“The Argus” was always one of my favorite races when I still raced on the road and it was a very special race to me since it was my first ever road race and since I also managed to win it once. I thin I did it 9 times before I stopped racing on the road. Since I switched to MTB I have tried to the the mountainbike version of it, and I always enjoy this event and seeing the organisers again. I have now won the “MTB challenge” 3 consecutive, which also feels special.
I had a fellow swede with me on the start line this year, Åsa Erlandsson who came down to SA to join me for a training camp also joined me for the race, it was nice to line up next to her. I had decided to race as hard as I could, no matter who the competition was for the day, I wanted to take this as my last really hard training in preparation for the Cape Epic only 2 weeks away. We start with the men at this event and it was a fast start. Unfortunately, there was a crash already within the first kilometre and I think one guy broke a collarbone… I got a good start and was feeling good. I was in a small bunch of guys but they did not want to work well together, so I went to the front to go as hard as I could. I felt especially good on the climbs, maybe thanks to my bike being a bit lighter with all my new Ceetec components! I was very happy with how my form felt and it was the first race this year when I felt that my legs really responded, so all according to the plan leading up to Epic, now is the time when I am supposed to start to feel good!
Unfortunately, I had 2 crashes though, the first one was in the feed zone where Craig was with a bottle. I looked up to look for him when I came around a corner and did not see the loose gravel and my front wheel slipped. I hit my knee hard and could hardly stand on my leg but after a few seconds I decided the best was to carry on so the knee would not stiffen up. I carried on a bit slower and after a while it started to feel better, but I felt a bit sketchy in the corners. I only had a few kilometres to go when I was on the last single track and suddenly fell again, not sure what happened but I hit the same knee hard and something pulled in the back of my hamstring, I could hardly carry on but managed to get to the finish with my knee which was now so swollen that it looked like I had a tennis ball under my skin…. I am very happy to have won the race and also happy with how my form felt.
Now I just have to rest this knee and hamstring a bit.