23 November 2016
The Telkom 94.7 in Johannesburg was my last big race of the year and what a race it was!
The race started out fairly slow and nothing really happened until about 10 km into the race. There were guys trying their luck with a breakaway, but most of them got caught before they could even be called a breakaway. It was a very well organized event that took us through some interesting places of the city. There were a lot of crashes happening all over but that was mostly caused by nerves or a lack of concentration. A break finally got a gap and nobody was doing any chasing as the two main teams had a rider in the break. There were no real big climbs, only a lot of power climbs with the last one ending 6 km before the finish and splitting the whole bunch into pieces! I just kept to the middle part of the first group and just kept pedaling until I crossed the line. Ended up with a 13th place overall, and first junior to finish, all in a good days work.
I have competed in Johannesburg once before on the track but this was my first road race there. It is always nice to race on a circuit that is closed to traffic and makes racing much more fun and there are no worries about your safety. Racing at altitude is a challenge for any athlete coming from the coastal area but the fact that I was there since Wednesday may have helped me. I was also fortunate to fly up to Johannesburg that meant no 14 hour travelling by car. Well rested and acclimatized for the race.
Winning this race as a junior is very special as it is probably South Africa’s second biggest road race and with 201 juniors participating in the event. After the event my Coach and mentor Barry Austin tweeted about me taking the two big wins. It was only then that I realized that I achieved and really happy with that. It has been a great year of cycling.
My cycling season as a junior is now finished but there is one more race to do and that is the Coronation Double Century this coming weekend. I will be doing the event with Team Giant Durbanville and racing the 202 Km will be much more than I am use to, but certainly a challenge I am willing to take up.