Jennie Stenerhag

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Sabi UCI World Marathon series race


The Marathon race "Sabi classic" is a race I have heard a lot about and since it is a UCI race, and since I have never done a UCI MTB race before, I chose this one to be my only race for the year that takes flying to, the budget will not allow more. It could be nice to maybe get some UCI points for MTB.


Me and Craig flew to Johannesburg on Friday and Emily picked us up at the airport, we drove the 4-5 hours to White river where her parents are staying, it took a bit longer then planned. We put the bikes together and just got in a 40 minute ride before it got dark. Then off to Sabi for registrapion and a late dinner at 10pm… We got to bed at around midnight. Maybe there was a meaning to only getting 4 hours sleep cause I just found out as we got there that they had dogs and cats (Emily did not know how many, so there were lots) and I am very allergic… 


There were a good field of girls at the start line in Sabi, we started on our own and the race was on from the start. The first climb came after 5km and the bunch splitted straight away. Ariane, Candice and Robin got away even though I saw them the whole time. Lise also passed me on the hill and then I passed her on the way down. Cherise and Theresa caught me on the down hill and the 3 of us were together when we started the “Mamba Switchbacks” the longest hill of the day which took us up to1886 meters above sea level! Theresa got away and I rode away from Cherise, half way up Lise passed me again, it did not worry me since I was relying on that I would pass her again on the next down hill. I did so when we came to a very rocky descent.


Up until then I was really enjoying the race but soon 3 girls that I did not know passed me one by one on the technical decend and on a slippery single track and I had not much left in the tank, I tried to chase them but I had no power in my legs and all I could do was to just ride to the finish in 8th position. Not the result I was hoping for but an experience richer and next year will be better when I know the route:-). I would love to do more of the MTN Marathon series races. I just need to find a sponsor to make this possible.


Craig did the Ultra of 112km and had a good race for about 90km when he hit the wall, he still managed to win the vets category for the Ultra.


Just to recharge now and hope for the best for next weekend when we will do Grape Escape and the Argus MTB race. My mom and dad are coming to SA on Wednesday to support us for those races and Epic, it will be so nice to see them again!! 


A big thank you to Elsa and Austin Clark for the hosipitality and the nice food!! And to Jen for letting us use her car! Thanks Emily for helping us out over the weekend, it was a great weekend away!


Hopefully there will be some pictures later....

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