Having completed Cape Town’s hilliest race a few weeks ago at the one tonner, it was time for Savage to take on one of the flatter races on the calendar, the Durbie Dash. One or two Savages picked up substitution entries due to one or two crashes in the past week, which for some reason meant they were only allowed to start in the A bunch. This worked out well as the Savage mixed team and Savage social team had one or two riders seeded in A.
Mark was one of the riders that were in an accident last weekend so had picked up a new bike on the Friday night before the race, thanks to Eskom he got to set up the bike with his wife holding a head lamp! Another fine for Mark, he is now worrying about the fines evening more than the actual double century!
Once the first two batches had rolled out, it was the turn of the jovial A batch to set off. After hustling through the suburbs the large group was heading out of Durbanville on an almost perfectly still summer morning. No sooner had we left the shelter of the suburbs the team started on the front setting off for the group up ahead.
There were a hand full of riders that got caught up in the paceline and ended up trying to teleport themselves once arriving in second wheel. There were a few chuckles and some top tips for pacelines were handed out quickly.
There was a slight lull in the pace as the group passed the fruit sellers four way stop, this sent Kevin into rage mode, pointing out he didn’t drop back to A for Savages to just sit on. More fines were handed out to Mark who was battling with his bike that was set up by candle light. This turn in pace thinned out the group again and soon the group rolled past Windmeul picking up one or two riders from the group up ahead.
On the approach to the Paardeberg ramp the team spotted the bunch ahead for the first time. This caused one or two short lived attacks off the front on the Paardeberg ramp. The team started to tick over with a fast moving paceline with other riders from the group now pulling through with the carrot of the group in front dangling up ahead. Once the train swung onto the R302 the catch was almost made and a few Savages got a little excited and rode off the front to bridge over to the % group.
Once everyone had made it over, the CSA commissionaire tried to wave the A group through with a red flag but with the mix of seedings that started in A it was going to be close to impossible to only get the A group riders to ride ahead of the % group. The team tucked into the large group and waited for the final kicks to the line.
On the climb to Spes Bona the group thinned out and Brendon took some inspiration from his brother and cannonballed off the front, unfortunately nobody else was willing to roll the dice and a few minutes later the swollen bunch was rolling down towards the final kick to the line. The sprint to the line was chaotic but the majority of the team crossed the line in the top 10! A big shout out to the U/16 youngsters that rode in the paceline all day and to Tyler Lange for winning the entire sprint! It was a great race being able to ride with the other Savage teams and work on not crashing into one another this weekend!
A suggestion for the organizers in future would be to have smaller bunches, this would make it easier for breakaways to form and harder for people to sit in the bunch. It would also have the added benefit of being safer on the road with small bunches. The facilities at the school have been upgraded making the whole venue really great for the race village! The next race Savage will be racing will be the Langebaan Cycle Challenge on the 9th of November!