the second round of the south african xc cup series took place at mankele mtb park just outside of nelspruit.the lap was quite long at 8.5km but nice and flowwing so the times were pretty quick.on friday morning it rained pretty heavily but by the time i headed out to practice it was drying and getting better lap after lap.
my mom made the trip up so for a change she would take care of things for me in the feed zone.she has always had a nack with feeding me well...our elite batch was up for 6 laps and in the heat of summer fluids are crucial.
i started well,leading the group into the firsts single track where i set a comfortable tempo for the first fe minutes and as i found my rythm early on i put the hammer down mid way up the first climb.the climb was quite fast and bumby so i had the perfect ride onboard my specialized epic.i managed to get a sweet gap before the top and settled in on the descent back.as i entered one of the rocky singletracks however,my left shoe hit a rock breaking my cleat off.at first i must have looked like a dog digging a hole in the grouind as i tried to find the cleat on the pedal,but i soon realized there was nothing there.so i made my way to the finish the best i could and by then had probably only lost a minute or so.i then had to face the fact that i forgot my spare shoes in our cabin which was a 5min walk for my dad.so i borrowed some shoes(specialized ofcourse)and set of on the second lap to just limit my losses until i could get my own shoes.i managed to bring the gap back down to a minute by the end of the second lap and then again came to a halt.i think my shoe change this time around was one that conrad and dan would be proud of(xterra triathletes).and then again i set off in persuit of the leader.first io had to make my way around a few other riders and only at the end of the 3rd lap i caught up to brandon stewart (dcm).i sat behind him through the start to get my breath back and then again made it hard on the climb.i got a gap and this time kept it cool all the way to the end of the 6 laps and even surprising myself with a 5minute winning margin.
after the race i left for pretoria to race the road on sunday.i just cont get enough of the tarmac it seems!the race went well.it was pretty flat for most part and on the oly real climb i went in a move but we were soon brought back.in the finish i went out from around a kilometer to go and got swept up about 150m from the line so all in all just a good training ride,the average was a brisk 47km/h!
over the next two weeks ill do my last big mileage weeks and then i gear up for sa road and mtb champs ,followed closely by the epic...