This weekend we raced the 2nd last National marathon in Dullstroom while Julian is preparing for u23 World Champs in Australia. It is also the first race that our new assistant Matt Lachenicht travelled with us.
We arrived to a sunny and beautiful day on Friday but that soon changed as mist and rain pulled in, the next morning was very cold and temperatures was close to freezing point with an icy wind blowing.
Day one was full of drama with punctures and crashes but we pulled together the afternoon catching trout and had an amazing team effort dinner with high spirits around the fire.
Day two was a different ball game, with good tactics and very hard racing we took the stage win and secured the overall win. Also a first top 10 at national level for one of our riders. Below their feedback:
Philip Buys - 3rd stage1, 2nd stage2 - Overall win
After a three week break from racing, it was great to be back at it again. We kicked off this last racing block of the season in Dullstroom for the second last event of the Ashburton series.
Matthys and I have quite a lead in the overall series standings at the moment and shape is looking solid compared to the rest of the guys.
On stage one we put in big efforts to cause some damage early on. An unfortunate puncture for Matthys messed up our plan slightly and I had to battle with Nico Bell and Gert Heyns on my own for the win in the final kilometers. My legs were a bit fried from the earlier efforts and I did not have the final punch to beat Nico and Gert.
Going into day two, I was in 3rd position, only about 25s from the lead. Matthys helped me to get away from the rest and he did most of the work to get me far enough ahead of Gert and Nico to eventually secure the overall victory.
After a fun and eventful weekend of victories, crashes and punctures, I am sure everyone learned plenty and we grew stronger as a team. Next up is York Enduro and I look forward to seeing everyone that will be joining us there.
Matthys Beukes - DNF stage1, 1st stage2
After a freezing start on day 1 the fast racing warmed us up and soon it was myself, Phil and Nico Bell together in the lead. At the halfway point on a rough downhill I decided to take some chances to put Nico under pressure, that backfired quickly and I suffered a double front pinch flat that put me out of contention and out of the race.
Day 2’s plan was to help Phil move up from 3rd to 1st for the weekend overall and get a stage win in to replace one of 2 10th places in my series overall results.
Early on I got a gap on the group and sort of waited and watched for when Phil made his move. After a while Phil and Gert Heyns came over and now it was just a question of distancing ourselves from Gert.
We managed to do that at around the 20k mark and set about a good tempo over the last 30k for 1st and 2nd on the day and Phil taking the overall win.
Still a couple weeks to fine tune the form and looking forward to a lot of racing coming up!
Phillimon Sebona - 10th stage1, 13th stage2 - Overall 9th
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for everything
This weekend was a good learning curve and first time stage race with the team was very good.
I have learnt a few things that can improve my cycling to the next level, I realised that every next level your life also changes. On day 1 I did not warm up and the team advised me to warm up, the team made sure I came to the race village early so that i can do a good warm up before the start and I was advised to hold back a bit on course as the race is more hectic the first few kilometers.
I have learnt this weekend to look after my bike and try to stay in my zones and down hills to try and not over cook it because crashing or puncturing can cost u the race. The eating part in the morning and after the race helped me a lot and the last thing I usually did not rest in the past, I used to walk around and run around and this time it was different, I slept for 5 hours on Saturday afternoon and I was feeling recovered after that.
Kombo Bere - DNF crashing out stage 1
Raced the Ashburton marathon race in Dullstroom this past weekend, the start was extremely fast and the freezing conditions made it even worse. Managed to settle nicely into the race as we began climbing and making up positions as we went along. At that point comfortably sitting in the top 15 and probably 3rd or 4th under23.
On about 20kms began to really crank it up and making up places as we went along. Felt really strong amazing what 2 weeks of solid training can do. With six km to go to the tech zone at 36km myself and another ride navigated the rocky decent down to the tech zone. Visibility was very poor at the stage with major obsticles covered by the shade. Backed off a bit so I could ride my own lines and prevent the risk of going down. I jumped over quite a large rock but when I landed front wheel got stuck in a rutt and lost control of the bike which saw me hit the solid rock surface at 40kms per hour.
Analysed the damage from the floor with a painful shoulder and knee, sadly that was the end of my race with bumps and bruises all over the body. Was analyzed fully by the doctor at the race village and fortunately no major damage or broken bones. I will make a full recovery this week and will be back on the bike soon. Certainly now more than ever hungry for a great result at the final Ashburton marathon race at the end of October. Certainly hasn't been smooth sailing from my side in terms of racing, but thank you for your continued support great results are to come. Have a blessed week family.