Bloemendal Xco: Lots of climbing and some jumping
This past Saturday was the 3rd round of the Western province xCO series held at Bloemendal just outside Durbanville. With Waldo preparing for the 36one Carl was the only Savage rider lining up in the start chute. Brendon ditched his road ride in the morning and came through with his family to see what this XCO malarkey is all about and took some awesome pics in the process.
With some rain falling the previous day the track at Bloemendal was in suburb condition. We could not have asked for better conditions on the day with the temperatures hovering in the mid-twenties. The course had a lot of climbing to be dealt with, about 800 meters of vertical accent in 28 km. It was always going to be a leg tester.
With a record field lining up in the subvet category this was promising to be a hard race as we have come to know by now. With the whistle being blown, it was hammering from the start with lactate flooding the legs. On the first big climb Niel, Darryn and Donovan roared ahead. I just tried to climb at a good pace and not burn too many matches at the start, very much against the Savage race tactics. Coming down Lombards terra (flowing downhill section) there was some awesome jumps and lekker burmed singletrack.
On the opening lap I felt like a regular Greg Minaar, but on lap two a few guys came passed and the mind started playing tricks. Lap 3 my boet caught me and we matched pace with each other and I started to feel more confident. As the race progressed the legs started coming back and managed to start chasing the rider in front, Ashley. On the final lap I caught up with Ashley and managed to pull a gap on the singletrack climb. Going down Lombards terra for the last time I saw Malcolm in front of me and tried my utmost to catch him but could not manage to bridge the gap.
Congratulations to Niel With his 3rd win in a row in the subvet category. Hats off also to all the other category winners. XCO is here to stay! A massive thanks to WP MTB that ran the event and all the companies that came down to create the race village! It really made a lekker event to watch for the fans! Next race is on the 27th of April 2017 at Rhebokskloof. Hammer!