Survival strategies of joberg2c

A nine-day ride like joberg2c is all about strategy. The elite riders in the field, the likes of Amy Beth McDougall and Mike Posthumus, who are leading the Amabokke-bokkie Global Mixed Category and on the hunt for the R100 000 prize money, train all year round.

Their race strategies revolve around what to eat and when, optimising preparation and then riding for nine days like squirrels crossing a national highway – without fear and with a wild determination as quickly as possible. That’s how they’ve won day two and day three of the event.

For the bulk of the 800-strong field at joberg2c this year, the ride strategy is even more important. Probably the most important thing in their lives. Yes, even more important than voting next week.

Not sticking to a tried and tested formula could mean you blow six days of hard-earned leave, spend more time in the saddle than you really want to, or start brushing your teeth with sunblock thanks to stage race dementia. At an event that’s nine days long, routine is your best friend, particularly as the days start to get longer.

Day 3 of joberg2c is a mammoth 120km ride. It’s not the toughest, but it’s a long day out as the ride moves from Reitz to Sterkfontein Dam. Long gravel roads make the riding fast and free-flowing for the most part – until the first big climb of the event, the single track ascent of Mt Paul, located teasingly at the 105km mark.

Riders approaching Mt Paul

 

To get through 120km when you’re riding in the middle of the pack, and the remaining six days, a sound strategy is everything.

For instance, in the evening before a big day, it’s important to drink one G&T after coming off the bike. From there, you immediately head to the showers for a quick scrub. This is to ensure there is still ample time for afternoon recovery stretches in the sun.

Your first stretch is to lean over the mobile bar and order a lager. The second stretch is to walk back to the bar and order a rich, dark, cappuccino porter. This is the routine and this is what you stick to. Two beers is more than enough while the sun is up. One more porter during dinner is the lullaby that sings you to sleep. It’s science.

On the day, a stop strategy is vital. Two stops should be built in for selfies. How else can you show your friends that you’re having the time of your life if you don’t stand next to a cow somewhere near Phuthaditjhaba and grin gormlessly at the pristine countryside. The second selfie stop should always include an iconic part of the event; standing on top of Mt Paul or on the immense dam wall of the Sterkfontein Dam. Here a thumbs up in the selfie indicates high levels of satisfaction.

Stopping to refuel is also essential. On a day that’s 120km long, three water points are provided. At water point one, eat as much as you can (homemade koeksisters!). At water point 2, eat as much as you can (boerewors rolls!) and at water point 3, eat as much as you can (fudge, brownies!) and wash it down with Fanta Grape. Yes, they still have Fanta Grape in the Free State – in its original 1987 bottle too.

Water point 1 hosted by Hoërskool Reitz

With day four’s 91km ride to Em’seni camp near Winterton, and then 5 more days to come, riders who strategise accordingly each day will finish with the bigger smiles. They won’t be in line for the R100 000 giant cheque, but they’ll have great stories to tell about how eating five slices of mielie brood in Reitz was more of a life changing experience than stealing soap from a Parisian hotel.

Results day 3

Amabokke-bokkie Global Mixed Category

1. Michael Posthumus and Amy McDougall (Dormakaba) 4:42:35

2. Ben Melt Swanepoel and Yolandi Du Toit (Team Garmin) 5:28:37

3. Corinne Overney and Vincent Flueck (Ekibike Dupasquier Sports) 5:23:45

Mens solo

1. Hendrik Kruger 4:26:17

2. Matthys Beukes 4:26:17

3. Mark Vennix 4:54:10

Ladies solo

1. Sandra ‘t Hart 5:21:51

2. Monica Glover 5:37:23

3. Yvette Roberts 5:58:36

Mens teams

1. Andrew Hill and  Shaun-nick Bester (Team Darkhorse wheels insured by TIB) 4:29:07

2. Luke Evans and Craig Uria (Sage Racing) 4:42:13

3. Gavillet Julien and Ecoffey Sylvain (Cycles Passion Bulle) 4:43:29

Ladies teams

1. Sarah Hill and Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk Ladies) 5:07:24

2. Auralia Edwards and Gina Wills (Seattle Speed) 5:55:11

3 .Marlene Andersen and Kirsten Engsig Jensen (Team Hakuna Matata) 6:03:49

GC after day 3

Amabokke-bokkie Global Mixed Category

1. Michael Posthumus and Amy McDougall (Dormakaba) 13:11:41

2. Ben Melt Swanepoel and Yolandi Du Toit (Team Garmin) 14:19:37

3. Corinne Overney and Vincent Flueck (Ekibike Dupasquier Sports) 5 14:34:16

Mens solo

1. Matthys Beukes 12:38:24

1. Hendrik Kruger 12:38:24

2. Mark Vennix 13:33:15

3. Philip Buys 13:38:38

Ladies solo

1. Sandra ‘t Hart 14:27:17

2. Monica Glover 14:56:48

3 Yvette Roberts 15:25:51

Mens teams

1. Andrew Hill and  Shaun-nick Bester (Team Darkhorse wheels insured by TIB) 12:47:09

2. Luke Evans and Craig Uria (Sage Racing) 13:11:17

3. Gavillet Julien and Ecoffey Sylvain (Cycles Passion Bulle) 13:12:20

Ladies teams

1. Sarah Hill and Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk Ladies) 13:47:13

2. Auralia Edwards and Gina Wills (Seattle Speed) 15:26:39

3. Marlene Andersen and Kirsten Engsig Jensen (Team Hakuna Matata) 15:35:31