cost you dearly. The obvious favorites will be the Bulls Team of Karl Platt and Stefan Sham who are currently ranked as the top paired team in the world, another great opportunity for us to race the best.
We’ll be acclimatizing in the German town of Mittenwald where the tour starts and have a few days to get into the mountains. For anyone wishing to follow our progress through the event, can follow us on www.twitter.com/kevinevansracin as I’ll be doing my updates during the tour through here.
Hope to have a great report for you after the race.
Kevin Evans

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ronnie "The Don"


We love ya Ron, always with us x x

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Knysna Oyster Festival MTB Race

Having missed my “home” town event last year, I was eager to get stuck in this year, especially as it is one of favorite races on the circuit. Between Dave and I, we had won it over the previous two years and were keen to keep the title in the camp. However, competition would be tough this year and most of the big teams would have riders down for the race.
It was the usual fresh start, temperatures very low but clear skies would ensure near perfect conditions. The race follows the normal route, and very quickly the race splits up, if not on the Simola climb, then the steeper Gouna. This year was no different and after Gouna, the big start bunch was reduced to seven riders. Dave and myself for MTN/Energade, Burry Stander (Specialized), Jaco Venter (DCM), John-Lee Augustyn (Barloworld), Phillip Buys (Garmin) and Rene Goustra (GT). Unfortunately for Rene, his race ended at the start of “Petrus se Brand”, the fairly technical forest section in the middle of the race. I managed to put a hard effort in to win the “King of the mountain” competition, albeit perhaps to my detriment. The rest of us then dueled it out, with different riders taking hard turns on the front and keeping the pace very fast. The route was in great condition and being fairly dry, would make for some record fast times. John-Lee was the next rider to come off the bunch as he found running in his road shoes a little difficult, after having to dismount on a steep climb up a fire break. As we went into the final 15km of the race, Burry was setting a hard tempo, and I had a small go on one of the drags. We managed to shake Phillip off here, but unfortunately Dave was taking strain after a week on anti-biotics.
5km to go and Burry and I got a five second gap on Venter through the final technical descent. I told Burry to roll through with me because Venter would have a good sprint, and we managed to hold him off, although I committed a little harder I feel in the final 3km and ultimately paid the price for that. Around the final corner, I had the lead but Burry had that little bit extra in the tank to come around my outside and steal the win.
That would make it four times I’ve been beaten on the line in my home town race.
Otherwise it was some good race preparation for Dave and I before we depart for our assault on the Transalp Challenge in Europe.
Race reports might be few and far between over this period, however you can follow me on twitter if you want to keep up to speed.

Provisional results:
1st Burry Stander
2nd Kevin Evans
3rd Jaco Venter
4th Phillip Buys
5th Dave George

Friday, July 3, 2009

Race tomorrow..


Yip, it's the Knysna Oyster Festival tomorrow already. Gotta love racing at home, no travelling, less stress and a fantastic route. The whole team arrived last night, staying down the road at the Harkrville Lodge. We'll be doing a team ride this morning to loosen up, then I'll finish up with bike admin to make sure everything is set. Tikki going to mechanic for the team this weekend, should be interesting for him. Then Saturday after the race, Dave and I are presenting the Tour De France Prologue at The Knysna Hollow. Can't believe it's that time already! Race reports will follow Sunday, ciao.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Routine continues..

The boss decided it would be better for Dave and I to stay home and train instead of the mission back to Graskop. As we are in our final prep for the Transalp Challenge, this suited me perfectly. Only problem as far as my routine has gone this week has been the terrible weather. So a couple more sessions spent indoors, and also some good gym time, I've made do. Will be heading out to train in the passes today, hopefully make the top of the Outeniqua pass, good 6-7hrs from here.
Then next week I'll fine tune a little for Knysna, my favorite race of the year! Looking forward to it after missing it last year due to World Champs. So thats it in a nutshell for the week, will try post some pics from today if I see the snow!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Home for a bit..

