A whole lot of hammer

Team at the start of Coronation Double Century

Once the majority of the boys had returned from their stints overseas, the first topic that was brought up on the ride was DC 2014. In true Pure Savage fashion, the team took the increments they had been improving by over the last 3 years and ended up with a goal of 5:45.  After a whole bunch of high fiving the team got to work and started the sufferfest of training!

The team rocked up at our accommodation ready to hammer throughout the day on Friday. In the evening the team had the team meeting where numbers were given out and the splits along the route were explained. Then the issue of punctures within the first 64km was discussed, the team went from all stopping for puncture, to only 3 stopping to pace the rider back and  fianlly went back to the Savage usual of putting the team first and ride on and meet up with the team at the break.

Race report 

The team arrived in a misty Swellendam morning and started to get ready, this is when the smack talk started and some green looking chamios cream was passed round. The team rolled off to the start and for the only time during the day dropped Donovan as he had not seen us leave, so even before the start we had dropped a rider. Luckly we had plenty of time and Donovan rejoined the team at the show grounds. We met up with Capcha photography for the first of our awesome photos for the day!
Team hammering it out the gate!

The team hammered out the blocks and got onto the N2 and straight away into a paceline flying down the N2. Unfortunately within the first 12km we had our first incident of the day, Elbert got a puncture in his rear tyre and the team followed protocol and carried on hoping Elbert would make it to the stop to join us again. 

The team climbed very well up Todouw pass hitting our target at the top 2 minutes ahead of schedule. Brendon and Delano were set the task of tapping out the tempo up the climbs with Szymon at the back making sure we looked savage and that the tempo was not too high. Savage kept passing a constant stream of teams up and over the pass with relative ease as the teams were separated and very well positioned on the road. 

Team climbing well together

As the team turned right towards Op Trodouw the team stepped up the tempo in the paceline, this increase caused Adie to just fall off the back of the paceline. The team thundered along towards Op Trodouw passing teams hearing shouts of “Savage!” and “Hammer!” as we passed teams, this just put a bigger grin on the boys faces and increased the tempo further putting them deeper into the pain cave. 

The pain train at full steam

Once the team had reached the bottom of Op Trodouw the climbing plan was implemented with the guys tapping out a tempo on the front and the two rear gunners, Szymon and Donovan watching at the back. Our climb up Op Trodouw was by far one of the best parts of our race, the team was cool calm collected and worked together as a unit and crested together and hammered down the decent.

Delano dancing on the pedals

As soon as the team crested the top of the climb it was back into the teams pain train and the team took off together past the water point towards Montagu. The team was cracking on well and kept upping the tempo the closer we got to the Ashton stop. This increase in pace had its next victim as Klyde popped spectacularly after a massive turn on the front he went from 48km/h to 12km/h as his legs did not agree too much with all the hammering.

Donovan showing his strength

The team managed to hammer into Ashton in 3 hours and 10 minutes , after negotiating some of the slower and more inconsiderate teams in the race. Many of the teams we came across were riding 3-4 abreast crossing the centre white line leaving no space for other teams to pass them without breaking the white line rule.

Flying through Montagu

Once we arrived at the stop we did not have to wait long at all for Elbert to rock up as he ended up only being 3 minutes behind, and although he had sat on the back of other groups it was no walk in the park to the first stop for him. Klyde and Adie rocked up a little while later, Klyde was not in a good space at all when he arrived, the team thought it was the last we would see of him as he was making the same sound a dying giraffe makes. A mere 6 minutes later after some funny green cream, a handful of USN pills, and some water the support crew got him back onto his bike and pushed off with the boys.

Team ready to rip it apart at the first stop

A very similar but not as dramatic procedure was followed when Adie rolled in, he had his diabetes tested, bottles changed a quick photo for the fans and off he went with the team.

Adie digging deep

Savage rolled out of the second stop with all 12 riders, a sight never seen before. The next stretch was not the best for the team as they team took some time to find their rhythm again. Bernard put some massive efforts on the front going towards Bonnivalle to make sure that we still kept a decent tempo. Just before the second stop a massive group of about 8 of the teams that started behind us rolled past and we managed to latch on for the last 3 km before the stop. 

Travis putting on a gun show for Joe

The stop could not have come at a better time as Brendon picked up a front puncture and was not doing so well on the bike. At the stop Brendon threw up, had his appendix checked that it had not burst, threw up again then had some of those USN pills from the bottle, a ton of water and was ready to go. The entire team has underestimated the effect of the heat and did not realise how dehydrated they really were. With all our bottles topped up and ready to roll savage left the stop with 10 savages ready to smash the last 40km. 

Team looking to hammer the last 40km

Over the next 25km the boys all took turns at the front putting in big efforts until they could physically no longer pedal, there was no hiding or wheel sucking by any of the team members. As we approached the first of the turn off to drew we lost Pottie after a massive turn on the front, then a little while later the efforts of solo’ing the first half of the race caught up with Elbert.

As the team approached the first sister Simon’s diesel engines gave in and we were down to 7. Donovan took over the duties of reminding the team to drink, when he said drink you could see all 6 riders reach down and drink. At that point we were so determined we think Donovan could have said anything and we would have done it. Nardus put in a stellar effort to fight off cramp and tap out a tempo over the last sister. Over the second sister Delano was just distanced by the team and instead of asking the team to wait he demanded we hammer home. 

Boys cresting the first sister

Szymon not needing too much encouragement to hammer subsequently dropped the hammer up the first sister, the remaining six nursed their cramping legs up the hill and there were a few helping hands from Donovan and szymon on the final sister. Once the last sister was dispatched with it was the last dip into the pain cave. Everyone took massive turns into the slight headwind keeping the tempo high all the way to the end.

Boys smashing the pace line
The final climb was taken as a team and climbed well, we could see on the garmin’s that we were going to make our goal and the last rise to the line was greeted with an all out savage sprint! Donovan had been such a savage all day and had been pushing guys up all the climbs and really sacraficing himself for the team all the way until the final climb where his legs gave in. He really earnt his savage stripes for digging so deep and suffering so much.The team pulled over into a push just passed the line and waited for the fellow riders to cross the line, the team did not have to wait long for the next 4 riders to finish. 
Boys tasting blood up the last sister

The official time for the team was 5:43:51, and more importantly 24th overall for the team. Pure Savage could not be more proud of all the guys that rode for the team, it would not have been possible to do the sub 5:45 without all the riders in the team for putting in massive efforts all day until hitting the wall. 

This is what Team Pure Savage is about, it is about the team result and what is best for the team. Team Pure Savage is not 12 individuals that come together once a year in Swellendam and look after individual egos. Every single rider on Pure Savage only had the team goal in mind and what was best for the team, sacrificing ones own time for the benefit of the team, that is real team work. That is Pure Savage.
Team at the Savage tent afterwards

All the riders would like to say thanks again for the hard work and dedication our support crew gave us on the day, if you thought our pace line was well oiled you should have seen our rest stops. As soon as we arrived, bikes were taken and bottles replaced, sun cream reapplied, oils massaged onto legs, vital signs for Klyde were checked and all litter was picked up and thrown away much to the pleasure of Simon. 

The team was extremely grateful to the sponsors for the Double century this year, Mitchum South Africa and Goodhope Oncology. Our sponsors allowed the team to train together at races more often than in the past, smell better and have some awesome kit for the season. We cannot say thank you enough for all the support and I think the dedication the team has shown is reflected in the result. 

There are some very exciting things planned for the new year for Team Pure Savage, 12 riders may just not be enough and who says ladies cannot be Savage?