With the road duties of Saturday’s LCE Lagoon Cycle Challenge done and dusted, our resident West Coast Savage Willie “branch manager” Calitz also did the LCE Lagoon MTB Funride on Sunday…Local is mos lekker!
With the short MTB route of 38km,which ended up stretching to 43km, it was set to be a hammer fest “en mielie gooi sessie” from the get go. With local pride on the line Willie warmed up and luckily for him disaster struck just before the race when he was popping wheelies in the car park, his chain broke in two with about 10min to race start. We will not quote his “gevleuelde weskus woorde” at that time. A quick run to the local bike shop stand for a “lap en plak” of the chain with some quick links fixed it quick, quick.
With hopefully the mishap of the day out the way, he lined up in time for the start. This year’s route changed due to some landowner restrictions but for the most part, it was a welcomed change as this eliminated 90% of the sandy sections and added only a little tarmac, which the team says is a good thing.
The race set off and as expected it was “oop ketels en ‘n mielie gooiery” from the start line in Pure Savage style as they all headed out to the Park and a small group of 5 quickly broke away before dropping off one more to be left with only four riders battling it out for the top 3 spots. Christopher Engel and Willem traded the lead for a bit until Christopher started pulling away on the climb heading back to the tarmac in the Park and the two young guns decided to finally join the party and started chasing down the gap.
At this point the road race the day before started to make its presence felt in Willies pistons. Willie found himself battling the North Westerly wind on his own heading to the Seeberg Lookout climb, just shy of the last podium step.
Not to be deterred he marshalled on and soon found himself catching up with one of the young guns who looked to have picked up a small mechanical in the single-track heading down from the Seeberg Lookout climb. Sitting third heading up Mamba again, the young gun once again caught up and the chase was on to keep the podium hopes alive. Barreling towards the Estate the duo was temporarily detoured when a road side marker had fallen over.
As the duo entered the final loop through the estate, they found the other young gun on the side of the road with a flat and so the race for the second spot suddenly started heating up. Heading to the Fox trail section Willie found a bit of his reserves up the climb when disaster struck his competitor who got a flat at the top of the climb. This instantly triggered the Savage in Willie who started dropping the hammer as he realized it is now the chase for the top spot.
Unbeknownst to him the gap to the lead at this point was just under the 10-minute mark but like a bloodhound who just picked up a fresh trail he started digging deep into those dark recesses of his soul to find whatever hammer, spanner or “mielie” he could find to throw.
Hammering out Black Eagle, roosting Snakebite’s berms and going full Greg Minnaar on the Olifantskop “downhill” it was not to be and he had to settle with second place crossing the line in the end just 2m30s behind Christopher Engel with Hanno Smit rolling into the third spot some 3 plus minutes later.
Big thank you to the Langebaan Country Estate and Park Rangers for organizing a “lekker local” double-header weekend and all the sponsors for making it possible. And remember to keep dropping those hammers and gooiing the occasional mielie!
All photos from the LCE Lagoon Facebook page.