Good to be home with the familia for a couple days. Gives me some much needed routine time again, which proves to work well for me. Will then be heading up to race Graskop Hill Climb Champs next week with the road boys. Good 3 stages of racing there, as well as hosting a Club100 training camp for the weekend. Other than that, we did a shoot with Gillette World Sport Special in Johannesburg yesterday, was fun and amazing to think the coverage reaches two hundred and ninety countries! Seem to be feeling back to normal, will pay Harries a visit again next week... Not!
Thats the scoop, till later, caio.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

MTN Marathon #3, Induna

The third leg of the MTN Ultra Marathon series was held at Induna down in Hazyview. The course was much the same as the previous years and incorporated two laps of the final loop. It’s always been a great course and the organizers go out of their way to make fantastic tracks. It was looking like we were in for a mud festival again, but the sun came out on Friday and continued through for the race on Saturday, drying up the route and making conditions perfect for racing.
The ultra marathon, despite being 120km, didn’t stop some of the riders trying to push flat out from the gun, and those that did, did so at their peril. I was content to sit in the front group, consisting of about ten guys. In the front group were Dave George and Adrian Nionshuti, team mates for company. Also most noticeably were Mannie Heymans and Marc Bass (Garmin). As we began the harder second loop, Dave and I set the tempo up the big climb and got rid of the bulk of the group. However Mannie and Marc were not going anywhere. Adrian also was still hanging on and has been showing some great form recently.
Bad luck however for Adrian as he had a double flat just before we began the final 35km loop. Dave was playing catch up after Mannie and Marc attacked through the technical banana plantations and had about a 45second gap to close going into the final lap..
I stayed on their wheels up the climb, not feeling really great and was starting to wonder how things were going to end up. Just as I was going through my bad patch, Dave rejoined and knowing we were two against two gave me a second wind.
The final climb was a really tough one, and went up a brick path. Dave attacked the guys near the bottom, Marc doing most of the work to contain him with Mannie and I just following. They held Dave at about 60meters for nearly a kilometer before bringing him back, and as soon as they did, I put in my one big effort for the day. I went as hard as I could, making it count, as the others had no response. With about 18km left to the finish, my job was not done yet. I still had to negotiate a fair bit of technical singletrack, followed by quite a few ups and downs with a couple hard pulls.
Only once I hit the final descent to the finish did I have the race in the bag, and it was great to finally win a MTN Marathon again. The victory here would help my overall points for the series, which I have been leading since the second race. There are still four races to go in the series, and that’s a lot of kilometers when they are Ultras!

Provisional results:
1st Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade)
2ndMarc Bass (Garmin)
3rd Mannie Heymans (Garmin)
4th David George (MTN/Energade)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bob?

Wondering who's Bob, seems he has alot to say about my racing?

Time slows..

Been kicking around in Hazyview for two days. We managed to get some training in with the road boys in freezing Jozi before coming down here. Rode some of the race course at Induna yesterday, but unfortunately the rain is following dave around the country and we got completely muddy. Looks like we set for another wet MTN Marathon race. Can't wait, hope to have some pics to show afterwards.. Till then.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Garmin Rooiberg Eco Ride

Day1:
The Garmin Rooiberg Eco Ride takes place in the Limpopo Province in the small bushveld town of Rooiberg. This was the second year of the event and it featured some significant changes to last years edition. Most notable changes were, this year it was an individual event as opposed to the paired race or team race of last year. Secondly, of the 73km we raced today, 60km of it was hard, loose, rocky, technical and unforgiving singletrack.
To ride 60km of singletrack on its own is tough, but rocky bushveld, was torturous! The pace was on from the beginning and team DCM and team Garmin, both being sponsors of the event would be out to pull off the win. I decided to just take it to all of them from the start, but also test my legs early on to see how they were as I haven’t raced in a couple weeks. I managed to get a good gap up the first climb, but soon thereafter we hit the “track” and slowly my gap was being eaten up. Max Knox was first to join me, Then Phillip Buys for awhile, and finally Mannie Heymans came across. The conditions suited him perfectly, real Namibian terrain. This was clearly evident as Marc Bass made his way across too. So the front group from about 20km in was the four of us. I was content to follow the wheels and lines of the other riders as they were quicker through the rough stuff.
When the rough stuff finally ended, with 13km left to race, and Max attacked really hard immediately. As the two Garmin riders couldn’t respond, I immediately jumped onto his wheel and pretty much sat there while he kept going at it. It always looked like it would come down to the sprint and once we hit the finishing field, I had a little more in the tank to take the win ahead of Max. Mannie managed to come in alone about 3minutes down.
So tomorrow is another day, and in this terrain, absolutely anything can still happen.

