Professional mountain biker Yolandi du Toit writes about her experiences at the Crater Cruise.
The eighth and final event in the MTN National MTB Series took riders to the popular weekend traveller’s destination of Parys. This peaceful little town is situated on the banks of the beautiful Vaal River in the Free State province.
Crater Cruise has always been quite a special event for me as the race includes a bit of history. A very, very long time ago a meteorite hit the earth just outside of Parys and created an enormous impact crater. The original crater has eroded, but the inner circle is still visible in the surrounding hills just outside of Parys.
As participants, we are very fortunate to cruise through the crater annually during the aptly named Crater Cruise event.
This year the event had two new distances on offer. The 80km marathon and the 115km ultra marathon event.
Despite this usual distance differential being the blueprint of the MTN events, I couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed when the new routes were unveiled. The charm of Crater Cruise has always been that everyone (elite men & ladies) completed an identical 106km route through some of the area of the impact crater.
I guess things can’t always stay the same and in the end the new 80km route which included a total of 660m of climbing proved to be a positive modification.
The race started and finished at the Anatomic Clothing factory in town and the ladies field was set off at 8:15am to cover the new 80km route.
The final kilometres hurt a LOT but was quickly forgotten when I crossed the finish line in second place behind Theresa Ralph who took a deserving victory on the day. Candice Neethling rounded out the podium in third spot. – yolandidutoit.com
View full results here.