Posts tagged uShaka Marine World
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: