2015 Race Report: Mid Illovo Classic
Race SPECS: 42km, 780m climbing,
Mid Illovo Club
Andrew Hill writes:
The Husqavana mid Illovo 40km Classic is the main event but makes up one of the many races available at the MTB and Trail running festival held in the small farming town. The routes are meticulously groomed and prepared to offer the rider or runner no excuse in having a pearler of a day out in the country. The 2015 edition took a step up and forwards with regards the organising and smooth running of such a well pitched and accessible event.
After missing last year due to injury after sani2c I decided to make it 4 days of racing in a row and continue my sani2c race into the 40km classic event the following day. The Husqavana Classic also forms part of the Roag series which is now in full swing in KZN and continues to grow in popularity race on race. My risky decision paid dividends as I felt relatively strong on the hard tempo sections but I could feel the legs were tender on hard over threshold efforts above 400watts. So with “tour legs” had to ride my own pace and went to front and tried to keep the pacing hard but manageable for myself.
The light rain during the race was quite welcoming and settled a lot of the dusty single track sections along the way. I kept the pace high up until the biggest climb into iNsingizi single track and then pushed the pace up to see who would respond. I found a small gap had formed and kept my head down and worked hard to maintain the gap.
The plan worked and I entered the final section of single track with a minute lead over the chasing riders. I knew the race wasn’t over as the final run into the finish was rolling and undulating where a group would be quicker and more efficient then a single breakaway rider. Luckily the chasing group had also split up and I just needed to keep the tempo high for the final closing kilometres.
Happily I knew where the finish was so I kicked up the pace for the final 2km and finished with a healthy lead over the next two podium finishers.