As the group snaked its way out of Paarl through the Winelands it kept up a spanking pace on the R301 to Wellington. As we hit the R44 it was as if the bunch had decided to let the elastic snap for the break of the day, the only problem is that there was not a break up the road, yet. After the 4th or 5th time the pace line capitulated, cannonball Klyde dropped some hammer to create a break with one other rider.
With the tail wind behind them, the break of the day managed to open up one and half minute gap on the chasing bunch. The turn off at Hermon saw a change in the wind to a cross wind and the gap remained constant. Before reaching Riebeek-Kasteel they managed to pick up an A rider who had punctured, and who joined the pace line until the start of the climb up Bothmanskloof. Looking behind the break could see the group catching up. So in true cannonball Klyde fashion, instead of taking it easy to the top of the climb, he decided it was a good time to go for the KOM of B group, which isn't even a thing. Unsurprisingly the bunch quickly caught up to the break on the downhill heading towards Malmesbury and most of B was back together.
With B group reunited we turned onto the R45 towards Windmeul into the headwind with some long drags and rollers. The group was still hesitant to put any effort in, with some riders trying to push the pace up, only to be left out in front. I think it can safely be assumed, this was Klyde hammering off the front. After passing through Windmeul, the pace started picking up towards the N1 as riders started pulling their rip chords and parachuting out the back of the group. Riders who were leaving dead wheels all race suddenly sprung to life as the group went under the N1: they must have been reading the Bike Hub thread on Wheel Sucking this week! The group took a left turn onto the R101 dislodging a few more riders out the back and then onto final drag towards the finish. The pace increased again as the group was over taking the shorter route riders.
As the bunch reached the Flame Rouge the peleton resembled a sprint stage at Le Tour with an all-out sprint to the finish. Savage rolled over the line behind the sprint and coming in at 3:37 after expending a fair amount of energy animating the 123km! Check out the Strava Flyby here.
The Race was well run with easy registration and online entry there was just a little confusion en route with 1 marshal who almost led B in the wrong direction at the R45 turnoff, was not a major issue as most of bunch had previously ridden the route. There was plenty of parking and a lekker gees when arriving back at the finish venue.
Well done to Alpha Body Works, Giant and Stellenbosch Cycling for taking the top three steps on the podium in the elite start!
The next event is the 99er which is always a big race in the calendar leading up to the Cape Town Cycle tour with Pure Savage all starting in $ its going to be a cracker of a race!