In 2011, the distance for the Elite/U23 category was increased from103Km to 134Km. For this year’s event (2013), a request was received in early December 2012 about increasing the distance to 150+ Km, giving us a little over two months to find a longer route, without inconveniencing to the rest of the field. The quick solution was to let them do the 65Km route, pass the start and then complete the normal 103Km route – the final distance was 154Km with a modified first loop of 51Km, mainly on the 65Km route.
The start-line was moved back closer to the entrance of Carnival City, to keep the action as close to the sponsor’s venue, thereby allowing for the first hotspot (Elite/U23 bunch) on the start line. This meant batching the groups inside Carnival City, which turned out to be great for the Elite convoy passing the start but a disaster for the groups that would follow.
The Elites set off at 06:00, followed by the Elite & Vet woman five minutes later. The vets 30-39, vets 40-49, Juniors, Vets 50+ and the U16 Boys left from 06:25 before we had to wait for the Elite/U23 group to pass the start somewhere between 07:10 and 07:20. Thereafter the groups would leave at 4 minute intervals until all groups had left the start. Having one start-finish line means all groups need to start before the first group would arrive at the finish line, hence the reason for the delay between start groups. The Elite/Vet woman ride at about 38km/h (based on historical race info, and races run earlier in the season), so for 103Km they would complete the distance in about 2:45 – 2:50. Leaving at 06:05 allows us to get every group off 5-10 minutes before the woman arrive.
So back to the Elite/U23 group that had now successfully negotiated the start-finish area – the riders through the race line, and the team vehicles diverting to the opposite side of the road and back on the route after the finish line. Team Westvaal-BMC won the hotspot as well as the overall victory in the 154Km race.
The Elite/Vet ladies raced in one start bunch, over 103Km with Marisa Stander just beating Lynette Burger.
The Vets 30-39 was won by Jacques Fullard who rode away for a solo victory.
The Vets 40-49 group started 8 minutes behind the Vets 30-39 due to previous week’s racing where they sometime caught the slower group in front of them. At our race, the Vets 30-39 group rode 4 minutes faster than their older rivals. Stefano Madies got the better of Attie Duvenhage in the sprint, while Gary Beneke easily won the 50+ category. The rest of the category winners were Ryan Felgate (Juniors), Odelle Joubert (Vet ladies), Gerhard Germishuizen & Dylan Joseph (Racing Tandems), Gordon Anderson & Galete Kirsch (Mixed Tandems), Timothy Thijs (Open AL), Jarrod Hattingh (U16 boys), Clarissa Liebenberg (U16 girls), Callum Mcgillivray (U14 boys), Hanje Nel (U14 girls) and Jarod Gemmel (65Km Open AM).
Well done to all the prize winners and everyone else that complete the event successfully.
We will be back in 2014 with the 30th anniversary of the event, and promise and even better event.