Day 2:
After the extremely tough first day, the race organizers promised todays stage would be an easier day, with fast gravel roads, jeep tracks and only 10km of singletrack. So today you could actually enjoy the course and the beauty of the bushveld. We even saw some of the wildlife, and had to stop for a herd of giraffe running out across the road, a truly awesome sight! Nonetheless, back to the racing, the stage started with the usual fast pace, a few riders out to make up for yesterdays stage. With David injured from his crash the previous day, our only team plan was I told Adrian to stick with me should I have a problem. He was really good and after the first climb, a select group had formed at the front, most significantly was Max Knox and Mannie Heymans who were contenders for the overall. In this group too, was Adrian. After about 25km I asked him to make sure he was eating and drinking, only to be told “I have no food”. Immediately I dug in my pockets and gave him half of my stash as we continued on. Halfway came and went quickly, and soon thereafter Mannie and I started taking turns to attack the rest of the group. The guys responded to all our efforts, and even Adrian had a bash or two. He must have looked like a threat as they didn’t let him get away either. Slowly the course took its toll on the equipment and tires especially, as guys started to drop due to punctures.
Mannie and I rode away with about 15km left and he took the stage just ahead of me, but after loosing 3minutes to me yesterday, had to settle for second place overall as I took out the win, making it two in a row for team MTN at the Garmin Rooiberg Eco Ride, having won the event the previous year too. Adrian put in a great effort to ride away from Phillip Buys (Garmin) in the final 5km and secure 3rd place for the stage. An incredible result for him showing his true potential. Perhaps I should just tell him to follow me more often!
Otherwise it was a great event enjoyed by all, even after the punishment of day 1. Special mention to the fantastic catering, excellent food always goes along way to put a smile on any face.
Overall Provisional results:
1st Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade)
2nd Mannie Heymans (Garmin)
3rd Max Knox (DCM Chrome)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Rooiberg here we come..

Leaving shorlty for the Rooiberg Garmin Eco challenge 2 day race in Limpopo... Will keep you in the loop, can also follow on www.twitter.com/kevinevansracin

Friday, May 29, 2009

Check out Alien Al..


But look really closely.. Who's the real Alien Al?

Ride Mag coverage..


It's been awhile..

Monday, May 25, 2009

Training, resting, and family time..



Been having some really great quality time at home. Good for my routine, with fantastic weather last week I was able to get a solid first block of training in, cracking over 32hrs and 900km. I also look after the Ruby every morning, as you can see she is growing fast, but cute as a button. This week looks to be another good one and will make good use of the conditions and routine at home. Should even get onto my MTB this week I reckon!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Yesterday was IPL time...



Thanks JP Duminy and Mathew for our top tier seats..
Chennai Super Kings beat the Mumbai Indians by 7 wickets:)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

You can see how bad conditions were.. for some, oh boy!

Karkloof MTB Festival


Karkloof has been a classic mountain bike race for quite a number of years, but for the last three years it has been a whole festival, taking place over the entire weekend. The festival features the night race on Friday evening, followed up on Saturday by the Cross Country in the morning and the Sprint Shootout in the afternoon, and finally the Main event, the Marathon on Sunday morning, attracting more than four thousand riders over the various distances. I was last here in 2007 and participated in all the events. However I suffered in the main event and didn’t have the fire power in the legs to compete with the fresh guys. So this year I decided to concentrate on the Marathon event with Dave, and let Mathys focus on the XC. Having won the Marathon previously on a few occasions, I knew it would be worth saving myself for it.

