The Reeds Delta 99er takes place in Durbanville, put on by the El Shaddai School. And every year the organizers do a great job putting on this event. It has special memories for me as it was one of the first road races I won in 2004, and then last year, with the route change to the finish, managed to win it again, just edging out team mate Dave George.
This year it again attracted the top Cape Town based teams, along with a few professional riders honing their form for the upcoming Tour of South Africa in a weeks time, including the likes of newly crowned South African Chmpion Darren Lill(DCM), Carl Pasio(RSA Web), Christian Kriek(Toyota/Cycle Lab) and of course Team360Life.
The race was really fast out the blocks, and with not much wind, the attacks were thick and fast. However with quite a few teams with numbers like Daikin Gu, Cape Town Fishmarket and RSA Web, everyone was marking each other and it was a great speed session for the first hour. It was about after an hour when I had another dig and nobody followed, and as I was there more for the workout, I decided to carry on and see what transpired. Luckily for me I saw a rider coming across the gap, and after a short while, my old team mate from way back then joined me, Alistair Davies from Daikin Gu. We rolled through together and basically did enough to keep the peleton at around a minute. It was a super effort and I believe the group behind had to work fairly hard to chase us. I was reluctant to give up, and even when Alistair tired, I continued to make the tempo hard by myself, merely getting the workout in. I stayed away from the bunch until around 10km to go, and unfortunately for me, I knew Vissershok was waiting, and the legs were not feeling good by this stage.
Dave was looking good when the group caught us, and I decided to dig a little more to stay with them to see if I could be of any assistance. On the small climb leading into Vissershok I got dropped, but fought hard to get back, and once I got back, I attacked again, I think it was my only chance to get over the climb in the front! I managed again to get a small gap, enough to get a head start on the climb, and I only just made it over the top with the small group of around 7 riders, including all the favorites.
Big effort, but that was me done, and I had to grovel up the final one kilometer climb to the finish line, but workout done.
Dave managed 5th in the small gallop to the finish, the young Christian Kriek edging out Darren Lill for the win, and Carl Pasio taking third. For my consolation prize I managed to take the ‘King of the wind’ prize.
Combined with another couple hours of training after the race, it was another goal achieved for me in my mission to find my form!
Thanks again to the race organizers for having Team360Life at their event, and giving us great radio airtime and coverage, another fantastic event they put on.
Next race, the all exciting and finally much anticipated Cell C Tour of South Africa. We have a great team for this, and I’m looking forward to the week of racing to help with my preparation. Till then, cheers.
1st Christian Kriek (Toyota/Cycle Lab)
2nd Darren Lill (DCM)
3rd Carl Pasio (RSA Web)
4th Stefan Ingenfeldt (CT Fishmarket)
5th Dave George (Team360Life)