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!