The XC kicked off at 10:30 and was held over a very technical and physically demanding course. The 6km track was always going to provide good close racing but the field split up early on and very soon into the first of five laps, there were actually only about five riders in contention. Mathys was looking good, and riding comfortably in 4th position for most of the race. The front two riders, who were elite class, only had about a minute on him after the 3rd lap, and he was only a few seconds off 3rd position, lying second in the under 23 category. However the last two laps you could see the riders had turned up the pace and it was local rider Rowan Exelby who took the honours. Mathys rode a good consistent race to maintain 4th place overall and 2nd in his category.


The Marathon kicked off in near perfect conditions with the normal Karkloof “chill’ in the air. The large start field was seeded into batches and the fastest 70 riders made up the A batch. The race consisted of a tricky start loop of about 10km, and it was through here that I could see Burry Stander would be on a mission today, and I had to get onto his wheel when he started to surge. I was the only rider able to follow his pace early on, some what of a surprise as some of the teams on the day had up to eleven riders! Once we had completed the start loop and were back onto the polo field, we had opened a small gap of about 30seconds to Mannie Heymans and a DCM pair. I decided to drive the move hard with Burry as I thought we would have good chance to stay away. With both of us working well together, sharing the pace making on the flats and climbs and using his technical speed through the numerous singletrack sections, we opened up a sizeable gap and continued to grow it.

The course was incredible with so much work that had gone into it, with loads of groomed tracks, but the usual rough and rocky sections through the cattle tracks. Also the infamous legs burning climbs of “Cambells, Lebanon and Cawoods” would always ensure only the toughest would survive out there. It was incredible to follow Burry’s lines through the technical sections and see how smooth he and his bike were. It’s easy to see how he is one of the worlds best XC riders.
With only 15km to go, over the last climb he opened up a small gap on me, about 15seconds but from there we went into the last singletrack descent of about 7km, and through here he really turned up the heat. I got a time split at the bottom and the gap was up to 1minute20. The final 5km were straight along the district road and back to the polo fields where a huge crowd waited to see the out come. It was only fitting for him to take the win in an amazing event put on by Mr Price, also one of his long time and loyal sponsors. I followed in second place about 1min50 down. Third place went to Jacques Janse van Rensburg a further six or seven minutes later.
Now we have some quality time to build for the second half of our season and our next big event will be the Rooiberg Ecochallenge in June. I’m sure we will have some good form by then so expect to see some MTN domination again soon.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Travel time..

So I wake up this morning in Harkerville, I'm going to sleep in Cape Town, and tomorrow evening I'll be in Howick, Kwazulu. Yip it's getting around and thats nothing compared to some fellow bike racers. We'll be at the Karkloof Festival this weekend and I'm really looking forward to it. Karkloof and I have got some fond memories and I ve really enjoyed the event over the years. Last year I had to miss it as SA road champs was on the same weekend, but this year we back! I'll keep you posted and the team should be up for some good competitive racing! I'll post pics as we go, XC on Saturday morning, Sprint shootout and the main event , Marathon on Sunday. Till later.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Great weather and atmosphere..

KKK TT and results..

So the twist in this stage race was the 40km TT, making for a really interesting tour.
The stage started on top of the “Talisman” ramp (pics on attachment) with the normal 1 minute intervals, reverse order of GC. It meant I would be chasing Dave and that would give me a great carrot!
The route was the stage from the previous day, mostly flat and great for a time trial. The legs felt good and the workout was great. I managed to average 37,5km/hr, nice and quick for a mtb race. Otherwise not much action besides keeping as low as possible and the efforts as consistent as possible. The results were as follows:
1st Kevin Evans, 1:03,32
2nd Erik Kleinhans, 1:04,42
3rd Dave George, 1:05,24
4th Moolman Welgemoed, 1:07,57
5th Mathys Beukes, 1:09,11

So after a great event with some really good racing, the overall top three results as follows:
1st Kevin Evans 8:25,15
2nd Dave George 8:29,01
3rd Erik Kleinhans 8:29,41

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The "Talisman" finish ramp


Not so good for sprint finishes!

