Between the 2015 Absa Cape Epic and the 3rd leg of the USN Cup series, I had two much needed weekends away from racing in order to recover body and mind before resuming preparation for my next goals in the cycling season.
When you race so often an event becomes part of your weekly routine and a measurement of your current fitness. Having my routine broken for a couple of weeks awoke a slightly altered, but very positive pre-race nervousness in me as I didn’t know what to expect from my body on the day.
The USN Cup Series#3 was held at the Avianto Clubhouse in Muldersdrift situated just west of Johannesburg. The chilly early morning temperatures was a harsh reminder that winter is just around the corner but fortunately as soon as we were let loose on the 50km route, our bodies warmed up together with the weather and all our attention turned to the racing.
A variety of single track greeted us with a few short jeep track sections where you could pass or be passed depending on your speed and power. During the first half of the race I found myself in 3rd position behind a very fast starting pair of Janine King and Cherise Stander. At first I thought I packed the wrong set of legs, but unexpectedly during the hillier 2nd part of the race I reeled in my competitors and eventually passed them to lead the race in the final 10km. Someone very wise once told me – no matter where you lie in the field, keep on racing hard because you never know what might happen – good advice!!
I kept my lead to the end and crossed the finish line in first place ahead of Cherise Stander and Janine King who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The USN Cup series events are always over subscribed and it was great to see such a deep ladies and men’s field participating at the race. May this remarkable series only keep on growing from strength to strength!