Dust and broken
saddles

Two Pure savage riders, Carl and Waldo were in the mood for
a hammering session and headed to the XCO at Rhebokskloof this past Saturday.
While driving there we got a few reports from our scouts at the race that said
“the track was dusty and there were some killer uphill’s reaching the 20 % gradient mark”
This was promising to be a sufferfest of note.
We arrived at the venue and immediately felt the tension in
the air. With SA champs banners, serious race faces, bikes and gear that we can
only dream about and the buzzing sound of cyclists warming up on rollers we
realised this was the next level compared to the previous event!

This was
serious business.

Unfortunately we couldn’t do a practice lap on the day (some
CSA rule) so we asked around where the technical sections were and headed that
way just to see what it was all about. It looked ride able. Not seeing more than
70 percent of the track was not ideal but that’s pretty much the Savage protocol! 
We did a quick warm up and headed to the starting chute.
With a big screen and announcer calling up each rider it felt like we were starting
our own world cup race. With a massively talented sub vet and vet field it
was the perfect recipe for an epic battle. Waldo being and XCO virgin he was
nervously quiet and I was standing on the front row thinking how did  I manage to get here, this can’t be
right.
As the race referee sent us off some serious wattage bazooka’s were dropped.
I kept on telling myself just don’t go to hard and burn all my matches on the
first incline rather take the abuse on the Savage whatsapp group. We headed into the first single track and
with dust everywhere, you could barely see where you were heading. As we reached
the feeding zone for the first time I looked around and saw Waldo was way
behind. Turns out he overcooked the turn into the
first single track and the whole field past him. I think he just wanted more of
a challenge and come from behind if you ask me.
The second lap started and I felt surprisingly good even
though I was of the leaders pace. In the second half of the course while heading down the single track my saddle went dull BMX style. I realised I had to stop
if I don’t want to cause some serious damage to my family jewels. The tech zone
was just ahead and with my boet injured he was the tech crew for the day. It felt like a formula
one stop with him fixing my bike while I am trying to refuel and watching the field flyby! Within a few minutes I was back on my bike again.

On the third lap Waldo took a nasty tumble down one off the
“Massive” drop offs. He hurt his knee but soldiered on like a true Savager. On the fourth lap I was just trying to play catch up with Waldo just in front
of me. With legs hurting and concentration dwindling this is what XCO is all
about, pushing our bodies to the max and actually enjoying it in a strange way.
The final lap I caught up with Waldo with 500 meters to go.
He went down the last “Very technical” drop and somehow lost his saddle in the
process. Apparently his seat did not appreciate his tackling of the drop off and snapped off! Hard luck bud, maybe a little less of Brendon’s hot cross buns, at least it
was close to the finish.

The event was an awesome outing for the Savages
even though we realised we have a lot to learn going forward! Hats off to my boet that did an amazing job  in the feedzone, also
to Niell Ungerer for his win in the subvets category and all the other winners
in their respective categories! XCO racing is back in a big way. Come join us
for the next one at Bloemendal on the 1st of April. 
The next event for the Savages will be Waldo and
Aaron racing the Argus mountain biking event before the big reunion of all
the Savages at the Cape Town Cycle Tour!