Dairy: Garmin G-Tribe Event & Campus2Campus Classic @GarminSA

My weekend started off with the Garmin G-Tribe event on Saturday the 27th of September. It was the 2nd event in the G-Tribe series and was held at Rietvlei Zoo, a family friendly activity park in Alberton.

The goal of the Garmin G-Tribe series is to introduce ladies to different sport activities and to create an environment in which they feel comfortable to practise their chosen discipline.

The venue was chosen as it catered for all the various activities Garmin had on offer for the day. These activities included mountain biking, golf, running, adventure bootcamp and cross training, with each activity being managed by Garmin’s Brand Ambassadors.

This meant I led the mountain biking section and presented a skills clinic in the morning followed by a 20km race at noon. This sequence worked out very well as ladies got to learn and practise skills in the morning and apply what they had learned in the afternoon’s race.

I had a great bunch of ladies joining me and their company along with Rietvlei’s splendid trails made for a wonderful day out. I hope to see all of you again at the next G-Tribe event!

It is great to see the series flourish in such a short time. At the first event I had 10 girls joining me for the mountain biking and at the 2nd event the aim was to double the numbers. As we got closer to the event date, each activity had to be capped to 25 girls. This bodes well for the future of the G-Tribe series.

A big thanks to Garmin for making a difference in ladies sport and to everyone at Garmin who works tirelessly behind the scenes to put on a great day for us to enjoy!

Campus2Campus Supper Classic

On Sunday morning my alarm went off at 3:30am as I had to make my way to the 7am start of the Campus2Campus Super Classic road race in Potchefstroom.

At first I had no racing scheduled for the weekend as all my attention was on the Garmin G-Tribe event. When my father asked me to come and join him at the race, it meant a quick change of plans. He competes in the master’s category and at most road races, this one included, the masters and ladies start together. This is done to make the racing more positive and although we compete against each other, our results are taken per category.

A day out racing alongside my dad reminded me of my teenage years when the two of us travelled ‘the world’ (when you’re young your country feels like the whole world) together to compete at road races, so I couldn’t let this opportunity slip by. The idea was to use this race as preparation for Mankele 3 Towers taking place this coming weekend while also spending time with my father.

The 10th edition of the Campus2Campus welcomed a new route to the event. The 107km distance took us on an out and back course from Potchefstroom to Parys. I know the road quite well as I used to spend a lot of training hours on it whilst studying at Potchefstroom and it definitely counts in ones favour to know a race route.  What I didn’t count on was the howling wind that would terrorise us throughout the day’s racing.

The ladies and masters were as aggressive as the wind and by the time we reached the turn-around point we were only about 15 riders left in the front group. This select group included me, 3 girls from the Bestmed-ASG Team and some Masters.

The way back to Potchefstroom proved to be the hardest part of the race as we had to fight a strong side wind. The blustery weather had us all lined out in one long line right on the edge of the road. In road cycling terms we call this ‘riding in the gutter’. How it works is, if there is a strong side wind you go to the front of the group and ride on the edge of the road. This prevents other riders from gaining an advantage by sitting in your slipstream and is a tactic applied to split up the field.

With 45km remaining Joe Visser made use of his cycling knowledge and strength, attacking on a long uphill drag. Joe continued pushing hard on the pedals until he reached the summit of the hill.  With no one being able to hide from the wind it instantly reduced the lead bunch to only 3 riders, consisting of Joe Visser, Charles Nienaber and myself.

The three of us worked together, taking turns to set the pace but Joe and Charles were without a doubt the main horsepower of the group. It was a great feeling to be in a break with two stalwarts of the sport and to contribute to their escape. As they shared the workload, they decided to cross the finish line together showing great sportsmanship on the day.

Getting into the break with Joe and Charles meant I secured the Ladies victory on the day. I was quite overwhelmed by the result as I didn’t expect to have good legs on the day, never mind winning the event. As luck would have it I managed to keep the Campus2Campus title in the family, taking over from my younger sister who won the event last year whilst riding for the Toyota Cycle Lab Team.

Juanita Venter who was recently crowned the World Time Trail Champion in her age group finished in 2nd place with her BestMed-ASG teammate Carla Oberholzer rounding out the podium in 3rd.

It’s been a remarkable weekend spending time with my Garmin Team, the G-Tribe members and my dad. To finish the weekend off with a victory at Campus2Campus was truly the icing on the cake.

Garmin G-Tribe