KKK Day 2

Todays stage was always the original race of the festival and having ridden the race a few times in the past I knew what to expect. The route consisted of only gravel roads, going out through Calitzdorp, around the back of the Red Hills and along the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains. However it would only have 800m of ascent compared to the 2000m from yesterday’s stage.
After about 10km, Mathys attacked with another rider from the Daikin team. The bunch let them go and this would be good for Dave and I to be able to sit in a bit. When we hit the climbs, Erik Kleinhans (GT), Moolman Welgemoed (Daikin) and a few fresh riders only riding today’s stage split the group up until we were about 7 riders. At this stage, about 50km in to the race, Mathys still had about 90seconds on us and had left the other rider behind. The small group worked well together, everyone rolling through, but with no more climbs, the last 40km was extremely fast.
Mathys hang on until 10km to go, great effort from him and as he was brought back, it was myself that attacked first. The guys brought me back and Dave went. They brought him back and I went again, and again, and again! Every time they came back as Moolman had good legs and two other riders hadn’t raced the previous stage.
The average speed for this final 10km was in excess of 41km/hr, quick on the gravel roads. Going into the final corner, Moolman jumped and I stuck on his wheel but with the “Talisman” finish ramp up to the line there was no place to pass and he took the stage, and his first win on a mountain bike. Erik Kleinhans took third.
Tomorrow’s final stage is the 40km individual TT and hope we can get the legs rested and recovered in time for that!

Here's our chalet..

Friday, May 1, 2009

Klein Karoo Klassiek, day 1

The Klein Karoo Klassiek as the name suggests, is a real classic race held in the Karoo town of Calitzdorp and has been a popular event with Western and Southern Cape riders for many years. This year the event is part of the Port Festival for which the town is well known. Many Epic riders would also remember it as we’ve passed through here on numerous occasions. This year however would be the first year the race is a 3stage mountain bike event with a great twist.
Day 1 was the longest day, 132km, up the Rooiberg Pass and around the Gamka Berg. As soon as we started the Rooiberg climb, there were a few riders who were eager to get going. But with the day being a long one, I picked a good wheel and rode steady. By the top there was a small group consisting of Dave, Mathys and myself (MTN/Energade), Erik Kleinhans (GT) and a rider from the Maties cycling team. The route was mostly district roads and farm tracks which at least kept the speed quite high. After my disaster last weekend I was in no rush to push the pace too soon. Dave attacked at the 80km mark and built up a steady gap. I decided to ride across to him, which I did, however Erik and Mathys brought us back and the group was again together. All the hard racing happened in the last 20km. Dave putting in a big effort only to be brought back by Erik. As soon as he caught Dave he attacked, I followed him until he was done, countered and then had to put my head down for the last 10km into the wind.
That final effort was hard and I had to go quite deep, but enough to take the stage by about a minute and a half. Dave came in second with Erik a few minutes behind him.
Tomorrows stage is the original KKK route, 97km, and with guys being able to race individual days, there is bound to be some fresh legs to keep the racing hard!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

KKK

Will be leaving for Calitzdorp this afternoon, after I've watched the Chargers slash the Dehli Daredevils,for the Klein Karoo Klassiek 3day MTB stage race. Should be good racing, long stages tomorrow and Saturday with a 40km TT on Sunday!
Also the Port Festival is on, so we should find a few bottles of good red too.. will post some pics from the Spa!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Then I looked like this..

MTN Marathon #2, Chandelier


After the race I felt like this...







