This past weekend we had our South African National DH Championships out here on a farm called Contermanskloof just outside of Cape Town. It was a hot, dusty & very dry weekend of riding as Cape Town has been experiencing a crazy heat wave over the last two weeks with temperatures reaching into the 40 degree Celsius mark. A perfect weekend for the beach, not that ideal for downhill gear and full-face helmets though.

I saw this weekend as a great opportunity to take a break from my Cape Epic training and to step away from the little bike for a few days of fun on my downhill rig. Training for the Epic can get a little bit boring and tedious after a while, so I was ready to get back on my big bike for a weekend of shredding some downhill’s on my brand new Santa Cruz Carbon V10! I knew Tracy was out in Spain with her team for some downhill testing and riding, so I didn’t feel guilty either, we were both having a weekend off our training bikes to keep the stoke alive.

You start off thinking that you’re just going to have fun out there, because of the upcoming Cape Epic and the fact that you have a team mate to think about and all the time and effort that you have put into your training and so on, so you start off by taking it easy but then after a while you start getting confident and you get back into race mode. After all it was the National Champs, and it had a nice ring to it. Before you know it, you are hitting road gaps, big doubles and smashing through rock gardens. All the things I was worried and concerned about was tossed out the window, and all I could think about was how freaking fun that was, how I almost ate shit so many times and how alive I felt. The Adrenaline was pumping through my veins and I couldn’t get rid of the perma-grin on my face. The Cape Epic was a distant memory, I had a race to race and I wanted to give it my all. After a long, dusty and extremely hot weekend I stood on the top of the podium – I won the national champs. I was in one piece. I was stoked.

I definitely needed this three day break to remind me just how much I love riding my bike and to feel mentally refreshed and energized going into the last two weeks of training that has to be done before the start of the Cape Epic. Tracy also had a fun week of riding and returned back to the UK safe & sound. No more distractions for us now, our only focus is the Cape Epic that is 17 days away from the start. Our downhill bikes will have to wait a few more weeks till we can go out and play again.

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