Monday, September 20, 2010

The Herald Pennypinchers Karoo to Coast

The Karoo to Coast is another home town race for me, and another one of my favorite races on the calendar for the year. The race is a real classic, starting in the Karoo town of Uniondale, finishing in the beautiful town of Knysna. I’ve watched this race grow over the years, and this year, it had a record number of entries, just over three thousand riders! What makes this even more impressive, is the fact that the event doesn’t feature a shorter distance, so all riders have to do the full 100km! And with around 1800m of climbing in the “downhill” ride, this proves to be a tough day for the average rider, and everyone finishing within the cut off time can be really proud of themselves.
The start is always fast and hectic as the race heads into the “Ou Wapad”, a narrow rough jeep track section and riders need to be in a good position here to stay in contention. I hit the trail and quickly took the lead, riding a hard but steady tempo. Over the top I looked back and had a good gap of around 30seconds to the next rider, and nearly a minute to third. I continued to ride my own tempo, comfortable but steady, and only half way down the Prince Alfred’s Pass had Mathys Beukes (Scott) managed to join me at the front. It was great to have some company and someone willing to help with the pace as we continued to put more time into the riders chasing us from behind. Not long after the King of the mountain Mathys had a slow puncture on the front wheel, and unfortunately for him was forced to stop and fix it. So with around 55km left to ride I was again on my own.
I kept the pace fairly high as my Volcan 29er was tearing up the course. I kept thinking to try push hard to get close to the route record, but with the new start and finish loops, I wasn’t sure whether it would be possible. With only the lead bikes for company, I continued to push myself and make the most of the day, giving myself a good workout for the rest of the races still coming up.
At the end I managed to solo into the finish at around 3hrs 5min, pretty close to the fastest time set for this route previously. Mathys had to ride in a few minutes down, with another puncture, and Erik Kleinhans taking a well earned third place.
It was great to manage winning this “home town” event back to back, as it has never been done before, and of course, its always great to give all the locals who support me something to cheer about!

Next race will start already on Thursday, The Clover Lowveld Tour in Graskop, Mapumalanga. This looks to be a really hard tour with good competition, and I’ll just have to see how the body handles a four day tour with loads of climbing and long stages.
Till then, cheers.
Kevin Evans

Provisional results:

1st Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade) 3hrs05
2nd Mathys Beukes (Scott)
3rd Erik Kleinhans (Mr Price/GT)


Izak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Izak said...

.....sorry small spelling mistake

Well done Kevin, you're a machine dude.
Was my first K2C and can now only fully appreciate what you do to this "poor" course ;)
Well done again!!