Tuesday, 24 June 2014

PE XCO - Gert Heyns

With my XCO season getting off to a slow start this year, I knew that this weekend's result would be very important for World Champs team selection, as we have had some particularly close racing in the u23 men category this year. I was satisfied that my training since Mankele, in the build up to SA XCO Champs next month, went well.

We raced on mostly the same track at Hayterdale Trails as last year. It is a track I really enjoy racing on.
Our race got off to a very fast start with Philip Buys (Scott) putting the hammer down from the first single track. I managed to follow his wheel and we easily opened a gap on the rest of the field. After about two laps I couldn't hold the pace anymore and had to back off a bit. Rourke Croezer (Kargo) caught me and after a good tumble in the rock garden I found myself in 3rd on my own.

I managed to stay consistent for the remaining laps to bring home 3rd overall and 1st u23, a solid result that should hopefully secure me a spot for the World Champs in September, one of my big goals for this year.
My team mate Arno did well to grit it out and hang on to a 6th place, despite being ill in the run-up to the race. Alan Hatherly completely dominated the junior race again. We were all well served by our Pinarello bikes and High5 nutrition.

Next weekend I'm going to give the Marathon World Championship in Pietermaritzburg a go, sounds like we can expect a tough 90km race and with almost 100 of the world's marathon specialists in the mix, it certainly isn't going to be easy!


Racing this past Weekend

Hi All

I hope you had a good weekend.

The team did great again and looked amazing in the new kit - lots of compliments so thanks very much to the F-Tech team!

It was the last round of the SA Cup which was held in PE. The juniors were first up where Genevieve finished 3rd but has closed the gap considerably to the first two so hopefully can get even closer before SA Champs in a months time. Alan after finding out a few weeks ago that his up-and-downs was due to bilhazia which he has now treated he definitely got his mojo back and smashed the junior field!

Our mini Fiksburg ferrari, Simone won the sprogs which was a great way to finish up her series.

Then at the sharp end Gert finished a very strong 3rd place overall (1st u23) dueling in the front with Phillip Buys for a couple laps while previous event winner Arno who is still recovering from illness was able to dig out a respectable 7th overall (4th u23). Both of these guys are aiming high for SA champs next month so hold your thumbs that the final prep goes to plan.

In other parts of the country Yolande won the mixed cat at the Dusi2c with partner Eugene Botha from TIB Team so another good race from her.

This week is the World Marathon Champs where we only have 1 rider racing so we wish Gert the best of luck there!

Until next time, happy trails

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Nissan Trailseeker #1, Cullinan - Christine Popich

Having heard that the previous year’s race was quite a challenge with steep, rocky climbs I felt quite nervous as it was my first time doing a race in Cullinan. The academy’s guys doing the marathon looked good with their fancy Pinarello DogmaXC’s and striking yellow Rudy Project helmets. Ready to once again make their mark!

On the start line of the 45km I realized that today wasn’t going to be easy and I knew the pace was going to be tough, especially with riders like Lynette and Kristen, but I felt pretty confident because I was riding on my new wheels.  A High5 ISO Gel down and then it was go-time!

The race started off with a dusty headwind and a badly marked turn off! About 10km into the race we were only four women left in the leading group.  Up until then, the route was all flat jeep tracks and we realized that this was a way different route than last year, this was when one of the ladies broke away from us.
About 30km into the race I started losing focus and dropped from the other two ladies. When seeing Lynette catch up, I dropped my head, took another High5 ISO Gel, tucked my elbows and started grinding bigger gears, trying to catch up with the leaders. The route had some awesome single track and the bigger wheels definitely made a difference on the flats.

I was happy to cross the finish line 1st Junior female and 4th female overall.

Well done to the Academy with the podiums achieved this weekend and thanks for everyone’s help and support. Thanks Paul, Yolande, Epic Sports and a[s]g!

Definitely looking forward to the next Trailseeker!
Christine Popich