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The pace was fierce from the start as riders vied for a good spot on the much hyped single track. Photo credit: Em Gatland

With a fair amount of single track on the cards B-batch were frothing, and we flew out along the district roads. I probably went a bit hard here because I felt flat for the rest of the day.

The day was scattered with sections of flowing single track, mostly fairly flat, with some faster downhill sections. These were interspersed with district roads to cover the distance in between.


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The PG Bison floating bridge presents a unique challenge to riders. Photo credit: Em Gatland

Some of the most fun sections included a windy super tube through green and mossy forest, before the PG Bison floating bridge, and some pretty legendary switchbacks in a forest in the middle of (what seemed to me) nowhere.

Some of the least fun bits included my sluggish legs on the district roads and the few rolling hills at the end, just before the MacKenzie Club, which I wasn’t expecting (my own fault- I never check the route profile and tend to just wing it). Luckily it was over fairly quickly, after a bit of “vasbyt”.


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We were treated to sublime trails weaving through plantations. Photo credit: Em Gatland

Arriving before 12 am at the MacKenzie Club was a treat as it allowed some extra time for a power nap, after attacking the delicious lunch spread first.

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Power naps were the order of the day. Photo credit: Em Gatland.

Tomorrow we ride to Jolivet (Highflats) including the legendary drop into the Umkomaas River Valley, and the terrifying climb out. Tomorrow is the last day of racing, as the final stage to Scottburgh is a neutral stage.