|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.
|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.
|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|
|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.
|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.