After a great showing from Team Pure Savage at the Durbie Dash two weeks prior and edging closer to Coronation DC time, the excitement levels were right up there and the boys were raring to go in Langebaan on Saturday morning. After a bit of gravel grinding between the race village and the start line – Waldo, Willie, Aaron, Stephen, Jarred, Klyde and Kevin lined up in A batch which included some pro’s as there was no PPA league race at this event. There were unfortunately a few absentees for Savage this weekend due to weddings, work commitments, quality time demands, shaving legs and one oke just jumping off mountains for fun…
We headed off through the residential suburb, taking a few sharp turns and hopping over speed bumps, warming the legs up before descending Mamba hill and into the nature reserve. Jarred had some terrible luck dropping his chain and having to get off to fix it and unfortunately there was no return to the bunch for him after that. Certain sections in the reserve had some pretty rough surfaces, but this made us feel right at home after the feel of our weekly Chappies rides have changed somewhat. There were a few nervous moments as a few bottles were ejected and one rider had a speed wobble, uncleated and caused another rider to go down. Hope he’s alright.
Things soon settled down and rolling hills became the order of the day and this generally invokes plenty attacking opportunities. Willie and Stephen had a dabble in a few of the moves, but the bunch wasn’t keen on letting anyone get away this early on and each attack was reeled in rather quickly, with Aaron, Waldo and Willie doing some strong work to pull things back together.
There was a slight tailwind for the first 20km, which is unusual for this race as the South Easter is normally pumping ensuring that there is plenty action for the gutter. At the first U turn point, the field got strung out nicely and it was hard work for the guys near the back to hang on and get back into the bunch. It was at this stage that the Cannonball started firing in reverse gear way before the noon gun, paying for one or two explosions off the front in the opening kilometers.
As we headed towards the second U turn point with the breeze in our faces, all the remaining Savages came to the front of the pack to show off our new 2017/2018 Ciovita kit, excited to be racing in it for the first time. Once again, things strung out nicely after the U turn as we headed down wind and it was always going to be at this point that the hammers were dropped properly to try to establish the break for the day. There was full road closure in the nature reverse for the race, but somehow a bus managed to sneak through and ended up in the breakaway… The breakaway of ten riders included Team Giant, Demacon-Aurecon, Alpha Bodyworks and some of the usual A batch protagonists. The breakaway riders attacked each other left, right and center for 15km, managing to keep their gap on the bunch. With about 10km to go, the bus ran out of diesel and went into TT mode and even had to engage low range to get up Mamba hill and over the finish line in 10th place.
The remaining four Savages (Aaron, Willie, Waldo and Stephen) were sitting in the bunch getting ready for the final challenge of the day – Mamba hill, a 700m climb at 7% gradient, which is always a little sting in the tail at the end of a race. The lads climbed Mamba hill with venom in their legs, ensuring that Savage had five riders in the top 30, capping off another lekker PPA event.