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  1. Evening all. I’m thinking of doing an everesting, and I was hoping to find out if I could convert my Supersix’s 53/39 spidering on si sl2 cranks to a 1x MTB chainring, I’m thinking 30t cannondale spidering. The reason I want to do this is because I am running campy super record and my max rear cog is 29, and this seems like a cheaper option if possible than a drivetrain upgrade. If you have any knowledge on the topic, please let me know!
  2. Now that the event is officially going ahead, think a 2020 thread is appropriate! Going to be interesting seeing the vibe at the race this year. A few less teams, smaller teams, no picnics and fastest starting first. Now to get some new threads made in time
  3. Just spotted that the 2019 edition sold out in 10 minutes, this was after 3 rounds of entries, PPA, corporate and general. Obviously some events are still really popular! Looks like we have 5 teams entered For those that like to remind themselves of those 3 little bumps at the end, here is the route: https://www.strava.com/clubs/21210/group_events/554512
  4. This idea snow balled from a thought, to a murmuring, to a rumour and finally to a Whatsapp group. The team members slowly started coming together with us initially having 10 ladies keen to ride. We met for the first time in June over a coffee and sussed out everyone’s expectations. We chose Jenna as our team captain, thanks to her experience of being on the previous year’s winning ladies team, but more importantly her level headiness and being one extremely strong, experienced rider. From June the initial team changed a lot due to injuries and other life commitments. Right up until the 2 weeks before the Double Century, we were still recruiting final riders. The final 12 that stood at the start line consisted of quite a mixed bunch of ladies in terms of experience, age, height and abilities. Everyone though had the single common denominator of just really enjoying being on the bike and looking to savor the coming 202km. Kaptein Jenna – cool and calm like always #solidasarock One thing I have noticed in general is how few ladies there are out there on the roads at the various PPA events, and even how few ladies teams roll up to the Coronation Double Century start line. My first Coronation Double Century was in 2017 where there were only 9 of us, 2 being female. So an all ladies team intimidated me, I mean, who was going to change my flats, push me up Op de Tradouw and was I seriously going to have to actually take a turn on the front? But seriously, I think I understand the reason for there being such a small ratio of ladies to men is not that us ladies are too scared to change a puncture, but rather that generally the time commitment required for cycling when put next to family commitments means it’s just not always a practical sport. There was a fair bit of oestrogen flying around in the lead up to Coronation Double Century and general over thinking. I am pretty sure Mr Savage wanted to tear his hair out with the kit orders. I mean, men just get one style cut of kit, us ladies worry about boobs, tummies and tightness. No one size fits all here! We managed to get one main ride in with at least 10 of the team the week before Coronation Double Century. The aim was to properly meet up and practice our riding strategy. Which for me, included learning what an echelon was, how exactly to navigate through and offs properly and to shout last rider when you rotated (umm Corn’s did you miss this bit?). The team consisted of two very different levels capabilities of riders. A few of us were definitely the “weaker riders”. It was agreed that we would set the pace on the climbs, i.e. get to the front and ride at a pace we could manage. Our stronger riders would be there to push if needed, take long pulls up front on the flats and of course, snap photos. Once at the second stop the team would decide if we should let most Savage ladies loose to hammer out the watts they had left in the legs to see if we could secure a podium. This is Jenny – agrees to do DC 1.5 weeks before race day, and at one point on Op De Tradouw was pushing my arse up and had Lolita on her other pocket at the same time…. The first 30km’s gets you to breathtaking Tradouw pass. The advantage of having experienced riders in the mix already is paying off, as they are used to how your body adjusts over the course of the race. Jenny reassured me that it was normal for my legs to feel like lead and that my legs were still warming up. This eased my mind just a bit and I soon realised that my HR wasn’t actually lining up with my perceived exertion. From that point on I made peace with just focusing on not letting the gap get too big to the wheel in front of me and just enjoy it. We got to the start of Tradouw pass, and Karin came up next to me and kept me company for the climb by telling me stories of her husband fishing in the valley below – her goal was clearly to get this rather large frame up that first proper climb with as much sense of humour in tact and without completely losing loads of time. It worked. After that, my legs, body and mind seemed to have all come to the party and I was actually feeling pretty decent. Hence I shouted, ”ahh there my legs are” I think I heard at least 5 of my team mates breathe a sigh of relief. We all knew what was coming next though – Op De Tradouw. As soon as we got to the bottom of that beast, the shouts of “Sarah” started, which meant – get your ass to the front girl. So off I went, Jenny by my side. She politely asked if I minded getting a push. To which I said “No, please don’t”. See the ego is a funny thing. Even as one of the weaker riders, I still didn’t want to accept help. Again, Jenny in her wisdom reminded me that it’s a team effort, the pushing gets us all towards the same goal. So my ego went in to my pocket, and Jennys hand onto my back. We made it up Op de Tradouw. Look, I still swore a lot. And I apologise to anyone that was around after that first false summit, and that kick up before the final summit. I found out I have no control over my mouth in situations like that. What Sarah thinks, Sarah says… normally with a lot of F bombs. Sorry mom. As a friend pointed out when driving the route, from that point on its pretty much downhill to the finish,.. um ya ok?! Well we worked our echelons pretty well after that, we had settled in to a groove, and we got to the neutral zone about 20 minutes ahead of schedule of our 7 hour target. We got through the neutral zone, avoiding potholes and navigating the headwind to our feeding zone, refuelled and off we went. Despite the headwind, we still managed to smile/ grimace Going through Bonnivale and the beauty of the Jacarandas was slightly marred by the headwind, and we took about 5 minutes longer for that stretch than planned, but still had about 15 minutes in the bank for our 7 hour target. The second stop is a bit of a frenzy, feet and bodies are sore, people are over it and now we needed to decide on what the plan was for the last 40km. After some polite debate it was decided to ride as long as possible with as many as possible. This lasted to the bottom of the 1st sister when 4 of us dropped off and told the thoroughbread race horses to hammer. Thankfully they let us go and they dropped the hammer in true Savage style, while giving some of the men’s team a push up the 2nd sister. They clawed back 8 minutes in those 20km’s with the first 7 rolling over the line together for a time of 6:37 and a cheeky 3rd on the podium. The after pic What an experience!! I am so truly grateful to have been able to enjoy those 202km with the Savage ladies, to learn from all of them and their experiences and to have a fair bit of fun along the way! The extra respect and feeling of empowerment you get being an all ladies team on the roads around Swellendam was a huge takeaway for me from the experience. #sistersaredoingitforthemselves. Every time I heard the cheer “Go ladies” whether from the side-lines, or the teams of boys happily sitting in our slip for quite a while, *cough cough*, just put a massive smile on my face and made the sense of achievement of crossing that line that much more special. To everyone that shouted “Hammer”, Saaaaaavvvvagggge and even some cheeky “PorkSausages” as we rolled past – thank you. It really added to the experience of feeling a part of something bigger, something Savage. To the Savage men’s team, while it may not have been your best time, you are all still machines in our eye’s and thanks to you guys, Pure Savage gets the support it does on the road. Massive respect. To the mixed team claiming 3rd spot out of 60 plus other mixed teams, absolute Savage performance!!! And to the old ballies – all 12 across the line in 7:30 is a great achievement, but your wives are not going to let you forget they podiumed at the Coronation Double Century, ever! Thank you to Driving Force for the sponsorship of our shirts, Tailwind for providing us with our nutrition and Ciovita for making our kit and accommodating the plethora of changes to the kit in order to accommodate all our needs. Sponsors, extreme levels of #kitdoping and a team consisting of a fair few iron ladies and racing snakes! What will next year hold?! The Coronation Double Century is one seriously epic event – from the smooth and seamless organisation to the beautiful route. I had said that I would take a break next year, but I am not so sure anymore… Up on the podium
