Jennie Stenerhag

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Karoo2coast, first race back in SA



Nice to be back racing on SA soil:-)


All the South African Mountainbike races are new to me, so I did not know what to expect. I somehow seamed to have forgotten how long the hills are in this country compared toSweden. The Karoo2coast starts in Uniondale and after rushing everything in the morning and just just made it to the start it was nice to get going. We started with a loop in town and then up this hill that went on and on and on. I climbed away from the other girls but after 20 km Ariane Kleinhans caught up with me, we were then sitting in a little bunch with guys. They tended to ride away from us on the hectic downhills but then we always came back to them. Ariane and me rode very similar both on down hills and up hills during most of the race. I managed to get the Queen of the mountain about half way!


I started to see that Ariane was tired when she dropped a bit on one of the up hills, but came back again. On the last long uphill it all spread out, I climbed away from Ariane and had a good gap but I was on my own and she came flying down the hill with another guy so we ended up coming to the finish in Knysna together.


I was prepared for a sprint but unfortunately I had been told that we would do a loop on the sports field before we finished, so when we turned on to the field I was on her wheel (as planned) but the finish line was just there and by the time I saw that it was too late…


I am very happy with my second place and the way I felt on the climbs! Especially after the last 2 weeks and the last 2 days before the race….


I have attended a 2 week course inCape Townthat finished on Friday and it was some hectic weeks with little sleep. I got my new Focus Raven 1.0 on Thursday and when we put it together the back brake did not work, took it to a bike shop but they did not have the right kit to fix it, so Saturday morning I still did not know if my bike would work for the race…Off to another bike shop to fix it and also to fix Craigs brakes. Then test ride the bike:-) Then wash the bike and pack and do the 4,5 hour drive to Sedgefield! We got to bed just after 11pm!


The alarm went off at 4am and the drive to the start was 1,5 hour, a bit more then we thought so we got a bit late. Then to find the person that we found last minute to drive our car to the finish… Somehow we started to think that we were not meant to do this race after all that was before and we start the morning with me burning my finger and we also got a speeding fine!


After all this it was so nice to just be in the race and focus and I am extra happy that I could pull it through and get 2nd. I am also really happy for Craig that came 10th in the elite and was the second Sub-vet!


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