In my years working as manager at BMT Bike shop, we came up with the idea of racing a run/bike event around the Stellenbosch area. This idea materialised soon after & the Suspi Duo originated.
Subsequently, my time at BMT came to an end & I decided to take the road less travelled, that of becoming a professional sportsman.
This year I returned & decided the Suspi Duo, now know as the Old Mutual Duo Challenge, organised by hard-man Pieter du Plessis, would be a good way to test my legs prior to setting off to Europe for a 70.3 in Switzerland.
I had done some hard training over the past 3 weeks with coach, Raynard Tissink. This week building up to the Duo was no exception. Nevertheless, a good way to test the legs. The event would follow a 20km mtb/8km run format. I had not been on my mtb since Xterra NZ, 6 weeks prior. So I was excited to go off road again.
I was very impressed to see how the event had grown. Some 400 athletes gathered at the start line on a beautiful Sunday morning at the perfect setting on Blaauwklippen Wine estate, a stones throw from the world famous, Stellenbosch University.
The day prior to raceday, I asked to join in the pre-ride with Piet and some old mates. We set out on was supposed to be an easy spin, which it was, had it not been for the 620m vertical ascent over the 20km course. Pieter is a hard man, tomorrow the athletes will face a above average, very tough, but fun mtb course.
The gun sounded & we were off. The first 10km climbs up 2 big climbs with some fun and technical descents. I felt like pushong from the start, so I surged on the first roller in the first 3km. I quickly dropped Theo & Corne and I wass alone, heading into Eden forest. It was time to have fun, so I rode the climbs hard & enjoyed the singletracks.
Entering into transition, I spotted my no.1 fans, Bethie & Luke. I jogged over for a quick kiss and set off onto the 8km course. It winded through the vineyards of Blaauwklippen. I was cruising nice and steady, legs were good & I had a comfy 5min lead. Then the dreaded ‘wrong turn’ land me back up at the water point. The marshall pointed me in the right direction after my own doing, missing a clearly marked left turn. I headed back on course and joined ip just as Theo was approaching the T. I quickly surged to en a gap & immediately opened it up to 30sec. Sjoe, close call. I was content with the win, more so with the fact that my body has responded well to the training.
Switzerland, here I come.