  5. The DC is basically Christmas for cyclists! This year for cyclist Christmas I got the gift of cramps at the 70km mark. Brendon ‘Brenda’ Stevens While this wouldn’t be the last we’d see of them, the early pace had taken its toll on some of our turbodiesel units that were not used to the fast start running into the bottom of the first climb. We crested Tradouw a minute ahead of the time inked onto Brendon’s forearm, but at the cost of Klyde, Stuart, Garth, and Donald. Down to eight, not ideal, but at least it wasn’t six. Well, the comfort of eight lasted a full 15 minutes until a mass merging with the UCT lads, Bluff Meats and the Freedom Boys. Needless to say, all hell broke loose as a frenzy of watts, egos, and lactic acid tore our eight riders to six. We lost Sean and Willem off the back, despite Brenda’s effort to drag them back. We nearly lost Aaron too but ol’ Brenda has an incredible knack for folding himself in half and becoming an aero hero (or hairo as he’s later be dubbed at our fines evening). This helped bring both him and Aaron back to Neill, Will, Waldo, and Kevin who managed to sneak away in a four-man break amid the chaos. This left the boys cast adrift of any teams and back to long pulls on the front for the big units, until we were joined on Op De Tradouw by FreeWheel Cycology Racing. Some say each DC is different, but it's not when you are with this team, its always the same, Savage! I wouldn't have it any other way! Waldo “The Wall” Zevenster The Op De Tradouw climb loomed large and we’d need to keep a steady rhythm up here or risk losing some of our bigger units, who we’d need for the relatively flat approach to Montagu. While the total climb itself isn’t too bad on paper (you’re looking at 18km at 2 per cent average grade) the final 5 kilometres ramp up at an average gradient of around 7 per cent. Enough to hurt the legs if climbed too enthusiastically. Everything was going quite well at this point until Neill ‘Hungary’ Ungerer started getting a little restless - especially when Active Bodies came thundering by, having flashbacks to riding with them in 2016. Waldo even tried a little dancing on the pedals for the first time, this sight reassembled the first few steps of a newborn Kudu. Will-I-am got a little Pro-Fomo, too. Will always gets riled up when the pro teams come flying past us. In his early years, he was known for ridiculous breakaways and riding alone to victory. At one point it looked as if Neill and Will were going to do just that - well, until they eased up for the four rabid Savages foaming at the mouth, obviously trying to avoid fines that evening. I’m super stoked to have been a Savage for the day. Will work on my road game and come back stronger next year Garth ‘Engine’ Ennion As always the support from the other teams on the road enables a brief hiatus from the pain cave. When the shouts of ‘Savage!’ or ‘Hammer!’ are heard it’s almost a certainty that the suffering in the paceline will intensify! And that’s exactly what was needed if we were to equal or even beat last year’s time to the 105km mats - something that looked pretty unlikely, especially losing half the team within 50km. To our surprise, however, we managed to roll over the mats in 2h46m, just a minute or two off our initial goal. In true Savage fashion number 7 trundled in almost 20 minutes later with the balance following in quick succession bar Donald who made a guest appearance in the lunch bedouin after the race, Nibali autograph in hand. For me DC with Savage is about suffering with mates for 200km. The camaraderie is always top notch among the lads and support from other teams on the route makes it worth coming back for every year. Aaron ‘Bottle’ Borrill The section from Ashton to Bonnievale always proves to be a notoriously tough section that can tear teams apart, not that we needed any more of that. Go too hard here and you’ll pay for it later, miss the split and it’s equally as damning - ask Aaron. The crosswinds blew him around like a rag doll and soon he, Garth, Klyde and Sean were out the back fighting for survival and a place in the final six. And what of Donald? Well, Don was somewhere in the wilderness probably hunting down Vincenzo Nibali and Nino Schurter although he denies these allegations, citing the two European pros were in actual fact stalking him for a selfie or two. It ain’t a Savage DC if you don’t go until you blow. I think my mielies turn into popcorn at least twice. Willie ‘Branch manager’ Calitz The newly resurfaced Jacaranda lined roads heading towards Bonnivale made for a surreal and picturesque pain cave. The headwind meant the turns on the front were met with increasing shouts of agony from the legs. The paceline was ticking over well with a much-appreciated guest appearance from Emce van Zyl in the ranks. The team had rallied well after the armageddon start of the day to only lose two minutes from our goal on the section to Bonnivale. Will.I.Am[/url]’ Robinson']When Brendon shouts ‘steady’ he means keep it steady at 400w, right? Will ‘[url="http://will.i.am/#inbox/_blank The stops allow a normally unspoken conversation to now be verbalised, which makes for some great entertainment at the expense of some broken bodies. When Brendon asked for a show of hands who still had some legs, only 4 hands went up, now its a party. The only person to laugh was Calvin “cool shades” Moore, as he was helping run the support car and not riding this year. I counted that I was number seven before the Drew turn so I knew what was coming. Klyde ‘CannonBall’ Stevens This led to Klyde’s moment to shine. Ah yes, Klyde the Cannonball. Not only is he the nicest guy in our team, but he’s also got one of the biggest motors too. The Cannonball managed to find an extra gear despite his F1 inspired first pit stop which lasted a full two minutes. After a caffeine-induced fast-charging of his batteries, he was able to put in a couple of big turns on the front before he, Sean and Kevin began seizing up from cramps with 16km to go. A Pure Savage DC is all about stoppage, poppage and six pirates across the line. Kevin ‘Bus’ Dolley Being number seven did not sit well with Kevin, so much so that once he was dropped he emptied himself to get back onto the group. He then went straight to the front, did a turn and then was not be seen until the beer tent, Savage! After his departure, the team was down to the final six, Will, Neil, Waldo, Brendon, Garth and Stuart. The DC doesn’t take prisoners - either you get cooked by the Savage pace or you get cooked by the sun riding solo if you get dropped. But it’s always nice to experience new kinds of pain. Donald ‘Koeberg’ Powers On the first sister the boys caught the Savage ladies team hammering away up the climb, only over the top of the sister did we say goodbye to the Ladies as they were powering towards a 3rd place podium! In the ranks Stuart and Garth our first half casualties had risen from dead and were sitting on the front of the group on the climbs. Only when Will started to get a sniff of the finish line and flattish roads did the “Hand of Waldo” have to be deployed to keep Stuart in the six. The final climb was upon the boys and the pain in the legs induced by the ramp to the finish line was only matched by the pain of having to stop the Garmin 8 minutes away from our goal time. Although we missed our goal of a sub 5, the euphoria of having ridden oneself into the ground for your mates was still in abundance. We had improved one position from the previous year to 13th, the headwind must have made the day a bit tougher as only five teams ducked under five hours, opposed to 13 teams in 2017. A massive congrats must go to our Mixed and Ladies Savage teams that both podiumed with third place in their categories! The teams rode really well and got so much support on the road. Hopefully, they become a regular appearance at the Coronation Double Century! Our final team was the Savage Old Ballies, they crossed the line with all 12 riders in just over seven and a half hours. Thank you to all our amazing sponsors for making this possible and the incredible team at the Coronation Double Century for making this event amazing every year!
