45km, 750m climbing (Single track and forest jeep track)
We started day three with all the best intentions with the plan to ride in. The first spanner in the works was that our Air B&B puppy managed to nip Brendon’s already dodgy rear tyre, no problems, the plugs were out and quickly we were on our way. We were going to take the Roiberg road to the start which goes past the Aero Dome, therefore we followed a sign to the Aero drone. We only realised we were probably on the wrong track when we were half way to the N2.
This turned our warm up to the start to a race to the start. We may have also read the Strava profile to the start backwards, so instead of a downhill cruise to the start, it was a 250m climb to the start. We arrived just before the race started but were ushered to the back. All this meant was that Pure Savage got some extra exposure as we raced through the field to join the usual suspects at the front.
Brendon and Kevin had two different strategies for going through the field, Kevin either went through the puddles that the people were avoiding or around on the grass verge. Brendon however used his ridiculous roadie set up with his stem slammed to ride safely between riders and underneath their handle bars.
Once we had reached the 12km mark we had made it to some of our usual suspects and started to ride without sounding like Darth Vader. We made surprisingly fast work of the single track and technical climbs through the very dark forest. Our closest call was coming across the Plett jogging club of about 9 ladies who were jogging up the single track as Brendon was “pinning it” down the single track. The Needless to say Kevin heard some high pitch yelps, he was never able to ascertain who it came from.
A few minutes later disaster struck at the 32km mark as the sidewall gave out on Brendon’s rear tyre blowing out more air than a politician before an election. Luckily we had our plug kits ready and bombs primed, funny that. Once the tyre looked like a multi-plug from Buco we were off! In true Savage fashion this meant catching those that had flown past us.
We managed to catch up to a few of the riders that had passed us, Brendon felt his wheel going flat again but did not want to anger the Dolley any more so ground on until he was on the rim. We then stuffed some more plugs into the sidewall, and we were off again. Unfortunately the last single track contained the “roots of all evil” and did not bode well for the sickly tyre.
Luckily for us, as the tyre was going down the leading mixed team caught us and was kind enough to throw a bag of bombs at Kevin. We now had more working bombs than North Korea. We hammered the final stretch to the line just behind the team that gave us the bombs. We came home in 9th for the day, after losing 14 minutes while playing pin the tail on the “Donkey”.
This meant that we finished the Dr Evil Classic in 7th overall which we were very pleased with for the amount of time one of the team spent on mountain bike before the race. The event was a great first stage race and quickly got Brendon up to speed with climbing rocky climbs and racing with a partner.
Once we had taken our finish line photos, returned the bombs and high fived a few times we headed straight home as we had to get to the West Coast by dinner. So we hammered home, now the gradient in our favour and we cruised back to Plett. The last challenge was the small task of climbing the steepest tar road within 50km up to our Air BnB.
We had a stellar few days of racing in some of the most scenic areas of the country. Was also great to see that on Strava many of the trails are only used for the Dr Evil Classic so one is not able to ride them the rest of the year. Well done to Rob Sims for taking the individual overall and the boys from the Bike Shop for taking the team win. A massive well done to the organisers and all those from the race village that made the event such a great success with everything a cyclist would need, a great place to fix the bike you managed to break during the stage, a quick and easy place to clean your bike, places for a few sneaky beverages and meals that were amazing.