On Saturday The asg Tyger Valley MTB Challenge took place at Tygervally college in Lynwood, Pretoria. Being only 12km or so from my parent’s house I chose to ride to the race and back to save petrol and get some “secret” training in ;). The route would be very similar to that of the the first Nissan race held at the same venue, so I knew what I was in for: fast, furious and pedal pedal pedal all the way! I was feeling confident, the little Tigress (my Pinarello Dogma XC 29er) had just had a quality service from Mike the mechanic @machanicmike at @EpicCycleShop, and a pre-race mtb ride on Thursday proved it was ready to rock and roll!
When I arrived at the race I was happy to see my “span maaitjies” and our a[s]g PYcycling team trailer, everyone looking fit and ready to race! I did a quick check on my Continental tyre pressure, put some Squirt on my chain and made sure I had enough High 5 2:1 Energy drink and gels to keep me going throughout the race.
When the gun went, we had a bit of a “neutral zone”, with people bashing handlebars, fighting to get in the front of the pack. I was grateful for the first climb as it sorted out the riders pretty quickly. I soon got into a nice rhythm, and found myself getting stronger and passing guys as the kilometres ticked by. I knew that I had a decent gap on the other ladies but didn’t want to get complacent and pushed myself hard for a good time. Besides, there were so many male egos to hurt ;)
I really enjoyed the single track though Rosemary Hill and the forest sections. Single track and technical sections are always a relief as it gives you time to catch your breath back. Most of the race consisted of flat district roads with little climbing which made it super fast, but all the constant pedaling with a head wind does get a little tiring!
The sun started beating down and I felt ready for that finish line! One mean little climb marked the “you’re almost there” spot. A few kilometres later I was welcomed by a cheering crowd and awesome supporters. I was super stoked to hear that my teammate, Arno Du Toit, had won the men’s category, beating Andrew McClean by just 30 seconds! Other teammate, Jacques Pretorius won the 40km overall. Academy member, Heirich came 2nd in the 40km, Andrea de Boer came 4th in the ladies race and Edwill was 6th in the 70km.
An awesome day for the ASG MTB Academy!!
A big thanks to ASG for putting on a fantastic event and of course for being an awesome title sponsor, making the ASG MTB Academy possible.
Next event is the Provincial XCO at fountains next weekend.
Until then, keep the rubber side down.