West Coast Wheel Suckers
After being postponed a few months ago the Outriders West Coast Express was the final Pedal Power Association event of the year. Due to Tokai opening, The Cape Town Sevens and the festive season having kicked off most of the Savage team was out of action for the action on Sunday, the remaining Pure Savage members decided to join the Pure Savage Compact team for something a bit different.
|Ready to rumble!|
The new route for the West Coast Express included a new start venue, Killarney race track, this made for parking and admin before the race being pain free. The new route was the most climbing ever in a West Coast Express route, the route at only 80km served up roller after roller on the day making for an interesting ride. Link to strava segment of route here
At 7am Brendon led us out of Killarney towards town at a rather sedentary pace making sure that everyone had managed to clip in and press start on their garmins. Soon enough Tikkidraai came into view and proved to be quite a tough cookie for some of the diesel engines of Pure Savage compact. The plan was for the domestiques to sit on the front in the wind and lend a ‘hand” on the hills to make sure that the diesel motors kept up with our start group. This strategy worked flawlessly for about 2 minutes, until those Savages lending a hand started to race each other to see who could drop the other Savages lending a hand on the climb. This led to dropping of a little too much hammer for some of the group we started in, our bad.
|Somewhere past Durbanville|
After weaving our way through Durbanville we headed out to Fisantkraal with its long airport rise and plethora of subsequent rolling hills. The wind was kind for this time of year and the group managed to cruise along in team time trial mode at just over 40 clicks.
After what seemed like a never ending amount of rollers, we crossed the famed gravel section of doom. However, at the speeds we were doing it really wasn’t a problem. The most painful part was that Brendon would not shut up about how awesome cyclo-cross would be and that we should all look out for a cyclocross bike in the bikehub classifieds. The real problem was Malanshoogte, 5 km of pretty steep stuff in what was now the heat of a fiery summers day. Its a real treat doing this climb in a race as the last time it was used was the 2014 99er.
The finishing stretch was littered with a few small rollers and a welcoming downhill run in to Killarney. It was here that Brendon and Klyde turned on the taps leaving Calvin to catch the popping members and Savage Compact and push them back into the group. We were treated to a lap of the race track and finished with a time of.
Overall it was a fantastically organised race: there were lots of informed marshals to guide us, decent sized start groups, plenty of parking and a bar stocked with ice beverages. It was great meeting guys on route and chatting about Savage and how some of our posts inspire people to get out of bed and go ride in the morning!
Hats off to the organising team at the Outriders – it’s fantastic that everyone got a chance to do the West Coast Express in 2016 and a cracking new route!