Once again we packed the car to go to a race, it was the Java MTB race in Robertson this time. We wanted to use this race as part of training leading up to Cape Pioneer which starts next weekend. We decided to leave on Friday and stay over since we were not so keen on getting up at 3.30am but in hine sight maybe we should have since the Tarentaals kept us awake all night!
The 80km route is tough, lots of steep climbs and also very steep downhills!! The A and B batch started together and I tried to stay with the front guys as long as possible but after a few kilometers it got split up, I saw Craig, Louis and 2 more guys ahead of me and I was together with 3 others when after 14km I felt that the bike did not corner so well, I had a slow puncture! First I thought I could pump it but it did not work so I bombed it. So it was a meaning to why I had a puncture during my training ride on Thursday only to find out that my bomb head did not work, for the race I had a new one (and a new pump since that also did not work)! A lot of guys passed me while I was standing still so I had to try and catch them one by one. After about 45 kilometers I passed the 2 guys which were with Craig and Louis in the beginning, so I was in 3rd place. They both caught me again though and we rode together til the end. I managed to finish ahead of them to take 3rd overall and first lady after almost 4 hours of racing, it was a very good training day!! Craig finished in 2nd spot behind Louis.
I would recommend everyone to go and do this race next year, Jumbo has done an amazing job creating beautiful and challenging single tracks and the rest of the crew have done a great job to put together such a nice event! The venue at Van Loveren wine farm is great and the vibe is so nice! And of course we got wine as prizes, I love my 5 litre bottle, it is so cool! Craig and I got 15 liters of wine together!