42km: 2hr00min, climbing: 1215m
The Cedara classic is normally the first 45km classic of the year and attracts a huge number of participants wanting to test out the fitness gained during the off season. The 2014 event held over the weekend was exactly that and some more. The race route for the first time was cut and designed by the legendary trail building guru Nick Floris and it showed in the perfect flow and really great ideas on how to link up old well known trails with the old favourites we all enjoy riding.
The overnight rain was welcomed and settled what could have been very dusty, that said the conditions were perfect for racing and provided a great track for us to race up on. The starting list was very strong and contained a lot of depth in racers all wanting to prove their legs are up to the task. The start was particularly quick with Brendan Davids, Travis Walker and myself setting a good strong tempo up the first two climbs to split the field before we hit the first single track. Tyron Bird and Brendan were into the single track first and I was 3rd wheel into the pine forest. The pace quickened and I found myself having to ride around Tyron to bridge the gap onto Brendan’s wheel , this move proved vital and we set a strong pace so nobody could ride onto the back of us and catch a free ride. Brendan was fresh off his Continental silver medal last weekend and his technical riding showed why as he really stretched the elastic band between him and me in the tight and turning track through the plantations. The elastic did break on a long tricky section of single track and I just couldn’t bring him back. I settled into a good rhythm and knew I could keep the gap stable and not loose more time if I pushed the hills and didn’t take any risks in the technical section.
My plan worked and I gained a good gap 3min to 4min on the 3rd place rider Travis Walker from Kargo and maintained the 30 to 45sec gap on Brendan upfront. The track certainly suited the XC riders and I felt I did well to hold my own amongst South Africa’s XC youngsters.
Classic Overall Results
1st Brendan Davids (Trek factory)
2nd Andrew Hill (TIB)
3rd Travis Walker (Kargo)