  6. This along with two other team members out due to family commitments we were down to only seven riders and the thought of a 170km team time trial seemed a little daunting. The low numbers coupled with the fact that the team manager was too busy on Instagram and forgot to enter us as an actual team, we started in the lowest seeding, M-Z. This was due to our latest import’s last PPA event being the 2004 Double Century where he podium-ed with Will. This saw Pure Savage see off all the other teams of Savage on the morning! When the flag dropped the boys spent no time hanging around and by the circle, we had already broken away from our start group, so far so good. Turning onto the Hellshoogte road we started passing the J-L group where one lone soul latched on for the day. We caught and passed the majority of H-I by the top of the climb making sure not to put too many Savages into the red! We even had time to shout a little “Hammer!” to our ladies team just before the top of the climb! The team got to work quickly after the descent into a well-oiled pace line and just set to work ticking off the kays to the sound of deep sections bouncing over the Chappies-like surface of the R45. As we turned off the R45, we had picked up the leaders of the H group. As the train rolled onto the R44 the boys could see two big carrots in the form of groups ahead which upped the ante and the pain in the legs until the first call of steady was uttered by Brendon. As the team tore through the ever-warming morning, the groups on the horizon got closer and closer after each rotation, not much was muttered but the looks on some of the faces going back up the paceline were proof that we were not on a coffee ride. As we crested the Windmeul climb we had caught the front of the F group. We started to have people try to join in the paceline on the front, but whenever they found themselves near the front a panic would ensue with the next Savage having to pass the dead wheel to keep the train steaming ahead. The Savage train trundled towards the second major climb of the day with quite a large number of carriages and happy passengers on board. Just before Bothmaskloof, we passed the front of D and C groups. We tapped a steady pace up the climb for our diesels and after a quick refuel, the train was back on track. As we entered Malmesbury we had caught back up to the group that did not stop at the water station. Only having eight riders started to take its toll on the pain train, the dual rotating pace line was hurriedly replaced with a single pace line with those with a little more in the tank doing longer pulls and those on the limit now with the heat picking up sitting on the back with the other happy but hot passengers. The mammoth turns on the front were being taken by Ben “The Beast” Nortier, Waldo “Watts” Zvenster and Brendon “Slammed” Stevens into the hairdryer-like crosswinds out of Malmesbury towards the Silos. This took its toll on both the passengers of the express and the team, with the temps creeping towards 38 degrees we made a rookie error not stopping at the Paardeberg water point. The boys started checking the same bottle for water with the same result of hot air being squeezed into their mouths. This lack of water was the last nail for Sean “The Rock” Newbery as he popped, so much so he even stopped his Garmin, Savage. The next to fall victim to the heat was Willem at the water point just after the N1 we stopped at to refuel. Once we were all ready to go we all jumped onto the bikes and rode off, except Willem, his legs decided they were going to stay at the water stop. Not long after Willem’s pin being pulled Will “big blade” Robinson pulled the rip chord allowing the five upfront to solider on to the finish. Through all the carnage of losing half the riders in the last 5km, the pace line was about as efficient as Metrorail’s central line. Ben forged on throwing a revived Stuart, Brendon, Waldo and Kevin onto his wheel and dropping the hammer. This hammer lasted till the railway line where the sudden jar sent Kevin “the Bus” Dolley’s legs into cramp and uncoupled him from the final four. This left the remaining Savages to grind out the final kilometres catching all the riders that had carried on at the water point. The communication had degraded to grunts as the next Savage rolled through to up the pace on the run into Stellenbosch. The boys came in just under 5 hours and the last Savage home rolled in 10 minutes later to find a pile of bikes and bodies in the shade of one of the small trees on the finishing straight! Having scrolled through the Strava flyby the winner of each of the groups from C to L spent a fair chunk of time holding onto the boys' wheels making good use of the tow! Well done to all those that finished the event, the temperature and the hot wind made it really rough getting back into Stellenbosch A massive congrats to the Pure Savage mixed racing team for claiming the third spot in the team competition in a time of 5:22!! All the Savage team's preparations are on track for next months Coronation Double Century!
