Four seasons in a day without Summer,  Spring or Autumn.

Its that time of the year, the days are getting longer, Lions head is full of Cape Town Hipsters and Jozi chinas taking selfies and its  the Coronation Double Century time, well for Pure Savage its Christmas time. Its just like Christmas, you get all excited, go to bed early and then spend some a few  unforgettable hours in the pain cave. Most of the team got a wake up call when our Durban recruit, Bryan messaged to tell us he had “won his cat at the 94.7”, this then lead to a full stalking of his profile. The Double Century adds two
difficult elements not normally found in road racing in the Western Cape, more
distance than usual and a team dynamic. The 2016 edition of the race added a
few more factors, rain, freezing cold and gusting wind.

Coronation Double Century 2015

With the migration to Swellendam complete by Friday afternoon the team had their ever inspiring tactical session at Bontebok Park. The usual items were on the agenda, if you get a puncture we will see you at the next stop, if you have a mechanical we will see you at the next stop, if you get dropped we may see you at the next stop and do not forget your garmin. Then someone mentioned something about VAM up Tradouw and everyone stopped listening.

In the morning we met up at some random building site, as we unloaded the cars the heavens opened and we got our first taste of the weather for the day. Our two recruits joined us ready to race and then Travis arrived, having apparently already hammered into a ditch buckling his wheel. After some laughing at him and tapping of the wheel we decided it was fine and time to head off to the chutes.


Out of the town the pace was decent up the first little bump and once we were on the N2 Bryan let all hell break loose and we were flying before Brendon had chance to say ease up for the first of a million times that day, by that time we had already lost Rinaldo. Not to be outdone by Bryan, our local strong man Donovan made  sure that when Bryan rolled off the front the sledgehammer was still firmly in place.

As we made our way up Tradouw pass we were sitting at our pre approved 1000 bloody VAM and distanced Klyde, Nardus and Elbert. Once over the top of Tradouw and the push before the left turn towards Montagu, Travis was distanced and we were down to 7 riders within 55km.  This fact was quickly pointed out by many of the teams we passed with a plethera of riders in their ranks.

On the way towards Op te Tradouw we caught a few other teams but the headwind made hard work to open up a gap and then shared the work with a very well oiled Investec “misfits” crew.  Onto Op de Tradouw, the Investec team pulled away as we decided to keep all 7 riders together. Over the top the team dropped the hammer towards Montagu.

On the way to Montagu, the heavens opened again and in the chaos of the large groups passing slower teams the team was down to only 5. The team then took Montagu to Ashton “death race” safely as many of the slower teams refused to ride less than three abreast forcing many teams around.

Bryan and Delano doing a roll call

Luckily our 6th rider was only 3 minutes behind and stopped our timer at 3:17. Slightly behind our goal but with a tail wind coming up we were presently surprised as within minutes our entire team had rocked up and ready to push on!! Klyde did not get off the bike, he had his bottles changed and was off again.

Team together and ready to roll

Cannot keep him out of the cooler boxes… fatty

Nardus and his Piesang
Delano explaining his gooch split, not the group
Rolling out of the first stop, Bryan pulled out the big guns and powered away at the front, his tempo was so intense the team was down to 5 again as Brendon, Travis and Nardus were off the back just before the Robertson circle, luckily a big dig by the boys and the fact that three teams were on the slip of our 5 remaining riders made it a little easier to get back into the pace line. (Thanks to the EmbarkTri guy who apologised for no reason) Shortly after the Robertson circle we literaly hit the train tracks which sent both Calvins bottles flying, not wanting to lose any time the team handed him some of their “snake posion” according to Calvin. This may have been the lethal bite for Calvin as the different juice did not sit well with him. Lee, Elbert and Klyde also just lost contact with the group after the Robertson circle. 
Starting to become a regular thing

We charged into the second stop just less than an hour after leaving the first stop with 7 riders. It seemed that DC experience was starting to show as both Nardus and Travis were getting stronger after being dropped earlier in the day. There are not many photos of the second stop as the heavens opened for the third time that day and the ladies were busy throwing bananas, cramp block and some expired rocatanes at us.

 The last stretch started like the last one ended, balls to the wall, a very wet wall. Within the first 5km of the last stretch the Allan Gray team which we train with during the week had a fall up ahead, luckily nobody was too badly injured, according to our inside sources. The last few rollers, which are now the illegitimate sisters of the three sisters started to sting. We found ourselves sailing along with the Cycle Teknix team, at this stage we were very evenly matched and climbed the sisters quickly. 
By the time we had started the second sister the rain was pelting down drenching everyone to the bone. It was at this stage Travis had identified that him and Nardus were riders 6 and 7, so in an attempt to save himself from being obliterated over the final 8km he willed Nardus along shouting at him in Afrikaans. This seemed to do the trick as Nardus was back with the team, with Brendon no longer shouting ease up, but screaming in his incoherent speech, Hammer! 
The final little kick to the line was brutal, so in Pure Savage fashion Delano saw his opportunity for a Strava PB and launched up the climb and over the line. Those that tip the scales at more than 62kg on the other hand had a very different experience of the last climb. Brendon just remembers black and the sound of Bryans deep sections HED’s tearing up the climb. The team crossed the line in an official time of 5:35. The extreme conditions tested the teams to
the max, but after much shouting, mostly by Brendon and a little fighting and a slightly smaller group
than we would have liked, we crossed the finish line in Swellendam only a few
minutes short of our goal time.

The 7 that finished together

The rest of the team was only minutes behind with the last rider home in 5:52. A solid performance all round this year improving on prior years suffering. The DC is becoming a more and more special event every year, especially when you are so deep in the pain cave and fighting off cramp when a complete stranger you pass shouts, “Pure Savage, Hammer!!!!” You manage a wry grin as you take your turn on the front after Donny has turned you inside out for the past 5 minutes.

Rest of the Savages

The best chirp of the day was from a team we cruised past on Tradouw, the one sparky shouted “Pure Sausage!”, I was so impressed i even managed a laugh. Thank you to all the ladies again this year that ran the support vehicle for us, its never easy dealing with 12 guys clad in lycra complaining from the time they arrive at the stops till the time they roll out about anything and everything.

Here is some data from the Strava for the day

Another shout out to Crown Cycles in Claremont for helping us with a massive discount on the services for the two MTB we donated to the Coronation Double Century collection for the Swellendam community.