Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cullinan Diamond Dash MTB

Ok, no Kinetic Adventure for me. But I did do the Diamond Dash MTB on Saturday.
Brendan was also there (eventually :-) ) and Adri. I had a thought that we try to do it as a team, but du to various discombobulations that didn't happen.
AdriFerrari was in the starting group 5 min behind me. I have no idea where B-Dawg was, as I never saw him on the morning...
This did create some mild... worry... as he had arranged to fetch our numbers and race packs. AdriFerrari said that he was under the impression the race started at only 8:15, not 7:30 as it was actually the case.
So I started at 7:40 (3rd start group) after having waited and looked for B-Dawg without a number board. No one seemed to mind except me though :-)
The route was fast. Very fast. Not too technical, mostly, but with a fair amount of thick sand.
We headed out of Cullinan toward the northern side heading mostly downhill-ish for the first 15km, with some short sharp exceptions. Then after an orchard, we were onto some jeep track, followed by a piece of singeltrack with a mucky river crossing. 
Then one of the best parts: we were routed into a private game reserve (not sure if it actually is a reserve...) with another river crossing, but then we hit rocky singletrack as we headed into a gorge (see the image just before the "lowest point" - you can actually see the greenery of the gorge) with a waterfall and a cave. 
Strue. A cave. Well, maybe more of a tunnel than a cave, it had two entraces, but we'll stick with cave :-)
Very nice.
Then we were back onto district roads and smaller farm roads for some good timetrial training. At about 40km we hit my other favourite piece of the route. About 3km of downhill singletrack. Not technical by any means, but flowing hardpack fast. I almost felt like going back up to do it again!!!
Some more roads (This was not Magalies Monster, remember :-) ) and then over a rickety bridge and onto a piece of road next to an orchard. 
Hang on, I know this part... We came the opposite way earlier! for whatever reason, the organisers did not take us round the other side of Cullinan like last year (with its killer climb right at the end), but back along the same route we came out. Of course, then, one knows that all the nice fast downhills of the outride were now uphill drags... At least we knew what was was coming.
A little surprise loop at the end took us to within spitting distance of the big hole and then back to the start finish, for my time of 3:17:25, which I manually had to give to the timekeepers, as I had no number board. I measure just over 62km and 700m vertical ascent, so by no means a fearsome tough race.
All in all, though, a well organised most enjoyable outing.

Trans Baviaans, here I come....

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