Having withdrawals from road racing since the cancellation of the Argus, the boys were ready for a little stretch of the legs in Wellington. After a brief warm up and scramble to find timing chips we were ready to roll. Our road captain for the PPA Sportif series, Kevin had read the route and apparently told us we were going to go out on the Vryguns road and then the finish would be back up the same road, wrong on both accounts, so far, so good.
The group A-C trundled along the R44 with a few digs from the Lead out boys, but due to the size of the bunch, the majority regrouped. As we reached Hermon, the Lead out boys, David Garret and two others broke away, never to be seen by the group again. This is when Kevin found himself stuck in the 11t, after an hour of mocking Calvin for having his cable snap on Thursday, his rear derailleur cable had done the same.
On the climb up out of Riebeek-Kasteel, Brendon considered waiting for Kevin who had already turned around, Calvin on the other hand decided to push on. Although after the Big Day out on Thursday, our legs did not have the gas on the climbs and found ourselves bringing up the rear of the group over the top of the climb.
Having been in this position countless times before, we set about on a 30km time trial. On the first descent we managed to swell to a group of about 9 riders, by the time we had reached Malmesbury we had bridged over to the next group on the road and added some more fire power to the chase. After some of the best pace lining I have experienced ever at a PPA event the peloton was back together with 20km to go in the event.
This last bit of effort put Calvin out the back of the group just as the two groups joined. The final 20km was rather sedate with one or two digs off the front keeping the group awake. Swinging right onto the drag up the Windmeul, Brendon went to the front to stay out of trouble, something he struggles to do at home. After catching a break away rider that was dropped, Brendon swung off to coast to the finish. As the gradient was not ridiculous he managed to come over the line with most of the group. Total time 2:19:34, 6 minutes behind the Lead out boys who won the first event! Calvin finished a minute behind the bunch after some hard graft trying to chase back on.
Overall the event was very well run by the PPA, a great course with some rollers, cross winds and a bit of a climb in the middle of the event. We feel that for a road event in May 300 riders was a good turn out! The team is looking forward to the next one on the 2nd of July 2017! Entries are not yet open for round 2, but watch the PPA website to enter! http://www.pedalpower.org.za/events/