The second leg of the MTN Marathon series was held at the Chandelier Reserve and the ultra marathon was a grueling 126km! To make matters even harder, torrential down pours the few days before would ensure the course would be really wet under foot, slippery, extremely muddy and very difficult.
So we always new it would be important to pace yourself correctly and with Dave and I having just gone through a transitional phase in our training after a break from our pre-race Epic build up, the 126km might have been just out of our current form depth. But what better way to find out than just race and see.
So from early on the race split up, Garmin having the numbers up front, set a steady pace. I was being as conservative as I could as I knew what lay ahead. I have done the race 4 times in the past but never over this distance. Unfortunately Dave had to stop to adjust his seatpost clamp, the same problem he had when we raced through here in the Attakwas Marathon earlier in the year.
As guys had mechanicals, punctures and just about any bad luck you could imagine, it was soon just Marc Bass(Garmin), Johny Kritzinger(DCM) and myself. Marc was really pushing the pace on the descents, which included some really technical single track through the typical Karoo thorny bush. The was never time to rest and recover as the course was relentless with its unforgiving jeep tracks and rugged paths. Whenever there was a straight piece of road, the mud made it tough! Climbs were never longer than about one to two kilometers yet the total course climbed about 2900m. I was being patient until the tech zone, which was at the 80km mark. After some fresh bottles and food, I was feeling good and decided to have a go. When the guys didn’t respond I put my head down and tried to build a steady lead. This however would prove to be my undoing… The legs lasted until 110km, and then it was melt down. I had no energy knock, just absolutely nothing in the legs. With a dramatically reduced speed, Marc caught and passed me and not long thereafter in the final 5km, so did Johny. It was very frustrating but lacking the depth needed to race five and a half hours, there wasn’t much that I could do. Perhaps I could have bided my time a bit better and seen, but if you don’t go, you’ll never know I guess. Nonetheless the conditions really took their toll on riders and equipment.
The ultra series is really proving to be great test of physical and mental strength and will completely change the standards of marathon racing in South Africa.
So the next race will be in Hazyview, and I’ll have the leader jersey for the series proper after my successive third place finishes, but will definitely have some racing form by that stage and will be hunting the top step of the podium.
Thanks again to Advendurance, MTN, Gerrie at Chandelier and Henco from Tons Sports for putting on a true marathon event! See you soon.
Kevin Evans

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Racing will resume..

This weekend will see us resume the MTN Marathon National series, taking place at Chandelier Reserve, Oudtshoorn. The race has always been good to me and I hope this year over 126km, it will still look after me.. I've at least had some good prep the last two weeks, so lets wait until Sunday and see... Gotta love the Karoo!

Ruby and Dad!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

http://twitter.com/kevinevansracin

Just a reminder...
http://twitter.com/kevinevansracin
Later...

Kingfisher Marathon

Kingfisher MTB Marathon, Southern Cape Enduro Series #1

It’s been a long time since I went to a mountain bike event and just had a really good time. The kingfisher Marathon, hosted at Hoekwil Primary school was the first leg of the Southern Cape Mountain Bike Series, and it was great to be back racing with all the familiar faces and people who really support me in the area where I started my MTB career.
The event kicked off after a night of heavy rain, but that didn’t dampen the spirit of the riders, or the number of people who turned up to the event. The race headed from the small town of Hoekwil, through some dairy farms and straight into Bergplaas, well known in the Cape-Epic from stage 1. Needless to say the ride was fairly tough, the long route, 70km, had over 1600m of vertical climbing in it. But absolutely spectacular, the scenery up there was amazing, with the sun coming through the mist and the roads nice and wet from the rain, it was incredible to race through this pristine area and actually appreciate it.
Back to the racing, soon after the first climb, the split consisted of a three way mix, a junior, a veteran and an elite. I was out front with Gary Marescia (Cyclelab Cape Town) and the local junior racing for Coimbra, Derek Taylor. As we rode deeper into the Bergplaas plantation, I rode a very consistent pace in front, not wanting to spend the day out in front on my own, I made sure the guys were able to ride with me. It was amazing how much I enjoyed myself and it made the tough going seem so much easier. Just after halfway, Derek Taylor, not accustomed to racing marathons, dropped off the pace as Gary and I continued along the route. I was counting on the tough finishing climb to the line to be able to ride away from him, and as we hit it, I went hard, testing the legs and condition. I felt good and quickly opened up the winning gap to the end.
The route was very well marked with ample water points, which even had Lunch Bars (my preferred riding food) for the riders. Like I mentioned before it was great to be able to give a little back to the Southern Cape who really appreciated me taking the time to be at one of their events as usually my busy schedule doesn’t allow for it. It’s great to chat to the youngsters and see the SC has such a strong field of upcoming riders.
I’m not sure when the next race in the series is, but if I’m free, have no doubt I’ll be there to support it. Thanks to the organizers for having me there and the great support you always give me.
Kevin Evans

Friday, April 17, 2009

http://twitter.com/kevinevansracin

Ok so I'm getting into this Twitter thing.. here's my Twitter address...
http://twitter.com/kevinevansracin
Lets see how long I can keep it up?

