Well I used to think that Durban was the sweltering pot of SA until I touched down in Cape Town last week and was greeted by what could simply be described as an enormous life size sauna. Sticky and sweaty, another 6 KZN HP athletes and I made our way to some schnazzy hotel in the middle of town for the first CSA camp of the year. Having attended a few camps like this previously, I was fairly attuned to what lay in store – essentially lots of fast and hard riding coupled with long breaks of doing absolutely nothing.
We were up bright and early every morning and shuttled very professionally to the Sports Institute of SA in Newlands. The tricky thing with this camp was that it was exactly two weeks before SA XC Championships – and so it would be fairly accurate to say that the tension was running a little bit high. All of the hp athletes were unanimous in one decision: the state of SA MTB’ing is getting better all the time. Things are much more competitive, times are faster than they have ever been and riders are simply stronger.
Up in the programme was V02 max testing, 40km time trials, and 30s sprint gauges. All of it hurt, but the inspiration was there to ride hard – everybody was doing it. I was impressed by Cycling South Africa’s organization of the camp, even though it was two days after the finish of the Tour of SA – things were pretty slick. The nutritional and psychology lectures were interesting and informative and there wasn’t too much waiting around. After a lot of debate and discussion surrounding numbers and how they are or are not comparable, I headed home to my parents house in Mowbray with Brendon Davids (Jeep/Ellsworth) and Candice (bizhub).
We spent the rest of the week sussing out the Argus route and SA XC Champs course in Delvera, just outside Stellenbosh. This weekend marks the start of 7 straight weeks of racing – it goes (back to back weekends)
SA XC Champs/Argus – SA Marathon Champs – UCI Cat 1 SWI – UCI Cat 1 FRA – Karkloof Classic – SA National #1 – World Cup PMB #1.
Exciting times indeed – stay tuned…