The Pennypinchers Dr. Evil Classic 3 day mountain bike stage race;
September proved to be a bit busier than expected, but being busy is apparently a good thing as it keeps you out of mischiefJ. It also causes an administrative backlog and seeing as I spent the last couple of weeks either travelling to, or competing at events, finding time to update everyone has been a challenge. Here is a quick recap of what I’ve been up to recently.
After completing the Crater Cruise in Parys (Free State) it was time for a road trip to the Western Cape for the Dr. Evil stage race and the Karoo2Coast Classic.
Garmin and its service partner Navworld have a long standing and strong business relationship and as such it only made sense for me to strengthen this relationship on a sporting front by partnering with Alan Gordon who is sponsored by Navworld.
The Dr.Evil Classic is a 3 day race staged out of the picturesque Plettenberg Bay. Unfortunately the Garden Route weather didn’t play along this year but Dr. Evil (aka Leon Evans) proved again why he is such a well-known course designer by having a B-route option available in case of wet conditions. Despite the muddy and wet terrain I still enjoyed the stage routes and racing alongside Alan was only a pleasure. He is a very considerate teammate on and off the bike which is a critical factor at a stage race event. He always made sure I was comfortable with the pace he was setting and looked after my bike as if it was his own.
When you team up with someone for the first time you never know what to expect but our partnership turned out to be very successful as we won all three stages and also the overall title in the mixed category.
The Dr. Evil Classic is a very well organised event with challenging, fun and scenic routes. I don’t often race in the Western Cape due to the proximity but after my experience of the event and the riding terrain, I hope to be back next year!
Pennypinchers Karoo2Coast Classic;
The day following the Dr.Evil Classic Alan and I lined up for the Karoo2Coast Classic but this time around we competed individually in the men’s and ladies categories.
The race started in the streets of Uniondale and finished at Knysna High school via Prince Alfred’s Pass. My legs weren’t as fresh as they normally would be for a one day classic, but it was to be expected considering they had just completed a muddy 3 day stage race. Still, I was very excited to attempt my first Karoo2Coast Classic.
It took me just under 3hours and 40 minutes to complete the 100km distance and I was very happy to attain 2nd place overall behind Robyn de Groot. Nadia Visser rounded out the podium in 3rd place.
My Dr. Evil partner Alan Gordon also had a great ride to finish in 3rd place thus making it a very successful week of racing for Team(s) Garmin (and) Navworld.
York Enduro Mountain Bike Rally
With only 3 days between crossing the finish line in Knysna and starting the York Timbers Enduro in sleepy Sabie, our road trip went into super mode as we still had to pass by my house to see if it was still standing!
The York Timbers Enduro Rally has a completely different format to any other mountain bike event on the calendar. The main focus is not on racing or participating per say, but rather building business relationships and cross pollination between athletes and corporates in a relaxed environment.
Corporates enter teams of 4 riders, usually consisting out of company staff and/or clients. The event organisers then invite the same number of professional athletes as teams entered into the event and allocate a pro rider to each corporate team following a silent auction. The corporate teams then compete against each other alongside their pro rider in various races over 4 consecutive days. The races include a 35km half marathon, enduro stages, a downhill race, a dual slalom event, cross country and a swimming event just for fun.
On the final day the professionals get to race each other in a cross country race and I was happy to still have some energy left, finishing 2nd to Candice Neethling with Theresa Ralph in 3rd place.
I really enjoy the York Enduro MTB rally as it has plenty on offer for all participants. We get to meet and socialize with fellow mountain bike enthusiasts and our contemporaries which we normally never get to do at stage races. A big thanks to York Timbers for organising such a unique event and may it only grow from strength to strength in the future.