Weekend of Racing at Home

Sardine Classic

After the previous weeks 3rd round, of the SA cup series up in Pietermaritzberg being badly supported, I was amazed to see the people down in the South Coast for the weekends events; KZN short course series #4 and Sardine Classic. For what was supposed to be an awesome weekend of racing the weather would play a large part. Throughout the week leading up to the race the weather was miserable, and the rain bucketed down until it eventually stopped Friday night.

The weekend began with a delayed start at the KZN short course #4, with the racing eventually started at 9am. Arriving early I was able to ride the track to warm up on the rather cold morning. Even though is was my home track at Duggies I had never ridden the course in the wet conditions that we ended up racing in. The first 4km of the track seemed to run relatively smoothly however towards the end on the course was more of a swamp, with streams of water at times covering the entire road for up to 20m.

The home ground advantage with the aid of a good start help me to complete the first lap in second behind Team Jeep South Africa team mate Travis Walker with James Reid on my tail. Through the second lap James found his way passed me and worked his way towards Travis as the race started to unfold. The third lap would prove to be crucial, as I took a moment to breathe I lost concentration for a second going through a patch of water and my knee smashed into my handlebars.

Being very cautious and nursing my knee Luke Roberts and Kyle Dorkin were quickly right up behind me and found the way passed in an opening in the single track. The racing from there until the end seemed to be rather quiet and lonely with the exception on Luke pulling out. I finished 5th in my batch and 2nd in the Juniors which I was very happy with in the muddy conditions.

The following day provided some more great racing through again muddy conditions. Sunday was the Sardine Classic and with an injured Justin Porteous commentating everybody would have a few laughs before the racing began. To kick off the day was the 40km mountain bike race, which would have some big names taking to the rough course, which was made tougher with the mud.

The race would consist of 2 laps the first 14km and the second another 26km allowing spectators to watch the exciting race. However, this meant more climbing for the racers and with tired legs from the previous day I struggled early on to stay with my main rivals on the hills. This continued to be the case as struggled to climb up the first 8km of hills, which we would end up doing again on the second lap. I was able to pair up with Darryn Purtell on several occasions which helped me get through some of the toughest and muddiest parts on the course on top on the main climb.

However, with the legs taking strain Darryn a long with a few others managed to pull away from me leaving me to ride to the finish alone to claim 11th on the day with my brother finishing a close 12th. Despite narrowly missing the top 10 I was able to finish 3rd Junior yet again behind Kyle Dorkin who came 2nd and Luke Roberts who won the Juniors and finished 4th over all.

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