Wines2Whales has introduced Guides that ride within each start batch, these guides carry spares to ensure they can assist with most mechanicals. Luckily one of these guides was carrying a 9-speed chain link, as no other rider passing had one, and the more mainstream 11/12-speed chain links are not compatible with a 9-speed chain. Finally we got the chain fixed and the boys on their way. They suffered 4 flats throughout the rest of the day, and Duma suffered from lower back pain, due to the small bike. They didn’t let any of this put a damper on their race and finished the first stage looking strong in a time of 5:09.
Our in house mechanic, Luke Phillips, who was out working on the Elgin Valley Trails until all hours to make sure they were ready for the Pinotage riders, was generous enough to lend Duma another bike better suited to his height. Duma and Ayanda started Stage 2 on Oak Valley, in D Batch due to their mechanical delays. They fought incredibly hard through the mud and rain to pass a large portion of the field and finish in 4:29.
Starting in C Batch again for Stage 3, and spurred on by the home ground advantage, riding the trails they know best and with familiar faces at the first water point, manned by the Trail’s End community, and marshalling the A-Z section of the route, Duma and Ayanda flew through the stage to finish in just 4:00!
We couldn’t be prouder of how these two rode, they learnt a huge amount, and are even more enthusiastic to race more next year! If you would like to get involved in any way with the EGCA, please get in touch with Pieter Silberbauer, email@example.com. Also if you’re ever in the area and in need of a guide (definitely a good idea with the flood damage), you know you’ll be in good hands with Duma or Ayanda, contact us to organise it.