Andrew Hill takes on the German food, Brass Bands & Bike Racing
45km, 767m climbing 1hr45min
Pictures: Wendy Bird
The Harberg tour de Krantz is one of the oldest classics on the calendar and continues to hold its head high as a small event with big soul in this era that is largely dominated by big flash and ceremony events out there. The race is still true to its roots and continues to provide the rider with a great morning out in the farming country side. The entire community of this small town and surrounding farmlands makes a festive day of the event culminating in a German style food market and German Brass band around 12noon.
The race as always attracts a number of the top racers from around KZN and this year the field was particularly strong with 2 members of the recently selected South African world champs team being on the start line. Brendan Davids and Alan Hatherly were both on the start line making this race part of their final preparations for the Norway World XC champs. This fact made the pace quick off the start and I found myself up front with these two guys. The split came at around 15km where Brendon got a gap going into the plantation jeep track. As Alan and I rounded a corner going through the pine trees I felt a huge crash into my back wheel. Alan had slipped into my wheel going around a corner and burped the tyre off the rim slightly. This let some air out and resulted in my tyre becoming flat. I stopped and Alan kindly stopped and offered to help me fix the problem. After fixing the issue we carried on to try catch Brendon, but going up the biggest climb of the day Alan dropped off the pace and I carried on alone.
The nature of a 45km race is that its very difficult to come back after a mechanical problem, but you always have to try as you don’t know what could have happened up front with the guy you are chasing. The finish line came quickly and I couldn’t pull any time back off the winner Brendon Davids.
1st Brendan Davids (TREK)
2nd Andrew Hill (TIB)
3rd Josh Nelson (Russel White academy)