Posts tagged Darren Goddard
So last weekend was the HP Urban Rage 2010 and I tell you what, that was an incredible event! Sadly, I missed the previous 2 years as I was training in Lesotho, but his year I was able to make it. The hype before was immense, the pictures, videos’ and stories after even better!! In my previous post I put in what the event schedule looked like so I won’t go into that, instead I’m going to quickly tell you which events I did and how they went.
On Saturday, I entered the 4 man team event with fellow Team Jeep SA athletes Brendan Davids, Ryan Ellis and Evan van der Spuy. Our initial intent was to simply use the event to get to know the course for the main individual event on Sunday…but that quickly changed. We found ourselves leading the 4 man race so we picked up the pace slightly and rode through for the win. As stoked as we were, we all were wondering whether we had spoilt our chances for the next day.
Sunday arrived and the 1st heat was off. Racing in heats of 2 people, I was paired with one of SA’s top mountain bikers, David Leiman (who had won the 2man team event with Matt Goetsch the day before). Not wanting to get into each others way (which would only slow us both down), I said to him to take the front and I’ll chase as hard as I could. Instead, he warned me that he was feeling the effects of Saturday (having ridden twice as much..and probably harder than I) and said that if I’m in front I must just keep going. Up on the 6m BMX styled starting ramp I had the inside line into the first bend so I took the lead and never looked back finishing with a 1st heat time of 5min 51sec. As a multisport athlete and not a pure breed biker I wasn’t too sure what to expect out of the event but after heat 1 I suddenly found myself in 6th place. The final which consisted of the top 10 athletes after the heats suddenly looked possible. Heat 2 was going to have to be fast. In previous years the guys were going almost a minute faster than their first heat times, although in previous years there was no enduro the day before to practice the course.
Before the second heat however, I had entered into the 2 man relay team with up and coming Jeep Multisport School star Craig Jarret. Instead of racing this event, we had decided that we would use it for more practice for our second heats and so we just rode through taking our time to try new lines and new ways of using the bikes lockout.
2pm and it was time for the second heat. Using the times from the first heat we were then sent off in seeded starts. Having placed 6th in the first heat I was up against 5th placed seeding and Jeep Team mate Ryan Ellis (who I teamed with for Joberg2C earlier this year). Ryan having had the faster seeding time (by 10sec) was given the inside line but I was ready to chase him hard and hope that by chasing him down I could jump my time up closer to his. The gate flung open and Ryan was off like a shot, quickly putting me in his dust. Having chased him for a couple hundred km in Joberg2C it was a familiar position and I wasn’t going to let him just get away. Pushing out as much power as I could (and even giving out a frustrated roar under the bridge) I could close the initial 5m gap he opened on me in the start but I did finish only 2sec behind him, improving my time by 16sec!! As it turns out, after the second heat we had held our 5th and 6th positions and we had qualified for the final!!
Now what made the final so exciting was that the course was to be extended and that meant the 10 top males and 5 top females would be racing the final through the aquarium at uShaka Marine World! A quick walk of the course (and no chance to practice it) the final began. 10th placed Brendan Davids was off first followed by 9th, 8th and so on. Now I can’t say much about what everyone else did as we were sent off 2min apart, but Luke Roberts did a fine job putting himself in the lead and nobody seemed to be able to beat his time. The last to go was 2 time winner, Philip Buys who had been dominating all weekend. Word from radio’s on the course however had given us reason to believe he may be beaten for the first time when we were told that he was having mechanical issues slowing him down. Into the last few corners he still looked pretty on target to take the lead though and then down he went. The light rain had begun to fall a little harder than when the rest of us were on course and in these more slippery conditions he lost his wheel and hit the deck. He charged in over the line though and to everyone’s amazement he had won by less than a second!! This meant the top 3 males had come over the line spaced by less that 2 seconds having raced on a course which took the winner 8min 16sec to complete! It really couldn’t have been much more exciting than that! And that pretty much sums up this amazing event! The amount of hype about this event, even now four days after has been amazing and I know that everyone who was there this year will be back next year! To Max Cluer and his incredible team, we salute you!
If you missed out…check out this awesome YouTube video of this years event too:
Only 2 days after finishing the 240km Sani2C, I found myself standing on the start line of the Midlands Sprint Triathlon held at Midmar dam. Deciding to avoid the Ultra so soon after Sani2C and also with my focus on shorter events this year, I entered the Sprint event which comprised of a 600m swim, 20km road ride and 5km trail/road run. On the start line the likes of Team Jeep athlete and 2009 Sprint winner Darren Goddard as well as the 2009 All Africa Age Group Champion Gian-Nicola De Dominics were warming up ready to rock and roll. With stiff ‘Sani-legs’ I knew I had to suck it up and prepare to hurt myself in another high-paced event.
Losing a bit of time in the swim to Gianni, I started the bike with a 30sec deficit to make up. Riding Deon Pretorious’ extremely fast Felt DA (which he has kindly lent me numerous times in the last year – HUGE thanks again Deon) I was able to make up the gap in the first few kilometers. However, once passing Gianni I knew I needed to put some time between us if I was going to be able to defend myself against Gianni’s lightning running which had taken him over the line in first place at All Africa Champs last year. Unfortunately even though catching up quickly and pushing my legs way over threshold, I couldnt shake him eventually burning myself out trying to do so. This allowed Gianni to put time between us again before the end of the bike leg and set himself up for a really well executed win.
In the first kilometer of the run we were directed up a long straight hill where at the top I was able to take a look back and see that Darren, who was in 3rd, was out of sight. This allowed me to cruise through the run without much pressure knowing that I wouldn’t be able to challenge Gianni. With 2 weeks till SA Triathlon Champs it’s going to be great to see how Gianni and I do in the highly competitive 25-29 age group!
In rounding up, I just want to say a special well done to 2 newcomers to the triathlon world participating in their first road triathlon, school friends of mine, Jason Walker and Peter Stanyer. Well done guys! It’s really great to see you at this event (especially after friday night’s “quiet” braai) aswell as the Mudman events. Looking forward to seeing you guys at more events in the future! Also a huge thank you to the Storms for helping me out at such short notice – the day before the event I managed to snap my seat post clamp and they kindly went out of their way to help me fix the problem! Thanks guys!