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Hi Fellow Mountainbikers,

The IMC Mongoose Team traveled down to Induna for the 4th leg of the Mazda Marathon Series which also doubled as the South African Marathon Championships event.

Yolande arrived back from XC racing in Europe on Wednesday.

We built and setup her bike on Thursday.

We headed down to Hazyview on Friday.

In-between this layed back and restful schedule Yolande had to organize her Canadian visa, pack for her upcoming trip, catch up on some work, visit a couple of friends and spend 30 seconds with her family. I’m sure I saw her eat something at least once, and she slept in the Team Vehicle whilst someone else was driving.

Saturday we raced.

Sunday she flew off to Canada.

Induna puts on a fantastic event. This includes general organization and course marking. And as for the course itself, that alone makes it one of the most memorable events on the calendar.

All the big names where lined up on Saturday morning and everyone could feel there was more at stake than just another Drifter event.

For the men's race, the pace from the gun was frantic and the field quickly split into several small groups off the front. I was having a difficult time floating in the third group a couple minutes behind the leaders but at least they were still in sight.

At around 30km my Kenda flatted for the first time this season.

I took what felt (at the time) way too long to get going again after fixing the flat.

Knowing the perils of what can happen when one tries to pedal back too quickly, I focused on my heart rate monitor and got back into rhythm.

This brilliant display of discipline and tactical riding obviously made very little difference, as I hit the wall around 15km later anyway. After my legs turned to wood I got to appreciate the fantastic scenery (haven’t seen any of that in a race for a while) and great trails the Induna Team put together. It was just a sight seeing ride for me to the end.

Yolande’s story was, thankfully, a little different from mine on the day. She started off very well trailing Yolande De Villiers up the first climb but soon felt all the international traveling and racing in her legs.

She faded to fifth place but this gave her a chance to re-group and loosen up her legs, that she said felt like they were burning as if they had been cut off and immersed in lactic acid.

She started clawing her way back through the field making use of her great technical skills both up and down the hills until she caught back up to De Villiers with only 15km to the finish.

De villiers sat on her wheel making it difficult for Yolande to get any sort of advantage.

It was at this crucial time that Yolande then realized that she hadn't had her customary (well now its really obligatory) crash on her elbow for the day, so promptly did this in style and gave the lead back over to De Villiers.

Yolande got up (bounced) quickly and chased back hard, then passed, and then gapped De Villiers in the last few 1000 meters to take the win.

Yolande was the only one surprised that she won, that's part of her charm!

One gutsy performance! She once again did me, IMC Mongoose and Epic Sports Cycle shop very proud.

Yolande will be flying back to South Africa the Wednesday before Knysna, hopefully bringing racing momentum and not jetlag with her.

I will be looking to recover some of my early season form and make more of a race of it in Knysna.

We will keep you posted!

Paul Cordes

IMC Mongoose