Xterra Czech - solid working my way up to the podium
August 8, 2015
April 5, 2017
XTERRA South Africa - a dream come true
March 4, 2015
Grabouw - The stories are that this is the biggest and best XTERRA race in the world. These stories are all true - this is one lekker race! Total Sports (company behind it) organized a festival of sport, build the best trails I have ever ride and celebrated a beautiful day of cross-triathlon!
The race for me was very though wake up call, coming from the European winter, I was not 100% ready for a hard swim and the longer run. While setting up in the transition on race day, the surprise came up that it will be a wetsuit legal swim. I was told not to bring it, since the water was above 21 degrees and so I had to race without my Sailfish rocket. The start and swim was as expected very hard and fast. Luckily the water was choppy, since I like these conditions the pool swimmers struggled a little more with the waves and the wind. Somehow I managed to arrive in the top 10 to T1. There I did a major mistake, for the very first time in my career, in transition and mounted my bike too early. I received a 10sec stop-and-go penalty right there. Maybe not the worst thing, because after that I was angry about my own stupidity and I had some extra air to spend on the next few kilometers to catch the guys again. At kilometer 4 we reached the first hill top, a first short but very rough downhill followed. Exactly at this location my front tire started leaking, milk sapping out and I could hear the pfft pfft pfft on each revolution of the front wheel. The next moment I felt that I was loosing control in the corner and I found myself laying on my back and my Cannondale on top of me. I have no idea how I managed not to injure myself - I can just recap that I was very lucky.
The next 2 kilometers where nerf raking hearing my front tire still loosing air and milk flying out, but pressure was still somewhat ok. Antoine and Michael caught up to me and I jumped on that train. Together we made it to the fare point and into the technical sections. Some of the best trails ever! They are stringed on to each other, adding up to about 20km of gradual downhill single trail going through various different vegetation zones. On the South African fast trail we managed to string up all the guys up to Theo riding on 4th position. Ahead were only Stuart, Bradley and Roger. Arriving in 8th position at the end of the pack in T2, the misfortune for transitions struck again! I lost my shoe, forcing me to run back and collecting it. Again some valuable second lost and with this the fast train running out of T2. I must admit being the first big race of the season I was completely blue on kilometer 1 of the run and almost missed a turn. The run was hot, hilly and long with 12.5km. The first 5km I could just match the pace of the 4 guys right ahead of me, but once through the river and up the first hill, this was all I had for the day. I was forced to watch them pull away and disappear over the next hill. Back on the beaches the gap was too big to catch up. From that moment on I was more worried if I would get caught by Jim or other super quick South Africans from behind. Somehow I defended my 8th position to the finish line. For this early in the season race I am very happy with my training shape and the out come. What Total Sports created was world class. I am so grateful to all the people I have met, things I have discovered and had one big long party in South Africa. I will return! Thank you eternally for everything - now now.