Jennie Stenerhag

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Unplanned race


Things have not really gone as planned since I came to South Africa last week Tuesday, the winter weather in Stellenbosch was not on my side for the planned long training rides and on Thursday afternoon I got a call from my mechanic giving me the bad news that my frame was cracked so badly that I needed a new oneL With my bike sponsor being in Denmark there was only one thing to do, to buy a new frame. The situation was solved within a few hours thanks to good contacts and an awesome sponsor in Cape Brewing Company! I am forever greatful that I have them!


On Friday  Craig and I flew to Pietermartizburg and when we arrived the new frame was waiting for me at Jowetts cycles, I left my bike there and they built the new one. What great service you get in that shop and incredibly friendly and helpfull staff, if you ever need any bike stuff in Pietermaritzburg I can highly recommend them! We arrived at 3pm and at 5pm I had my replacement bike ready!! The bike felt good already on the first ride on Saturday, so I am sure this will be fine! I trained a lot on Saturday and instead of the long ride that was planned for Sunday I made a late decision (at 9pm) to do the MTN national series race in Hilton on Sunday. I had two intentions with the race, to test the bike in a race situation and to see part of the world champs course.


Craig is working for the Topeak team for the World Champs and we are staying with them, one of the guys were doing the race so it made sense for me to come along and also race.


I did not come prepared to the race, I had trained too much the day before so I decided that the result was not going to mean anything and I was going to take it as a hard training session.


After a few kilometers me, Ariane and Robyn got a gap to the rest of the girls. I felt good in the beginning and might have gone out a bit hard. We were together at the first waterpoint after 14km but we lost Robyn on a newly built single track, it was very scetchy with loose off camber corners. I got a bit behind Ariane but caught up with her as we started the 8km climb to the QOM. She got 50-100 meters in front of me. I had her on a close distance for a long time, until about 43 kilometer and at the waterpoint at 48km I was 50 seconds back and had Robyn around a minute behind me. That was about where my energy ended…. A few kilometers later Robyn caught me and passed me as if I was looking for parking. With 4km  to go there was a steep hill that I had to walk up with cramps in the one leg. I came in 3rd and was very happy with that, I got to see a lot of the World Champs course and I got to try the bike and a bonus was that I got a podium place with me in the bag!


The course was very challanging and fun so I am looking forward to the last week of preperation and tapering for the World Champs on Sunday!


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