Another race whoop whoop!
I felt a bit sad/bad that my legs didn’t come to the party this year at DC. You never want to let down your team but unfortunately I wasn’t able to perform at my best. I did ok, but I just know I could have done better! I was very grateful for a few pockets here and there. And fortunately my endurance did kick in at the end, but I just lacked a bit of extra oomph at the beginning!
I don’t have a road bike so Cycle4life very kindly let me ride one of their Trek Madones but it was slightly small for me. The saddle was on its max height but I needed a bit extra length for my long legs so ended up putting the saddle as far back as possible. This did the trick but also resulted in stretching out my tight hammies so half way through the DC my hammies and glutes were shot! I’m very much quad dominant (my recent Bio test showed how weak my hammies and glutes are) but felt I was too far behind the crank to use my quads most effectively like I’m used to. Moral of the story…make sure your bike fits you correctly and you have a bike fit! And maybe don’t borrow a bike 2 days before race day!
This year the number of teams was restricted to about 150 and only 10 per team. 5 riders needed to cross the line for the team finish time and the mixed teams needed 3 of the 5 to be ladies. Normally the slowest teams start first with the idea that everyone finishes within a couple of hours. This year, due to Covid, they started the fastest teams first so that the teams would be very spread out. And they were, which was fantastic. Except for a couple of teams who tried to hang on to the back of us after we passed them🤨 It did also mean that the slowest riders had to battle through all the heat and wind.
Our start time of 5:37 was perfect. We had a super strong team – half of which I’d only met the night before.
I always hate the first climb out of Swellendam – everyone flies out from the start like a bullet, my legs feel like lead, my heart rate sky rockets and I think OMG I’m dead already! Fortunately we set off at a reasonable pace this year – thanks team mates!! And we quickly got into a paceline. The guys also quickly realised that the ladies shouldn’t sit on the front and rather let the guys do the work.
We sadly lost Lauren quite early – she’d had a sickness bug a few days earlier so wasn’t feeling too great.
I was waiting for my legs to kick in at the usual 100km mark, but they didn’t!?!
We had a neutral section again this year from Montagu to Ashton – how on earth does it take so many years to fix this road?! And a quick 15min feed zone to grab new bottles and food. I had struggled to eat in the first 100km; I think I’d eaten too much for breakfast and I’m out of practice at eating at 4am.
The second feed zone was included in your time so we had a very neat stop for less than 3 minutes. It makes a huge difference when your backup driver (Hildi) knows exactly what to do and she also had plenty of ice for us.
Our aim from the start was to get 5 over the line together. We needed the 3 ladies and whichever 2 guys still had a tiny bit of energy left! It was an amazing team effort. No egos. No heroes. Just everyone knew to give it their all for the team. And we were all super thankful for the tailwind up the 3 rollers at the end!
Big thanks and well done to our captain Nix and to the team for being so strong, being great team mates and making it such a jol racing bikes!
Position: 2nd mixed team