Gutters, climbs and more gutters

With the festive season behind us and plenty of instagram and interval training behind us it was time for the Bouckaret Soenen road race. Another awesome race hosted by The Rotary club of Paarl and the Pedal Power Association. The race is 127km of mostly rolling hills with a large climb up Riebeek Kasteel thrown in to spice things up.

Team chilling in the Peleton – Photo credit DoubleST

5 Savages lined up in the A group, which was momentarily split by PPA as they had too many A seedings, maybe rather than randomly splitting the group on the morning, maybe have a look at those hill climb seedings.

The start of the race was very uneventful rolling out of Paarl and towards Wellington with a few accelerations but the bunch staying together. There were attempted breaks all the way to Hermon then once the turn was made the pace eased up waiting for the climb up Riebeek Kasteel. As the pace slowed Brendon and Kris from team Oryx used the opportunity to go up the road to the lone cyclist, Robby from Bicycle Addict. The plan was to be able to climb at own pace up the climb and crest with the rest of the race.

Brendon’s move of the day to stay in the race – Photo credit DoubleST

At this point Nardus may not have being paying attention and with the lull in pace decided to set the tempo on the lower slopes of the climb, effectively reeling in Brendon.

The bunch chasing up the climb – Photo credit DoubleST

On the climb Brendon managed to stay ahead until just before the crest and watched Bernard fly past sitting 5th wheel in the bunch with Delano in the second bunch over the top. Nardus crested with Brendon in the 3rd group over with Kevin seconds behind them.

As always on the long decent the three groups came back together but unfortunately for Kevin he could just not close the 100m to the group. As the group reached the Malmesbury turn the attacks started and the crosswinds shredded the peleton. Bernard was very well placed at the front but the remaining guys were behind one or three dead wheels. Brendon managed to hang in the second split and worked well with some other riders to pull the group back to the front group on the road.

Kevin in another pain cave just behind main peleton – Photo credit DoubleST

Delano and Nardus just missed the split and were unable to bridge back. After some massive efforts the wind took its first victim and Delano popped. Minutes later Kevin came past and tried to get Delano to pull in and was greeted with a blank stare.

Pushing up the rise to Windmeul – Photo credit DoubleST

The race sped through Windmeul and the last big push before the R44 saw one or two riders off the back. Bernard and Brendon finished in the bunch just behind the sprint, a tough day out and some proper suffering. Nardus and Kevin rolled in together 8 minutes back with Delano a minute behind them.

For those that are too busy to read the full report you can check out the flyby here and for those that would like to check out the strava file for a little bit of strava stalking, you can click here

Big thanks to Cycling with Double ST for the awesome photos!

The boys after the race

Well done the team for an awesome effort in a tough race. The boys are looking forward to the 99er Cycle Challenge on the 6th of February!

Route map and elevation from STRAVA