  7. The team plan was to help Waldo compete against the best by always having at least one teammate around doing the glamorous work of chasing down breaks, sitting in the wind, the less glamorous work of fetching food and drinks and the dirty work of fixing punctures. Well, that was the plan on the Whatsapp group. The race started at 6am with Brendon and William keeping Waldo Company. The plan for the first hour was to keep a high but constant lap pace to try thin the group down a little to a safer size. As the sun started to rise the group was down to a manageable 18 riders, with Brendon and Will sitting on the front. A little before 8am Calvin joined the party as all riders had to start before 9 am. A few laps later disaster struck Waldo as he got a puncture and unfortunately with Brendon off eating Christmas cake, Calvin sill getting used to the game, Will was left to hand over his front wheel to Waldo. The next half an hour saw the boys try and claw back the lap, a merciless chase down of the favourites bunch then ensued with Brendon and Calvin doing quick rotations followed closely by Waldo. The boys were gaining, but not fast enough so it was decided it would be a good time for a nature break and some twitter. Calvin then left for home promising a return in the early afternoon. The next 3 hours saw the three remaining Savages keep up the tempo slowly clawing back the lost lap while other riders stopped to refuel and rest as Waldo kept forging forth. Just as the midday heat started upping the ante and with 200km done and dusted Brendon pulled off the track for a kiddie’s birthday party, leaving Will to mix Waldo’s drinks (easy on the rum – that’s how Waldo likes it). A little while later Calvin pulled in for his second shift smelling like roses (compared to Waldo). This part of the race was the most challenging for the single riders that had covered 240km of constant riding having to match the surges of the relay teams that had only done a quarter of that distance. The boys sat in the wind for Waldo making sure the accelerations did not rip hole’s in the tired legs. As Brendon points out, the Strava flyby shows Calvin spent more time supporting Waldo from the pits than on the track but we all know the most important part of being a good cyclist is what you do off the bike. This tactic paid off as Waldo was sitting in joint second with Rinaldo, one lap down on Philip. The lap times had now slowed down to around 35km/h at this stage with every inch of Waldo’s kit smothered in Salt. The final phase of the race started when Brendon took Calvin’s place at Waldo’s side, as these two hours were going to be the most important. For 11 hours straight, Waldo had not got pulled into the pits but the cramps had set in and no amount of Jens Voigt quotes from Brendon was going to help the situation. The boys peeled off into the pits and the ten-minute pit stop ensued, the highlight of which was Brendon massaging Waldo’s legs and of course William selflessly taking the time to capture this on camera. The last hour of racing was just plain Savage. The hour and a half before the stop, the cramp and fatigue had dropped the average speed to 33.4km/h for Waldo, the last hour of racing was dispatched at 36.2km/h. Looking at the Strava flyby, it shows Waldo gaining the lap he lost and then putting another 3 laps into 4th place rider Rafeeq in just 50 minutes to secure 3rd place! At 6 pm the final laps began as the sun started to set on a proper epic day on the bike. Refeeq Safodien came 4th with 130 laps (427km), Waldo finished 3rd on 133 laps (439 km), Rinaldo Kruger second place on 135 laps (449km) and Phillip Sassie taking the win with 137 laps (454 km). Congrats to the female winner Yvette Negrine completing 109 laps (361km). Will managed to sneak into the top ten with 333km under his belt with Brendon having a rather chilled day on the bike at 262km. Calvin has asked for his distance not to be posted for some reason. This event has really grown into a great Pedal Power Association event on the calendar, a massive thanks to the sponsors of the event BH Bikes and Epiq nutrition. There was some truly fantastic fun and suffering that was had by all and it is our hope this event will gain in popularity over the next few years! Photo credits: Andre Smit (Facebook) Instagram: AndrezSmit and Dan Edwards (Facebook) Instagram: dan_edwards_photo
  8. The weather could not have been a more perfect greeting for the riders on the morning. There was some rain the previous evening to help push out day zero, but the roads were dry for racing in the morning. Stephen, Aaron, Brendon, and Kevin lined up for Pure Savage ready for some hammering! As the race kicked off in anger, we found ourselves flying through the suburbs while negotiating roundabouts like seasoned World Tour pros which strung the group out briefly heading onto the R302. Almost immediately a small break of UCT riders went off the front and the group decided to leave them out front as they trundled through thefarmlandss towards Windmeul. Not even the ramp to Windmeul, with a bit of Savage on the front, would cause any splits in the group and despite the spirited efforts of Emce van Zyl going over to the break, the pace in the group remained fairly sedate. By the time the group arrived at the newly tarred Slent road (a new route addition to the 99er this year) the race was all back together. As the group swung right onto the Philadelphia road the pace rose slightly as there were a few riders off the front. With the likes of Specialized, Gear Change, and DSV boys still in the peloton, there was no rush to close the gaps to those ahead. The Specialized duo did keep the racing interesting taking turns at attacking the peloton making sure the group was still paying attention. The only other action before Vissershok came in the form of someone losing their Garmin 1000 in spectacular fashion at around 45km/h and asking the motorbike to go back and fetch it for him. The new route also cut out that bumpy old van Schoorsdrif Road, but then included a much longer stretch on the N7 which could have been a lot tougher if the usual South Easter was pomping. Luckily there was a tail wind and it was an opportunity to catch your breath and prepare yourself for what lay ahead. Once the peloton turned off the N7 and onto the first little rise on Vissershok, the 90 odd kilometers in the legs started taking its toll on the group. The once bunched up peloton became more and more strung out, like one's budget at the end of January (Jan you worry). On the proper kick up on Vissershok about a kilometre after the four-way stop, those with the legs opened up the taps and brought on pain for everyone else. There was a group of about 7 or 8 riders in the front that went over the top of Vissershok together with a 30 second gap and managed to stay ahead on the way down and on the 1km Odendaal Road climb up to the finish. Gert Heyns taking the win over Craig Boyes and Waylon Woolcock. Kevin crested Vissershok with the 2nd bunch of about 15 riders, who got together and worked hard to the foot of Odendaal where things exploded once again and it was every man for himself. Kevin managing 18th spot and a minute back overall. Aaron and Stephen were in the 3rd bunch over Vissershok and came in 36th and 38th respectively. Aaron recovering from a nasty crash at Bouckaert Soenen a week ago with a hip reflecting all colours of the rainbow (predominantly Indigo and Violet) and Stephen spending more time in his takkies these days than on two wheels (we've already booked him an appointment at our preferred psychologist handling unfortunate issues like these that we experience from time to time). Brendon ended up in the 4th bunch and 62nd overall, but worked exceptionally hard all day to secure enough photos for the blog.
  9. Despite the windy weather reports, we were all very much in high spirits and set off immediately after Team Giant climbing Helshoogte at a steady but rhythmic pace – it was a lot more chilled than usual but it was all part of "the plan". The descent down the other side into Pniel was fast but focussed, as there was no real point of going hell for the leather and doing anything stupid. But then disaster struck. Brendon got a puncture, as we turned left on the R45 at Groot-Drakenstein. Down to 10 Savages. The Coro Stars came thundering ahead of us shortly after Brendon’s demise and this got the guys a bit riled up to chase back. Especially Will. He didn’t like the manoeuvre and started dropping some long periods of hammer on the front until we eventually moved ahead of them. The wind started to noticeably pick up at this point and we got to experience some of its wrath, as we turned left on the R101 to Klapmuts. Nobody said a word. We all knew deep down what was waiting for us on the other side of Bothmanskloof Pass at Riebeeck Kasteel, but we soldiered on at a decent pace, in an attempt to iron out any gremlins in our pace line. Another blow to the Savage train came when the Bus called it in at around the 40 km mark – the big man was taking shots after battling a virus all week. A big blow indeed and with 130km still left to negotiate we were down to nine Savages. We soldiered on and were thundering along at 40 km/h average speed until – another mechanical. This time it was Will.I.am who had been in charge of hammer-dropping had suffered a puncture! Only eight Savages left. Waldo took over the leadership role and marshaled the troops by restoring a semblance of order. We held our pace until the left-hand turn at Hermon. Then the photographer came past on the motorcycle… Aaron got a bit carried away here as he’s been running low on Instagram content but slowed down after a barrage of slander. Photo credit: Michelle Otto. Emotions ran rampant up the climb but we all summited together and began the descent, which would lead us into Malmesbury. At this point the wind was more a crosswind than anything else and, although it wasn’t as hectic as we imagined, it would become a 32 km/h block headwind once we hit the R302. Coro Stars came through at pace and we’d never see them again, except 3 or 4 fallen soldiers. It wasn’t long before we lost the Centaur, battered from exposure to the wind. Down to seven Savages. Photo credit: Michelle Otto. Stephen was taking some serious strain and began to resemble Chris Froome as he focused more on his stem than anything else – he hung on for dear life along with one of Coro’s fallen warriors. The wind was not letting up, when you are hammering and all you can muster is 24 km/h at best, you start questioning life decisions. Klyde the cannonball rode like a champ – earning his place in the DC team by digging deeper than we’ve ever seen him dig before, clocking up an average heart rate of 171bpm for 5 hours. The remaining 20 km back into Stellenbosch were probably the toughest of the race – the headwind became a crosswind, which in turn became a second wind as we tried to extracted as much out of every pedal stroke as possible. Photo credit: Theo Bruwer. Theunis and Waldo were formidable out there and Willie who for once in his life, actually finished two bottles of fluid. Fatigued, depleted and bereft of any sense of levity, we rode as hard as we could to the finish. Cool Shades and Waldo shepherded the boys over the last few rollers. With 2km to go, we saw our final bit of bad luck, we lost the man with no socks to a spectacular hydrogen-bomb-style puncture. Down to six Savages. We crossed the line in a time of 5h 02m, 3rd place in the inaugural team category. We managed to stick to the Savage plan, which was to cross the line with 6 riders, although it was not exactly how we envisaged it unfolding. The boys learned a lot out there in the wind today – lessons we’ll surely utilise come Double Century time. One thing’s for sure: the boys know how to hammer. Kudos to Brendon, Will and Bernie who still had the fortitude to finish – particularly Bren who rode pretty much 120km by himself. Next week the team tackles the Durbie Dash for a quick 90km of pain. Hopefully, the South Easter takes the day off.
