After months or weeks of preparation for the Coronation Double Century many road cyclists are frothing for the team time trial next week in Swellendam. With the very important webinar done we thought it best to do a preview for this year’s event.

Most people celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December, for Pure Savage the most exciting day of the year is the 25th of November. Gifts of hammer, suffering and popping of legs are all to be had in plenty at the Coronation Double Century.

If this is your first Double Century we have some top tips for you:

• Make sure that you understand your teams goal for the day, if you want to pull a Nibali down Tradouw pass while your team is going for the Charles Milner award, you are going to be as popular as Gianni Moscon.

• Don’t try and catch 15 teams before you turn off the N2, there are plenty tough grades to pass as many teams as your legs allow.

• Your team mates are lying to you if they tell you the last climbs of the day are the three sisters, there is a cramp inducing kick to the line which still needs to be negotiated after 200km.

• Don’t forget your timing chip, especially as every member of your team matters when it comes to stopping and starting times at the stops. Don’t be that person on Monday morning emailing Racetec with a link to your Strava file and a sob story.

• There is a lekker vibe at the end of the event with plenty shade, bring some moola for a few mineral waters.

Having looked at this year’s course with neutral zones and forced stops, there is around 188km of racing at this edition of the Coronation Double Century. Savages goal this year would be to dip under five hours and ten minutes. This would be a five minute improvement on last year which seems hammerlicious. Other goals include finishing with only 6 riders and breaking the 2000 follower mark on Instagram #LifeGoals

We have scanned the start list and have had a quick look at teams we have raced with before and who to look out for on the road. First is a new DC team, well the name at least the Cyclopaths, we have ridden with them in events during the year but not at Double Century. Then we have our usual teams we race against, Storck, Summit, the Coro team, Team Pitstop 24 and The Misfits. We look forward to some hard riding with them this weekend.

What about the pro’s you ask, well it will probably depend on who has managed to lure the biggest motors in the pro cycling scene for this years event. Last year after losing 5 minutes in the first half the event the team with the Di-Data boys turned on the gas and won the event in the last 80km. One can normally spot Ben Swift in the Hot Chillie team, with some strong development riders and some veteran Hot Chillie road captains. The Alpha Body works and Active Bodies will also have their fair share of riders with some wins on the road this year.

For this years event Pure Savage was lucky enough to partner with the awesome guys from Toyota that saw we dropped tons of hammers and decided only a Hilux would be tough enough for our support vehicle. Our kit again was made by the awesome team at Ciovita. Our media partner has remained Bikehub again this year where you can find our race reports for the Cape Town road races.

The Pure Savage team for Coronation Double Century 2017:

Brendon Stevens (Brenda)

Height 183cm

Weight: 75kg

Age: 29

Team captain and veteran of Pure Savage, Brendon enjoys shouting from the pace line, posing for QOM pictures and coming up with most of our nicknames. He’s also highly skilled for taking photos and tweeting from the bunch during races.

Calvin Moore (Cool Shades)

Height 178cm

Weight: 69kg

Age: 29

Mr Cool Shades is built like a truck and possesses an uncanny ability to power up climbs while still being able to hold a fully audible conversation. He also pops in spectacular fashion every year at DC.

Klyde Stevens (Cannonball)

Height 186cm

Weight: 82kg

Age: 27

The Cannonball is known for two things: bringing down entire pelotons owing to his crash tactics and popping after a lengthy spell on the front of our pace line. If one of these attributes is to come to fruition we hope it’s the latter…

Kevin Dolley (Bus)

Height 188cm

Weight: 88kg

Age: 30

Kevin or the Dolley Lama as we like to call him is a genuine bus on the flats – his burly frame allowing the team to draft him… if they’re able to keep up. A lover of puns he brings much laughter on team rides.

Waldo Zevenster (The Wall)

Height 194cm

Weight: 84kg

Age: 35

The colossus is one of the biggest men we’ve ever seen ride a bike. Coming from a MTB background Waldo knows how to suffer. His role will be to keep the pace up on the flats until he pops, which is unlikely.

Jarred Salzwedel (Quadfather)

Height 184cm

Weight: 73kg

Age: 26

The quadfather has become a Savage incumbent. A master of riding in the wind, he’s famous for going off the front on training rides and causing a massive knob-slinging contest for the next 4 hours. He can also put in a sprint and climb attack at regular intervals.

Aaron Borrill (Bottle)

Height 177cm

Weight: 64kg

Age: 35

Bottle, the lightest member of the team, joined Savage just after DC in 2015 and impressed with his long hours in the saddle, dedication (he did spend 80 hours on Zwift because of Willie) and climbing ability. While he enjoys riding with the team he secretly wishes DC had a solo category.

William Robinson (Will.I.Am)

Height 186cm

Weight: 72kg

Age: 36

Will.I.Am is known for four things: running, secret training, KOM-hunting and hairy legs. The latter has thankfully been sorted out by some intervention from his wife. When Will rides he rides hard and rolls through the pace line with such devastation, he regularly drops the entire team.

Theunis de Bruin (Bring the Pain)

Height 186cm

Weight: 81kg

Age: 30

Theunis got our attention for all the wrong reasons – he wasn’t wearing any socks but we overlooked that because of his awesome Canyon Aeroad eTap machine. Something he likes riding very, very fast. When Theunis is on the front, suffocation is likely to follow for all who ride in his slipstream…

Willie Calitz (Branch Manager)

Height 189cm

Weight: 73kg

Age: 35

Willie is more of a mountain biker than bona fide roadie but he knows how to suffer. He also caused a massive crash earlier in the year by avoiding a branch, which sent Aaron and Brendon to hospital. He’s been known as the branch manager ever since.

Bernie Griessel (Centaur)

Height 182cm

Weight: 76kg

Age: 30

The Centaur is one of our most powerful riders and is known for his incredible turn of pace, Nairo Quintana-like poker face and uncanny ability to ride 60km/h everywhere. Nobody wants to follow Bernie’s wheel in the pace line come race day.

Stephen Courtney (Gramps)

Height 183cm

Weight: 74kg

Age: 41

The Savage rookie is also our oldest member – we think he’s about 50, something that could be confirmed by carbon dating his kit. For his final prep for the DC he took a trip to Thailand, brave move!

All photos are the work of Rob Ward Photography