Twitter

So I've gone and joined this new network, Twitter, well not new but new to me, and so far I've spent about two hours on it and achieved absolutely nothing other than throwing away two hours of my life i'll never get back. So much for that, call me a Twit but I reckon I'll just stick to my blog, and even that is admin! Hitting the gym again this morning, hope the muscles aren't too stiff for the Kingfisher tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hi I'm back.

So it's taken me awhile to recover from the Epic, again. I decided to take a break from racing and gave the World Cup a skip this past weekend. I have to say hats off to Burry and Greg for the flying the flag and doing us proud. I have to say my recovery has been slow, but then I forget that my racing started proper about 6 weeks out before the Epic, including some tough racing in Sani2c and the Giro. Anyway with all that behind me, and some quality rest time at home, even Ruby knows me now, I have some time to get a good routine going which is key for me.
The following couple races for myself will be:
Southern Cape Kingfisher 18th April,
MTN Marathon#2, Chandelier, 25th April,
Klein Karoo Klasiek, Calitzdorp, 1-3May,
Karkloof Festival, 9 May.
Till then, will stay in touch and keep it TIDY!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ruby!!

I'm a real little person now!

Been awhile, again.


Well the good news is I'm still around. Been a hectic few weeks, raced in East London, followed by Kwa-Zulu, followed by the Giro and Argus and then Oudtshoorn for SA road champs. I unfortunately had to skip that one due to a bang I took on the knee in the Giro, and with Epic being so close, I'm well and truly rested up and fresh! Will keep you posted in the next couple of days!

Sani2C

The Subaru Sani2c has quickly become probably the most popular multi day mountain bike stage race in the country, and talking to some of the riders taking part, quite a few are coming from abroad to take part in this brilliant event. The race now in its fifth year, is run over three days, but comprises also of the “adventure” race or “fun race” which runs one day ahead of the main event. By doing this they are able to accommodate all the entries they receive and give more riders the opportunity to take part. This was my third year and I’ve seen some pretty bad conditions in my first year, but this year took the cake!
Day 1 follows the same route as used in the previous editions, but just when you think they can’t improve, they do! The singletrack sections this year were doubled, not in length, but literally in tracks, as they made two completely separate tracks running alongside each other to speed up congestion and make the fast guys wonder which line was fastest. The field was stronger than ever as many teams were using it as final preparation for the Epic. Needless to say the pace was flat out and soon after the first singletrack and onto the climb, the selection for the day was taking place. Dave and I, both riding the new Raleigh Moonraker full suspensions were putting time into our rival teams on the rough climbs, but we were favoring speed for control in what was some of the muddiest conditions I’ve seen on day one. Heavy rains leading up to the race, and a thousand four hundred bikers going through the route the day before, had made the track really slippery and technical for us. Any time we gained on the climbs we lost on the descends. However we managed to keep it together and in the end had to settle for second place on the day by only five seconds.

Day 2 for Dave and I was always going to be tough. Overnight rain and another day in hectic mud was on the cards, and with 30km of steep downhill singletrack to start, we had no doubt our competition would be trying to take time out of us. We lost about 90seconds down Murrays Meander and Nicks Pass, and from the bottom had to start chipping away. We maintained a hard pace up the long climb to the first water point, and just after cresting the top, we bridged the gap to the three teams out front. It was up the climb to the halfway compulsory stop that the bikes came into their own again, really rough jeep track allowed us to turn in the screws and put about 90seconds into the next chasing team. After a refreshing stop, we did a two man team trial to the finish, claiming the stage and the overall lead by nearly 6minutes.