  10. After the massive #CapeStorm earlier in the week which resulted in a forced taper, 5 Savages arrived on the start line in Yzerfontein on a gloomy winters morning excited about the half gravel, half road challenge that lay ahead. Brendon and Calvin are proper dirt roadies, while Aaron, Waldo and Kevin are more accustomed to MTB racing. Click here to view the article
  11. Out of the blocks, we cruised through town and down the tar road towards the R 27 before hanging a left onto the gravel road where the speed lifted a touch and guys were scrambling for wheels while trying to avoid getting an eyeful of mud, well those without glasses at least. After a kilometer or two on the gravel, there was a rather large tree with branches hanging over the left shoulder of the road. The second rider on the road had a lapse in concentration and rode straight into the tree bring down a number of riders behind him. Two of which were Aaron and Brendon. They both sustained broken collar bones, while Aaron fractured his arm as well. Thanks to all the fellow cyclists that stopped to assist them and to the medics for their speedy response and first aid assistance. The bunch sat up for a while to allow some of the riders that were caught up in the crash to get back on and the racing resumed a few minutes later. Riding into a gentle headwind, the pace was fairly slow until we hit the tar road and a few digs at a breakaway were had, but none being successful as the chasers weren’t keen on letting anyone go. The main group dropped riders one by one as we went over the rollers in the nature reserve and at the turn around point, there were 7 riders left. As we turned back we were greeted with a side-tail wind and a few more hammers were dropped to test the legs of the remaining riders. Unfortunately our social media liaison went down in the crash, so the photos of the rest of the report will be of the crash, but the race went on! The out and back loop is quite different from any other race, as you get to see all the riders from the lower group (parents, friends, etc.) coming along in the opposite direction. When the long and short routes merged, we had to keep focused to avoid to slower riders. Some of the youngsters taking part in the short route events joined our group for a few minutes, very excited about the prospects of keeping up with the big dogs. One dude in DF Malan kit even went to the front of our group for a bit and dropped some of his own hammers before getting spat out the back door. Well done to you mate, that is proper Savage behavior, we love it! There might even be a Pure Savage jersey waiting for you in the not too distant future. As we turned back onto the gravel road for the final 15/20km, Nic Allen went straight to the front, dropped some massive watt bombs and kept the pace very high all the way to the tar road. In the process, dropping 2 more riders from the bunch, leaving us with only 5 riders to fight it out in the sprint. At this stage, the pace settled for a moment and we all started looking around waiting for the next attack while trying to get the lactic acid out of our legs and having a last swig of water. Roadie Rodrigues, I mean Robby Rodrigues, put in some massive attacks on the tar road going up to Yzerfontein, but got reeled in each time. As we took the right turn with 500m to go, Nick put in a big dig and only Robby could go with the acceleration and overtook him just before the sharp left (just in the “nick” of time). The other 3, Kevin, Waldo and Nichol, running on diesel fumes, slowly clawed their way back onto the wheels ahead and with a sharp left and sharp right just before the finish line, there was no more chance of overtaking and the race finish in the order. Robby, Nick, Kevin, Waldo and Nichol. A shout out to the Pedal Power Association, organizers and main sponsor, Blue Ribbon for growing the event from last year! On the way to the event we were commenting on how many more cars there were on the road heading to Yzerfontein compared to last year. Thanks to those that stopped to help and all those that sent messages of support to the riders and team over the weekend, it really does help with the bleakness. The boys will be back on the trainers soon and clogging up your Instagram timelines with terrible puns, motivational quotes and hashtags.
  12. It was a crisp morning in Malmesbury as we prepared for the 100 miles of dirt road ahead. There was the chatter of teeth as we shivered while we made sure our bikes and Garmin’s were ready to go! #strava!!! Aaron and Waldo lined up for Team Pure Savage and were looking forward to a MTB race where roadies could come and strut their stuff too! Both are under cover Mountain biker’s anyway so fit the profile perfectly. Click here to view the article
  13. Photo credit: Chris Hitchock While Waldo pulled a true Pure Savage move and ran around looking for a timing chip before the start, Aaron was as cool as a cucumber, looking calm and very focused. Photo credit: Chris Hitchock Up front, Eric Kleinhans was setting the pace, he then broke away and had a lead of around 8min at the halfway mark. Max Sullivan, Etnard Louw, Richard Simpson and Rikus Visser followed, while Waldo was in the group 5 min back. In this group Rickus Jooste did an awesome job early on setting the pace while Luca Stermin, Jaco Davel, Neville Cragg and Martin Cilliers complete the units of the chasing pack. Aaron’s race had left him a little deflated having multiples punctures to his rear tyre. Sometimes you are the hammer and sometimes you are the nail, but in this case his tires got nailed! At the 60km mark he had to plug the tyre, he then had used so many bombs it sounded like war zone. Ten or so kilometers later another one, and after using a few more of those precious little air canisters he realized it wasn’t sealing and there was no way to continue. Tyre’s time of death, 97.4km. In the meantime Waldo was also doing battle, hammering along spinning like a hamster trying to keep up with Neville, only having 32T was not ideal. Neville’s weapon of choice was a Niner BSB 9 RDO with a Lauf Forks setup and was dishing out pain on the flats after initially taking a few hits on a few rocky sections. Waldo decided he was done pretending to be Chris Froome and returned to his normal grind. Photo credit: Chris Hitchock Eric was showing everyone how it was done with a massive lead at the last checkpoint. Etnard was followed by Rikus Visser who was less than a minute behind. Richard tagged in just over another minute later and the podium was still for play in the last few climbs to the finish. Richard played it cool and sneaked in from behind leapfrogging both to take 2nd while Rikus came home in 3rd overall. After the last waterpoint it was every man for himself in Waldo’s group. The water bottle was filled and a banana was gobbled up! (Now his hamster cheeks matched his hamster cadence) A top 10 was still on the cards for Team Pure Savage! Waldo couldn’t hold Luca’s wheel but tapped out a steady pace to keep some daylight between him and the rest of the chasing pack. Photo credit: Chris Hitchock Overall Jaco and Neville caught up to Max Sullivan who buried himself early on. This rounded out positions 5, 6 and 7 while Luca came in at 8th. Waldo powered home to 9th after a last ditch hammer. Marc Wells did a marvelous job making up around 4min from the last checkpoint to finish in the top 10. Lots of records broken! Eric had a new course record of 5:33:16, won it on a gravel grinder and didn’t even look tired. Aaron used a record number of bombs in one race while Waldo is now the new record holder for highest cadence curing the 100 miler!
