I was happy to be on the start line of a race again after few months of no racing ( my husbands schedule didn’t allow me to race).
New experience was a ladies only start. With Jennie Stenerhag and couple of other very strong ladies in the front it was bound to be tough start. It’s much easier to start with the guys and hang in the bunch for a while. So that didn’t happen. There was a bit of flat patch and then slowly the climbing started. That day was seriously windy! I tried to keep up with some fast ladies but soon went my own pace alone in the wind. The climbing started pretty steep with beautiful views on the surrounding.
After the proper climb we were rewarded with world class single track called Inferno with switch backs and tight corners which was lot of fun.
From there we were heading more toward Stellenbosch and the old Hellshoogte pass and another steep climb up Botmaskop and again stunning views with amazing single track called Skyfall. The name says it all. Lots of tight switchbacks and if you don’t make it right you gonna fly down a steep hill. I kept my speed there rather bit conservative as sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry.
From there we went to Banhoek Valley which is beautiful and as far as I know not normally open to ride. So it’s quite a treat to get to ride there. Slowly riders were getting tired and I passed few on the switchback technical uphill followed by rocky and sandy up and down 20kms. Which started to get enough and I was also getting tired but kept my mind positive and pushed hard all the way to the finish. I was happy to be at the finish in 4 hours of serious exercise and even more happy to finish 3rd in my age group.
Awesome route that was lot of fun and challenging. When I got home it was another challenge to look after my little one with my sore body for rest of the day:)