Mike Posthumus and Derrin Smith overcame tough conditions and numerous mechanicals to win a testing Trans Baviaans, which ended in Jeffreys Bay at the weekend.
Posthumus, who had won the 230km mountain-bike marathon alongside Chris Wolhuter in 2016, said it was always going to be a long and hard day on the bike.
“We planned to go sub eight hours, but the conditions on the day made it tougher than normal. Roads were very corrugated and there was a strong headwind most of the time.
“We still managed to finish in eight hours and 19 minutes. We were planning on going a little faster but did not take lights with us, so we were penalised with a 20-minute time addition.
“The plan had been to beat the setting sun. And though we didn’t manage it technically, at least we didn’t need our lights.”
Werner Roux and Jono Cloete, the second men’s team home, finished in 8:48:25 and therefore the winners’ overall position was not affected.
The runners-up set a tough pace from the first kilometre after the Willowmore start, which suited Posthumus and Smith.
“Derrin and I then got away and decided to push on at the 90km mark. We then rode the last 140km by ourselves.”
Posthumus said their solo ride from that point was “awful and so rough”. He suffered between 10 and 15 chain-drops off his chain ring and had to stop to make the necessary repairs and then chase back.
“That burnt some matches. Then Derrin started cramping with about 120km to go, so it was a rough second half for him. I started cramping too, but luckily not as badly as him.”
Posthumus added that he and Smith had been racing together for nearly seven years so they knew each other “extremely well”.
“This helped us while racing as we didn’t need to talk much; we just knew what each other was feeling.
“We enjoy this event as it’s a proper test of your physical and mental strength.”