  14. Hi Capetonians, Bit of a back story: After having car written off, now a full time commuter to work, trip is from Foreshore to Claremont via Woodstock. Been doing it for almost three months and have had to contend with glass and people parking in bike lane, being under 30 I just moaned on twitter and got a some likes and rewteets. Not much changed. Last week the Cape Town city alerts lodged the complaints for me on their site and the glass has been cleaned on the section I reported. I then went and looked at the how process to submit an issue. Its really simple and rather quick. Having talked to a ward councilor, he was saying that it basically comes down to the issues with the most requests gets the money and time spent on it. So as well as reporting on twitter etc, so every week if their are cars parked in the lane, glass, pot holes or any other issue i will make lodge the complaint. Point of this thread: Keep track of all the service requests and complaints, so we can get the cycle lanes safer for cyclists. If too busy to report - you can send a PM with location, issue, cell phone number and I will submit for you Here is how to do it: Click on this link: https://eservices1.capetown.gov.za/coct/wapl/zsreq_app/index.html Click on create service request: Click on what you want to report - Either street sweeping/parking Add a location so they no where to action your request: You can even add a selfie (No please dont, just a pic of car in the lane/glass) * You do not need a photo Then just add your contact deets so they can contact you and know you are not some random bot: If we can start reporting this regularly the city can start doing things about it. Stay Savage!
  15. This past weekend was the 12 hours of Killarney hosted by PPA. We entered in the solo category and managed 4th place with 117 laps, about 383km. A full write up is coming from the rider. Any body else do the event? Was great fun and saw lots of regulars!
  16. While in Flanders the classic season kicked off with Omloop het Nieuwblad, this weekend also saw the last PPA event before the Argus. The Tour de PPA which always serves up some spring classic inspired crosswinds. Click here to view the article
  17. Breakaway of A group - Photo credit: Double ST The Savages lining up in the A group were limited to Calvin and Brendon due to the SA XCO event at Rheeboksloof the day before and it apparently being wedding season at the moment. For some reason instead of the bunch all starting on the tar road, half the bunch was forced to perform a cyclo cross start across the sandpit before the tar. The cyclo cross inspired start did not stop the front of the bunch from hammering off up Tiekkidraai like a scalded cat! Down Tikkiedraai the group was strung out with those at the back spinning it up like Chris Froome to get back on! It was onto the major climb of the day, Vissershoek which saw the group string out once again. With shouts from those on the sidelines Brendon managed to get over just behind the break with Calvin seeing his day become a whole lot harder as the gap started to grow. The gap at the top of the climb between the chasers and the breakaway was less than 50 meters, but with all the shattered legs from Vissershoek it took till Fisantekraal to close the gap. After Fisantekraal the antagonists in the group along with the help of the cross winds decided to open the taps. At one point there were 5 groups of riders all over the road. The problem was that we were able to see all 5 groups ahead of us! Luckily a well organised chase group that had been distanced on Vissershoek came past and a shout of "Savage come hammer" injected some life into the legs and the race was on again. Only photo we got during the race due to the pace! Over the next 30km the group worked really well rotating the pace and picking up all the smaller groups on the road. As we caught the Masters racing group the CSA commissaire in his Polo waved the group past and was very adamant we come straight past. Pity he sat his Polo on the white line, forcing the entire group to cross the white line. A few of us alerted him to the fact that he was forcing riders accross the white line, we were met with abuse. Thanks CSA for your efforts towards cyclist safety. Just before we reached the R302 we managed to close the gap to the second group on the road. Once the groups were together the urgency the group had dwindled as people started thinking about the last few rollers. Kudos must be given to the youngster Wynaand Dippenaar, the amount of attacks off the front were great to watch and reminded us of Cannonball Klyde from Savage! The group negotiated the final rollers in a rather subdued pace compared to the savagery of earlier in the race. The highlight of the sprint to the line was again young gun Wynaand, seeing himself boxed in and drawing inspiration from the cobbled classics, took to the dirt to find space around the peloton and open up his sprint! Although he was just pipped to the line by Riaan from the surging peloton! A big thanks to the PPA for organising such a great race again with good marshalling, very cheap entry fees when we entered in January, a massive tent at the end and great medical services on call at the end for the crash in the elite sprint. Heal up quickly Craig Boyes! Link to the strava file for the race here: STRAVA
  18. It was a very early start to the morning out in Paarl for the first road race of the year, The Bouckaert-Soenen Road race run by the Paarl Rotary Club. Due to training for the Epic, XCO races and offspring due, only one Pure Savage was able to make it to the start in Paarl of the 124km route. Click here to view the article
  19. Early morning start in Paarl 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. Cresting the climb ahead of the bunch 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. Trundling along. Photo credit: C Hayward - Strava 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!
