7 Jun 2010

Kremetart 2010

We left Friday afternoon for the Kremetart road race up to the north in the Limpopo Province. Traffic, traffic and more traffic. Leaving the city behind, passing Polokwane and the new soccer stadium (you will have to help me out with the name of it), and then the final stretch to Louis Trichardt. We quickly settled into our rooms and then off to dinner, a drink or two and some race strategies.
The next morning dawned crisp and clear. I was grouped into the racing ladies group and was a bit apprehensive of what to expect. The last thing I wanted was  having to cycle the whole 175km on my own. Do you see the mountain? We had to cycle over the mountain, down the other side, around it and then back.
As always the Kremetart was so well organised. This year they went one step further and had sections of the road closed while the race was in progress. As soon as all the cyclists passed, the road was reopened. Enough signs were put out on the roads to warn motorists.

We reached the first stage stop (53km) without any incidents, having to race at high speed through two tunnels. Yogurt drinks, soup, sandwiches, muffins, all for the taking.
Also a first this year was the bike park. It was wonderful to leave your bike while you could have a drink and something to eat. And true to the name of the event, the baby baobab tree was watching over the bikes. The weather was turning warm and we were getting ready for stage two.
After a gruelling stage two (48km) with the wind against us, we reached the lunch spot at Vivo. ( Normally this is the easiest of the stages but not this year). A big marquee was put up for shade and lunch was prepacked and ready to be gobbled up by hungry cyclists. Some of them started to show some strain. We did our best to encourage them to keep on to the end. They listened but their faces told a different story. 

On to stage three and a nasty last 1km uphill to the timing mat at Schoemansdal. With another 52km in the legs and on the bum, strain was felt and lots of massaging was taking place. A nice shady spot under beautiful big trees, and an interesting array of sweets and salty bits in the lucky packet at the end of this stage, made it a very peaceful resting place. Between us and the end was only 22km. One little Otto's Hill and then down into the town of Louis Trichardt and to a cold beer.
We lined up for the last start. The uphill felt forever, I lost my chain, quick stop, chain back and now racing downhill to the end. Rodney, who did the 76km earlier in the day, was waiting for us at the end. I envied his fresh, rested look. The beer was cold, the potjies even better. 
Awesome venison, beef and chicken potjies. We ate till our tummies took on the roundness of the pots. After lots of prizes being handed out, it was time for bed. To wake up the next morning, looking up at this huge mountain was just awesome. After a hearty breakfast we took the road back. 
 The trip was made worthwhile for Mario, when he was welcomed home like a hero. 

It was once again such a well organised event, definitely not to be missed. Put it in your diary for next year and experience bush veld hospitality at its best.

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