The cycling season is in full swing in Cape Town after a rocky start with the Medihelp Stellenbosch cycle Tour being cancelled due to brisk breeze. This cancellation did lead to the promotion of the 99er to a premier seeding event to the 2020 Cape Town Cycle Tour. The late change to the route due to the road works on the N7 was set to spice the racing, with Vissershok being conquered in the first 10km of the race.
The morning was a perfect for cycling, with near zero wind and a cool breeze greeting the cyclists as the pile into the start chutes. At 6:00 on the dot, without any pomp or ceremony the race was underway, it was so low key in fact that Kevin “Where is my razor” Dolley had to throw his leg over the bike in his best MvDP impersonation to get going!
Everybody had done their homework and had all worked out that they needed to be at the front of the group as soon as hitting Vissershok. This led to a frantic dash up Tickidraai with Nardus “Do you wanna go for a run” Mattysen’s bottle being ejected over the rumple strips and the group tearing towards the 4 way stop before Vissershok. As the gradients kicked up Vissers the climbers left the rest of the group behind opening up a 60 second gap over the top of the KOM.
As the remnants of the group got back together coming through the suburbs of Durbanville the Savage train steamed up ready to chase down the mountain goats. After asking those that were wheel sucking in 3rd wheel to rather just sit on the back, the rest of the group worked well to close the 90 second gap to the front of the race by the four way stop at Fistanekraal.
Those that had bridged over were out of the pan but found themselves in the fire as the pace on the R312 heated up on the drag to the R44. This saw a few mushroom clouds appear at the rear of the peloton from Klyde “Cannonball” Stevens, Travis “My Comeback is coming”Coppin and Matt’s “Big Ring” Beckett legs’ as the race turned onto the R44. The Slent road saw the peloton take its foot off the gas enough for long enough for the eventual race winner Craig Boyes and a few others to open a gap off the front, never to be caught again.
The pace surged through Philadelphia as teams tried to bring the break back, reeling the escapees back to 40 seconds at one point. Although there was no Vissershok to come there was still the anticipation of the two drags on the Adderley road and the final kick up Oedendaal.
The remainders of the Savages stayed in close quarters as the increasing crosswinds started stringing the peloton across the road on the run in to the final rollers. Nardus was popping around asking for bideons as he had lost his on the first speed bump after the start mats. Ben “My zip on my shirt undoes itself” Nortier was busy calibrating his power meter as he was sure it was under reading at only 335w average for the past 2 hours.
When the final kick on Adderley arrived the group was strangly refined and predictable, there were no late lunges for position or Sagan like heorics over the circles through D’Urbanvale. The sprint through D’Urbanvile had a little more sting than we were expecting and found ourselves rather far down the peloton before swinging onto Oedendaal. Well, in the 2 hours since we had climbed Visserhok our legs had not improved dramatically and heaved our way to the line very thankful it was not the full climb. The Savages came home just 3 minutes behind the winner at 2:31, massive shout out to Dean “My Knee is Fine” Hopf for starting in % and with a 3 man bunch finishing in 2:34!
A massive thank you to all the amazing Marshals, organizers and school kids and parents on the day coming out to support and help making the day that more awesome. Nothing gets you moving like being screamed at in Afrikaans to “Trap Trap Trap jou bene” by a 9 year old little blonde girl with pigtails. Well done again to the Savage ladies for bagging 3 spots in the top 10 once you remove the medium route riders from the results.
The seeding for the event is up on the PPA website, this gives you a good indication of the results that will be used to determine your Cape Town Cycle Tour Seeding. The winners time is adjusted as if the podium that arrived at the Cape Town Cycle Tour road the 99er this weekend instead of SA Champs out in the sticks. All our seedings pumped up a little thanks to the 99er and should bode well for the Cape Town Cycle Tour! The next race is the Tour de PPA which is now awfully similar to 99er route.