My race report: The @USNSA Cup Series # 3, Avianto​ @GarminSA @Merida_SA

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 w​h​ere 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!