2015 Race Report: Compendium Derby
Race SPECS: 42km, 800m climbing, 1hr36min
Shongweni Polo Club
Images: Quickpix (c) Gavin Ryan
The local racing continued with the compendium derby over the weekend at the Shongweni polo club. As the 2014 title holder I really was wanted to come into the race fully prepared and make sure I could maintain the top step of the podium in the 2015 edition. After a tough week of training I had ridden parts of the route in preparation but I hadn’t done the route in its entirety. The route followed a similar direction to the 2014 race but included 1 extra climb to make thing a bit more rewarding by linking up some good single track before heading into GIBA gorge MTB park. The dusty trails were quite loose in places but the general track condition was great and flowed really well when compared to last year.
Up front I set the pace up the first climb and a hand full of riders crested the climb with me. I knew the next section of trail was slightly uphill and bumpy so I picked the pace up and with help from my Scott Spark full sus I put in a couple of meters between the chasers and my back wheel. I saw the gaps opening up and put in a couple of hard efforts knowing the trails were about to turn into a single track climb that switches backs up into summerveld. With each switch back I could see the gap behind me growing every so slightly behind the 2nd place rider and me. There were a line of riders behind who I new would be pacing to get back onto my wheel if I let them. I pushed hard going through the Hamilton’s single track at about 12km in and then after a short kicker climb and descent into the sugar cane I couldn’t see the chasing group anymore. Then next couple of kilometres were rolling and flat and I managed to keep the distance growing between myself and the next rider. Dropping into Giba is one of the best parts of this race and having knowledge of the trails definitely helped me cushion the lead I had built as I didn’t have to push the limit on the loose and fast surface
By the time I had reached the last 2 kilometres I was happy to know I had the race in the bag after a good hard effort and tough week of training.