A navigational error on the Hemel en Aarde trails on Saturday cost the BCX rider on the day, but did little to impact the overall standings.
Lying fourth, he and Marco Joubert missed a turn and found themselves on the half-marathon route. Realising their mistake, the series leaders had to puzzle their way back to the correct route before pulling out all the stops to make up ground.
“If I had to guess, we probably rejoined the course in eighth and ninth place and then we had to chase really hard to catch up,” said Woolcock, who clawed his way back to fifth.
The mistake was testament, he said, to his philosophy of not leaving things to the last minute.
“I’ve always maintained that in mountain biking, if you can take advantage of a situation early and get something done, rather do it that way than leave it to the end.”
Admitting that he had not been aiming for a second title since 2011, his win in the opening round in Tulbagh in May was the catalyst to his success.
“I’ve tried to win the Western Cape series a couple of times, but it’s always been difficult for me. After the first win a light bulb came on and I thought I would go for it and I’m pleased that I could pull it off this time.”
Woolcock said Tulbagh was undoubtedly the highlight of his series.
“It was extreme temperatures. I remember waking up that morning and leaving the house at 6am and it was already 28 degrees.”
A fire in the nearby valley added to the heat and made for some ashy and dry conditions.
Despite the challenges of the first round, the 35-year-old said the Grabouw event, where he finished second, was the toughest of the four.
In less than ideal shape, he said he had to pull out all the stops to stay with the competition on that occasion.
“I had a hard day out then and I was fortunate to finish on the podium because Matthys (Beukes) and Gert (Heyns) took the wrong route and were disqualified.
“That was the toughest race; I had to dig deep into my reserves just to get a result.”
Carmen Buchacher, who finished second on Saturday, made up enough ground to win the women’s event, followed by Courteney Webb and Louise Ferreira.