Jennie Stenerhag

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I got some flash backs when I got back to the start of day 7 of Joburg2c, just to do the last 3 days over again. This time it was for Sani2c, the biggest 3day MTB race in the country, farmer Glen and the organization is doing a tremendous job to arrange for 5000 riders to start on the same route 3 days in a row! When the last group went off on our first day and the first bunch were on their last day all 5000 riders were out at the same time spread out over 260 km of trails!! Absolutely amazing!


I got invited to ride the race together with Nizaam from Asrin Property developers, our co-sponsor for the Epic. For the first time ever at a stage race I was going to stay in a camper and we even flew up with only hand luggage since the bikes and bags went with the camper from Cape Town, really luxury! I could see myself getting used to something like this;)


Before the start of Day 1 

At the start of day 1


Stage 1 – Underberg – MacKenzie club 82km


We started off at a moderate pace and sat with the front bunch for about 10km when the speed picked up a bit. We were racing as hard as we could and also figuring out how the other person was riding, this was our first ride ever together, and I think we managed it well! Team Re:cm got away from the start and we never saw them, we were lying second until the second single track when team Educos passed us and we were in third. We thought third spot was secured and got a bit surprised when two other mixed teams caught us just after the half way mark. We raced hard to try to get away from them, we eventually did get away when they stopped at a water point and we carried on. About 8km from the finish we were caught by team Jeep and they sat our wheels all the way to the last climb. I had the finish fresh in my mind from 2 weeks ago and kept the pace hard and steady up and I only looked back as we were getting close to the top. I was waiting for their attack but when I turned around they were about 30 meters behind, I just said to Nizaam to give his everything and I went as hard as I could the last 200 meters and we managed to hold on to third spot!


We were happy to be on the podium for Asrin!


Full gas:-)

Happy riders cooling down:-)

Podium for Asrin!!


Stage 2 – MacKenzie club – Jolivet 99km


I think this morning goes down in history as one of my worst experiences in a mountainbike race. The start was supposed to be at 6.10am but it  was still dark and raining at that time so we were told to wait. Not too long though, we were now guearenteed to start at 6.30am, the rain just got worse and worse and when we all had taken our jackets off they said 5 more minutes cause we need more daylight!! We were finally on the way and I was concentrating  to see something with all the mud and rain in my eyes.


We got to the single tracks and it was like riding on ice with the rain on the hard packed mud!! When we came on to the Umkamaas valley single track,  we would  normally get the best view and riding one can dream of, but this time we could hardly see each others because of the thick mist! That was also when the chaos started, I had a girl in front of me that slipped and made me slip and I think I lost all the confident there and then, I just could not control the bike and eventually lost count how many times I fell on the way down that pass. There were cyclists sliding and falling all over the place!!


Nizaam got a puncture not even half way down the 18 km awesome single track, we stopped to plug it, first we could not find the hole cause of all the mud and when we did we still heard something, just to find out that there were 2 holes!!! After plugging both we got going again, but just for a bit before we had to stop and bomb it again… And so it went on... It was hard to try to go fast and catch up time after every time we stopped, it took a lot out of us! So when we eventually put a tube in at the second water point we did not have much energy left and could just ride to the finish. Our race for the day and overall was over so we just recharged the batteries to give it all for a good stage result the next day.

Our camp


Stage 3 – Jolivet – Scottburgh


The weather was better this morning, even though it was still muddy. The organizers tried a new starting procedure when they started batches from C and back first at 7am and then A and B at 11am, they wanted the back markers to be at the finish when the elite finished! So we just chilled in the morning, in proper European style (races always starts late in Europe).


We both felt very good in the beginning and got a good start, it got very exciting since we ended up riding with the other 3 top mixed teams. Team Jeep and Re:cm got away from the beginning and we passed Re:cm when they had a mechanical problem, then they passed us and Educos caught us. We caught Jeep soon after and we could see Re:cm for a long time. Jeep got away from us to catch Re:cm and I thought we had lost them on a long single track, but out on the road again we could see them and soon we caught up. We were all together for a while and the racing was fast!!


Unfortunately Nizaam hit the wall at about 62 km and we were forced to let them go. We just took it easy and rode to the finish since the podium was out of sight.


We were still happy with our first stage race together and especially since day 1 was our first ride together!!


A huge thank you to Nizaam and Asrin for giving me this opportunity!! And also a big thank you to Gasant, Wasiem and Gibson for all the help and support!


Two happy and tired riders!


At the finish with Farmer Glen!




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