Subaru Sabie Classic
By Yolande Speedy
The organizers of the Subaru Sabie Classic always go all out to make this a fantastic and very festive MTB event and this year was no different drawing over 2000 riders to the start line.
The route which has been changed from previous years due to last year’s devastating forest fires was quite undulating including 3 long climbs, some awesome single trail sections and rough technical downhills.
The race started with a short neutral zone along the tar and then the pace picked up as we headed off into the dirt towards the first climb. Yolandi and Carla passed me pushing hard on the climb I fell back into 5th place as Hanlie and Samantha came through chasing down the leaders. Not quite having the legs to chase I settled into a more consistent pace. Going up the 2nd long climb I saw Yolandi stopped on the side of the road, I stopped and tried to help her solve the mystery of her uncooperative gears but unfortunately did not have any luck. Seeing Yolandi Du Toit pass by and not wanting to lose any more time I headed off in pursuit of my competition.
I started feeling really comfortable on the climb and picked up my pace quickly passing Yolandi and soon seeing Samantha up ahead. Passing her on an undulating section it was then on to the climb up to queen of the mountains. Again finding a good climbing rhythm I made up time on Hanlie catching her on the following technical downhill. I now scanned ahead hoping to see Carla’s yellow MTN jersey up ahead, I was not disappointed seeing her about 1km up the road. I kept my steady tempo pace passing her and quickly managed to form a gap. I pushed hard to the end hoping to chase down my team mate Paul but even taking it a little easier after just having recovered from tick bite fever he was having a strong ride. Catching up to the 40km riders towards the end of the race I had a few close calls almost launching myself into a bush when I hit a rut trying to dodge through them but fortunately my Gary’s awesome handling kept me from connecting with mother earth!
The race ended with a long twisty single track section to the finish and I was very happy to cross the finish line in first place after a great race over some of SA’s best MTB terrain.
Thanks to the organizers for an awesome race and to my sponsors IMC Reaction, Activeworx, Gary Fisher, Schwalbe, Rudy Project and Giro for making it possible for me to participate :o)