  20. The South African National Road Champs, Tankwa Trek, TransCape MTB as well as the World Triathlon Series did little to thwart the spirits of the thousands of riders that lined up to ride the 99er Cycle Tour in Durbanville on Saturday. Owing to this fact the lack of firepower up front was clearly evident and naturally left us foaming at the mouth at the possibilities that lay ahead. There were however a couple of teams that would make our goal of podium tough work – namely, the lads from UCT Cycling who were here in full force as well as a couple Giants and one or two Stellenbosch Pro Cycling chaps lurking in the shadows. Click here to view the article
  21. Ready to rock and roll Looking around it was clear the lack of the regular teams and faces allowed the organisers to promote a lot of first time elites to the Dollar group, so nerves and emotions were palpable at the start. The pace was pretty swift leaving the racecourse but the group stayed together as it meandered through the residential maze of Durbanville before hooking left onto Wellington Road. It was pretty sedate here – perhaps around 33km/h and our heart rates were chilling comfortably in upper zone 1. Even Klyde was in zone 2, and considering he’s usually in Z5 at rest it’s an achievement in it’s own right. Klyde – yeah, the Cannonball continues his fine run of form making his first appearance in the elite bunch. He was joined by Waldo, Aaron, Brendon, Jon and Will (our strongest rider and podium hope). Plenty of time for a pic in the bunch The tactics were pretty relaxed at this point as it was clearly evident nobody wanted to do any work on the front. One or two breakaways (out of pure frustration) went off the front but none of them lasted mainly because nobody followed. Brendon did some turns on the front, accidentally breaking away in the process which sparked some resurgence as the pace increased near the bridge by the Fruitsellers. Tapping out some tempo The terrain was pretty tame all the way to around the 36km mark at Windmeul where a sharp left-hander signaled the start of Vryguns rollers – the first real test for the bunch. As expected some of the weaker riders were ejected out the rear as the speed started to wind up. A solo breakaway by one of the UCT riders managed to hold for this entire segment, this may have been due to his personal photo shoot in the slip of the camera car, still a balsy move! He was soon consumed by the jaws of the peleton before the route darted left onto the R302 to the Silos. Again the pace slowed to an excruciatingly slow 30km/h. The bunch looked lethargic, some profanity was spewed, and words were exchanged as frustration began to move through the ranks. Several dummy attacks were launched in an attempt to see who was keen to go but again the ‘let’s-all-sit-up-and-enjoy-an-easy-ride-to-the-finish’ mentality seemed to be the order of the day. Out of frustration some of the Savages moved to the front echelons of the bunch to keep things moving, as did UCT, and the pace eventually began to kick up a bit. Bottle on the move! Photo credit: 99er Facebook page Waybe Finch from UCT gave an acceleration up the left flank and moved to the front before darting right and launching the first real attack of the day. Aaron ‘Bottle’ went with him along with another rider and gap grew quite substantially as the three barreled left onto the R302 towards the Silos. Wayde was unloading some decent wattage on the front as the three took turns to keep the peleton at bay. But the mild North Wester was working in the favour of the chasing bunch where some guttering got rid of more dead wood. The bunch eventually consumed Aaron and the ‘other’ guy but Wayde stayed away for a while longer before getting brought back on the Philadelphia rollers. Ah, the Philadelphia rollers. Anyone who’s done the race before will know these energy-sapping bastards. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself here and surge to the front in an ego-rage to prove your worth but that’s not very clever as the Old Malmesbury Road ‘Kamikaze time-trial’ usually sorts out this primitive behaviour. The race on Sunday only started on Old Malmesbury Road. Brendon decided that the pace should increase and went into the cave again, this is where the Dollar pace we’ve come to know eventually hit full stride. It was brutal. Guys were being discharged out the back at a rate of knots, including Brendon who may have got carried away. There was moaning, groaning, a little bit of climaxing and lots and lots of grimaces as the bumpy surface and narrow approach wreaked havoc with the bunch. It’s here where many mechanicals and punctures happen but when the you’re hurtling along at 45km/h and the possibility of being dropped is a reality, you just go with it, grit your teeth and pray your tyres don’t explode not to mention getting sand-papered by that abrasive surface. There was an explosion or two – many engines and one or two bikes. A man that can only be likened to a hamster in a wheel on crack (Yes, that’s how fast he spins. Some say he has no left shifter) had a nasty experience as his derailleur ate the rear spokes of his wheel. All we know is he spent most of the day on Old Malmesbury Road waiting for the sweeper. According to Strava this 12km segment was smashed in 18min at an average speed of 40km/h. It also claimed around 40 Dollars – some who popped, others who dropped. The biggest challenge of the day however, still loomed large – Vissershok. A nasty six per cent bump comprising two parts – Klein and Groot Vissershok. The trick here is to stay with the bunch and get towed to the Contermanskloof 4-way stop where the real pain starts. All the Savages were intact at this point. Klyde was chilling at 200bpm, Brendon looked like he was going into labour on the front again after being dropped minutes earlier, Waldo’s molars were taking strain from the grinding, Jon was evaporating in the heat, Aaron was shouting ‘hold your line’ for some reason and Will was idling at around 90bpm – check his Strava file if you don’t believe us. As usual it was at least 40-degrees Celsius on Vissershok. The road looked wet. Was it the sweat from breakaway Dollars struggling to overcome gravity? All we know is at this point it’s every man for himself. Getting to the summit with the front guys is usually the difference between registering a top 10 or top 50 and as a result the group splintered into clusters of riders. The three-man breakaway that formed at the base of Vissershok near the N7 was reeled-in just as they crested the summit followed by the second split which included Will and Waldo. Aaron was in the third split while Brendon and Cannonball were racing each other in a battle for brotherly dominance. At the summit of Vissershok there’s brief respite before a fast, flat-out downhill signals the approach to the right-hander and hilltop finish – the Odendaal bastard. It’s not a particularly steep climb but its placement in the race makes it a toughly for any level of rider. Will was unfortunately not able to bridge the gap to breakaway but he did manage to secure 9th place. Waldo came home in 30th, Aaron 47th while Brendon pipped Klyde to the line in 80th. Jon made it home in 2h50 securing sub3s all-round for the boys. Our form is looking pretty sharp heading into the Cape Town Cycle Tour where we’re going to hammer! Overall the 99er Cycle Tour continues to be a favourite for Pure Savage with its superb organisation, fully stocked and comprehensive water points (From what we’re told. We never stop) and awesome finish venue. The Team pulling the "Bottle" Pose! Did we enjoy the day’s hammerfest? Of course - what started out as a snail’s race turned into a great day of hard racing. Shout out goes to the lads from UCT Cycling Team - great job Martin, Wayde, Gregg, Matt et al. It was great fun mixing it up with you boys. Until next year. #Hammer
  22. Like most ardent cyclists in Cape Town the Coronation Double Century is a highlight on the racing calendar for Pure Savage – the team was of course founded because of this event so it’s an auspicious occasion for us. While we’ve lost a few stalwarts over the years, including some of the original Savages, we’ve gained a slew of new riders and galvanised a solid bond in our ranks as a result. Click here to view the article
