Recent Euro Tour

So I haven’t made the time to update much lately. But seeing as its storming outside today and I finished a shorter session on rollers today, it’s a good time to write.

Recently, I returned back to Pretoria from another 6 week stint in Europe, were I raced the Tour of Portugal, Kernen Omloop, World Champs TTT, ITT and RR and Duo Normand.

 

Tour of Portugal was my first event in Europe for the “2nd half of the season”. My goal was to built form for World Championships and try to win 1 or 2 stages. Success came pretty quick as I narrowly won the prologue by 0.02 over Hugo Sabido. As all season luck seemed to be on my side and I was proud to receive the first Yellow jersey of the tour. However I was soon left frustrated as I ran in 2nd on 3 occasions, one bunch sprint, one uphill sprint and one Time Trial. Having pretty much secured the points jersey by the final stage, I really wanted make up for the run of 2nd places by getting another win.

Jaco Venter gave me a perfect leadout and I took on of my nicests wins of my career, as my friends and family could follow the action live in South Africa too.Image

After Portugal I had really good condition, but my luck seemed to have turned. I crashed at our next race in Holland, I wasn’t injured to badly,as I finished inside the Top20.

Our next big goal was the World Team Time Trial Championships. It was a big oppurtunity to showcase our team on the international stage and we wanted to do well. Each member of the team spent some time with the inventor of SRM, Uli Schoberer, fine tuning our TT positions on the track. It resulted in a massive saving for most of us. We also did a lot of TTT specific team training and by the race we had a well oiled trained. We used somewhat of an unconventional pacing strategy saving our smaller guys from the begining to use in the end. It paid off as we made up massive time in the last sector of the race, matching the pace of some of the top teams. At the we finished 23rd out of 32 teams, which is an achievement we were really proud of. I really enjoyed the whole event, I wish there was more TTT on the calendar.

Next was the Individuall Time Trail. It looked to be a nice day, but as I finished my warm-up a big cloud rolled in, and as I left the start chute it was bucketing down, which made the course really slippery, and at a roundabout 9km in I lost the back end and came down. I bent one of the links on my chain the process and I had to jump on the spare bike, in total costing me a lot of time. It was so slippery that a couple of other times I had to save it around the corners. Unfortunately after the finish I discovered dirt got jammed in my rear break cable on the spare bike due to the rain and my rear brake wouldn’t realise completely. It clearly wasn’t my day.

 

I hoped to make up for it in the Road race with a decent result, and I had 2 riders set on supporting me, Jay Thomson and Jacques Jv Rensburg. I rode a conservative race, never making any unnecassery effort, but I was caught in the big crash after 220km. It was total chaos and I waited nearly 4mins for a spare bike after I wrecked my frame, but the race started in earnest so it was pretty much over for anyone involved in the crash anyway. I stopped as I crossed the finish line, still feeling good, but with no point to continue on.

 

My final race was the Duo Normand, a 55km 2 man Time Trial. I had Jaco Venter, I good Time Trialist himself, as my teammate. It was really hard and we pushed ourselves to the limit to collect 6th place. A decent result.

 

Like most other pro’s I am not yet on Holiday. I have a few more local events coming up, first of them is Amashova this weekend. And my final goal will be African Continental Championships. It’s always important to score UCI points there to qualify more riders for next year’s World Championships.

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