Day 3 for us was just about conserving, riding within ourselves, taking no chances, making sure of no mechanicals and consolidating our overall lead in the race. Some of the teams forced the pace from early on and we could sit on, not having to contribute to the work load. It is always good if you can have a day without too much pressure and often in these circumstances you perform really well. We had a hassle free ride and the hardest part of the day was making sure we never fell off the floating bridge across the river mouth at Scottborough. A couple of the teams did take a swim here, including the stage winners on the day! We decided to sit the sprint out at the finish and let the other three teams contest it, for us we were just happy to have won the race overall, giving the other guys a chance for final glory.
Well done to the organizers for putting on a super event, yet again pulling out all the stops and improving on an event which is already world class.
So our preparation looks on track and I have no doubt we’ll be right up there with the best riders in the world, ready for the hardest conditions mother nature can throw at us!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New pics and kit..


So here are some new pic of our latest kit, it looks amazing, thanks to Pactimo in the States. The pictures at the training camp and launch were taken by our famous "epic" photographer, Karin. The launch was held down in Port Elizabeth over a week leading into the VW Herald cycle tour. Thanks to the staff for all there hard work. Phot credits go to:Karin Schermbrucker | Photographer


SLINGSHOT MEDIA
Changing perspectives changes the world


+27 (0) 82 663 3739
karin@slingshotmedia.co.za
http://www.slingshotmedia.co.za/

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Open season

So I haven't updated in a while, but due to some recent incidents it's been best for me to say less and stay of the net. I'll fill you all in with details and pics from out team launch and camp down in the "bay" last week, which was a huge success with the team looking amazing. Just a small thanks to all who have and continue to support me, appreciate it as always.
News to follow soon on last couple of days!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sorry Mike..

To Mike and Kyle, my avid supporters, will try keep postings more frequent.. sorry and thanks for following guys, see you soon! Viking... keep the wheels rolling and we'll bring you some better hoops for the Herald!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Attakwas Extreme MTB Challenge 09

The Attakwas extreme mountain bike challenge kicked off for it's third year from the Chandelier Game Farm just outside Oudtshoorn. This race although only three years old is fast becoming known as one of the toughest single day marathon events around the counrty. This year was no exception, as they unveiled a new start loop to the race, replacing the gravel roads that took you to the start of the Attakwas trail with awesome Chandelier jeep track as used in the Drifter event last year. This then meant that the first 60km or so comprised of really rough and technical trails, making for a hard 126km race!
Soon after the start, a three man break soft pedalled away from the pack comprising of Tiaan Kannemeyer, Francois Theron (Garmin/Adidas) and team mate David George (MTN/Energade). I was content to just sit in the bunch and conserve energy as I have expierenced first hand how hard the final 50km can be. Unfortunately when the break had about 3minutes lead, Dave was having technical problems with his bike as we had to do a rush job of putting it together the day before the race, and was soon forced to retire from the race. This meant I had to up the pace a bit to limit the time gaps to the leaders. Tiaan was brought back before the Attakwas started proper, leaving Francois out on his own.
At the top of the King of the mountain the gap was down to about 90seconds and on the rough descent I cut my tire, forcing me to stop and repair it with a gator and tube. After loosing about 5minutes and a few places, I pushed hard to get back into the race, only to crash a few kilometers later. My race was turning into a comedy of errors at this point as I told myself to pull myself together and just get through the final 5km of the Attkwas trail in one piece.
At the Spur water point after the Attakwas section, the time gap to Francois was now 9minutes, and apon hearing the news I contemplated stopping for the hamburger.
Never the less I pushed on and very soon I was hearing the time gap was starting to come down. I knew the last 40km would be really tough and pushed as hard as I could but at the end it was Francois who won by 2minutes, deservedly so as he rode a really brave race out front all day. I was content with my effort and strength that I had remaining after the big effort for the day. It was fascinating pacing myself according to the data I was receiving via my SRM power meter, as it was my first mountain bike race with this new technology. Thanks to the team and Activeworx, we have world class products and info which will go a long way in helping us prepare for our goals and objectives for the year.
Thanks very much to Henco and Carel and the whole team at the Attkwas for inviting our team to their event and accommodating us in Oudtshoorn, it's always a pleasure and we look forward to coming again and attempting to regain my title next year!