  23. This year we selected quite possibly one of our strongest teams to date and the mettle among the ranks has been nothing short of astonishing. Everybody seems to love Pure Savage – it appears the notion of a group of amateurs with day jobs dishing out pain to their mates, is what appeals most to everyone. The cheers of support from other teams we passed during the race on Saturday was amazing! It spurred us on to hammer harder and felt amazing. Thank you for your support guys. As a result of the awesome vibe several sponsors have come on board for the 2016/17 season such as USN, Ciovita, Bike Hub and Volvo. Volvo kindly sponsored our team entry for the Double Century and XC90 support vehicle, a car so stunning it made us one of the most envied teams in the race. It is a belter right? Kitted out here in our team livery, Thor’s Hammer (that’s his name) epitomises everything about Pure Savage and the hammer philosophy. This year’s Coronation Double Century was one of the toughest days on the bike for the team. It wasn’t so much the pace and intensity but rather the heat and wind that wreaked havoc over the 200 km route. At one point the mercury touched 40deg Celsius! As a consequence the hurt locker was frequented many times as heart rates soared, cramps pulsated through our legs and sweat stained our kits in a salty crust. It was rough. It’s hard to explain what it feels like out there, especially when you’re going full gas, but this quote by Marco Pantani fully encompasses what we experienced out there on Saturday – ‘I love the mountains, but in the moment of exertion, I’m filled with a deep hatred. So I try to shorten the suffering.’ Marco is of course referring to the hurt locker – the bastion of pain that every cyclist experiences some time or another. As you can see from the pictures we spent a lot of time suffering out there and as much as it was painful it was also pleasurable. See, we had a specific goal this year: to beat last years’ time and possibly dip below 5h20m, a pretty realistic goal considering the untimed 10 km neutral zone. We took a measured approach at the start of the race and rotated pulling duties on the front in a double pace line to keep our progress swift and economic. It worked. Jarred and Brendon helped call the orders and soon we were barreling along at 42 kph and passing team after team without unloading too many unnecessary Watts. Of course, there were the loafers – you know, those freeloaders who enjoy slipstreaming without returning the favour on the front. Anyway those who tried didn’t last very long and soon our blue and red train reached the open expanses of the R324 and were fast-approaching the first climb – Tradouw Pass. At this point, Jarred took up marshaling duties to ensure we burnt as little matches as possible up here but still kept a decent pace. It worked – despite Will attempting to chase down every faster team coming through at pace. We made it to the top with 10 riders and enjoyed the exhilarating 4 km descent, weaving down at an average speed of around 72 kph and maxing at 86! Scary stuff! Our measured approach paid off and we made it to the first compulsory stop in 2h48m at an average speed of 37 kph. We lost Nardus and Jon to injuries – a real loss as both these champs are real characters in the team and this signaled the harsh reality of being dropped from the bunch. The next 60 km after the first stop were pure torture and as we hooked a left exiting Robertson a stiff wind met us head-on. It proved tough work. Some of the stronger riders in the team made it look easy – like William. Will I. Am. as he affectionately became known during the course of the race was ridiculously strong. I don't think he even broke a sweat and rightfully so, this man has completed the Giro del Capo. In fact, I'm pretty sure riding with us was tantamount to Grade 2 maths for him. See, Will is not only a mathematician – he's a cunning tactician, too. Generals among front-line expendables Jarred and Will knew exactly what to do in the head/crosswinds yesterday. Some of our smaller and less experienced guys struggled through this period but we all made it to the second stop bang-on target. The heat really ramped up at the stop at Bonnievale as did the Swellendam fan, and the notion of another 40 km at threshold was looking less appealing with every passing second. The team looked drained but our amazing support crew of Olivia and Marlee along with Nardus and Jon helped boost the morale. As usual Aaron was winging about the breeze, Calvin couldn’t really speak and Klyde was giggling like a Cheshire cat because he couldn’t believe he’d lasted this long. Brendon quashed the murmurs about riding to the end “within myself” and “own pace” as that is just not savage. Like dehydrated mummies unable to talk we limped around delirious and confused in search of anything edible to stuff our faces with. Except Will. Did I mention how freaking strong this guy is? Carl, Calvin, Marcus and Aaron looked in pretty bad shape leaving the final stop but the last 40 km stint brought a resurgence of confidence to push on. Surprisingly we left compulsory stop 2 with 10 riders but the pace and surging from the groups that merged with us began to take its toll on Carl and Aaron. We lost sight of them at around 185 km with Klyde popping at 187 km and Calvin atomically blowing at 192 km. This meant Jarred, Will, Brendon, Marcus, Waldo and Brenton were left to push towards the line as quick as possible. Jarred and Will took turns riding up front and held the team together despite the unrelenting wind and heat. The days hammering started to catch up to the boys and our once sky train like pace-line started to look more like a half dead snake. Will and Jarred just rotated together for the last 10 km as the rest of the boys hung on for dear life. Those three Ugly Sisters truly are hideous pieces of work but we crested them one by one. This left the final climb – we don’t remember it being this tough. In fact, it felt like one of our Everesting challenges but Waldo the Colossus came to the party in a big way and helped push Marcus while Jarred helped Brenton. Will? Well, did you have to ask? He was doing just fine as was Brendon. The team had done it. We achieved our goal of sub-5h20m and stopped the clock at 5h18m which also secured us 18th position overall. Further back Aaron and Carl started to claw back some time and picked up Klyde and Calvin on the final climb where they finished 4 minutes later in a time of 5h22m. Everybody did their turns on the front during the day until they popped and played a pivotal role securing this time. This is what the team is about; this is what Pure Savage is about – suffering with mates and enjoying a beer and exchanging war stories afterwards. Special mention goes to Nardus and Jon. Pity what happened but there's always next year chaps – chin up. Not forgetting Jarred and Brenton, our pistons from PE as well as Marcus, Waldo, Aaron, Carl, Will and Brendon our captain. Seeing how the team has grown in popularity and strength this year is so lekker. While we really get great pleasure from hammering every ride in the face it’s the vibe around the team that really makes mashing pedals so much more enjoyable. Our awesome kit partner, Ciovita has agreed to another run of our current kit, if you would like to get your hands on a set pop us a mail at teampuresavage@gmail.com . Hammer!
  24. Ready to rumble The new route for the West Coast Express included a new start venue, Killarney race track, this made for parking and admin before the race being pain free. The new route was the most climbing ever in a West Coast Express route, the route at only 80km served up roller after roller on the day making for an interesting ride. Link to strava segment of route here. At 7am Brendon led us out of Killarney towards town at a rather sedentary pace making sure that everyone had managed to clip in and press start on their garmins. Soon enough Tikkidraai came into view and proved to be quite a tough cookie for some of the diesel engines of Pure Savage compact. The plan was for the domestiques to sit on the front in the wind and lend a 'hand" on the hills to make sure that the diesel motors kept up with our start group. This strategy worked flawlessly for about 2 minutes, until those Savages lending a hand started to race each other to see who could drop the other Savages lending a hand on the climb. This may dropped a little too much hammer for some of the group we started in, our bad. After weaving our way through Durbanville we headed out to Fisantkraal with its long airport rise and plethora of subsequent rolling hills. The wind was kind for this time of year and the group managed to cruise along in team time trial mode at just over 40 clicks. After what seemed like a never ending amount of rollers, we crossed the famed gravel section of doom. However, at the speeds we were doing it really wasn't a problem. The most painful part was that Brendon would not shut up about how awesome cyclo-cross would be and that we should all look out for a cyclocross bike in the Bike Hub classifieds. The real problem was Malanshoogte, 5 km of pretty steep stuff in what was now the heat of a fiery summers day. Its a real treat doing this climb in a race as the last time it was used was the 2014 99er. Overall it was a fantastically organised race: there were lots of informed marshals to guide us, decent sized start groups, plenty of parking and a bar stocked with ice beverages. It was great meeting guys on route and chatting about Savage and how some of our posts inspire people to get out of bed and go ride in the morning! Hats off to the organising team at the Outriders – it’s fantastic that everyone got a chance to do the West Coast Express in 2016 and a cracking new route!
  25. After being postponed a few months ago the Outriders West Coast Express was the final Pedal Power Association event of the year. Due to Tokai opening, The Cape Town Sevens and the festive season having kicked off most of the Savage team was out of action for the action on Sunday, the remaining Pure Savage members decided to join the Pure Savage Compact team for something a bit different. Click here to view the article
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