The race itself was well supported by locals from the Kayamandi township as well as a couple of townies like Matt and I. And what a race it was.
Marco Fontana taking an early lead followed closely by none other than the Olympic champion Jaroslav Kulhavy and Kohei Yamamoto who decided to cut the corner and almost ran me over. The race is not for UCI points, but that did not deter these lads from carving up the hap hazard MTB course with sections of the BMX track included. Thanks to Meaurant Botha the course proved challenging particularly the uphill charge to the BMX section and another tough uphill into Kayamandi before a helter skelter charge back down to the start finish.
The race was over 30 minutes plus 3 laps. And our local okes got a good chance to mix it up with the best MTB riders out there. We were honourably represented, amongst others, by Phil Buys, Oli Munnik, Renay Groustra, Darren Lill and Charles Keey, James Reid and Erik Kleinhans (who managed to just hang in there with some of the internationals). Local development teams Songo.Info and Pragma had some fellas in there too for experience and they held on for all they were worth in the first few laps. Good stuff.
Over a couple of laps Susi, Kulhavy, Fontant, Yamamoto, Florien Vogel, Manuel Fumic and Kleinhans - tagging along - and stretched the elastic between themselves and the rest of the field. Slowly but surely they pulled away from the field that was out over the entire course.
Sheesh these boys can ride.
Although Kulhavy led for most of the race - followed closely by Vogel - Susi fought back to take line honours. I mean, this is his back yard and all.
In the end what matters is that Songo Fipaza can carry his great work forward. The new club house is awesome and will most certainly be put to good use.
Who would have said you could see okes of this international stature (ja, including our local fella's who hung in there too) in a township, racing on a BMX track in front of the awesome new facility.
Frigging good news story. Good for us. Good for cycling too.
PS: A kid and a hero. Matt has many, but this is a first with the 2012 Olympic MTB champion.
PPS: Max Knox has just recovered from an injury and did not ride, but was there to support his partner in crime Kohei Yamamoto...
PPS: Forgot to mention that I ran into Kevin McCallum for the 3rd time in two weeks. You're a Legend Kev.
Note: Photo's are courtesy of me...