Race report: Cape Town Urban Assault

I wasn’t even thinking about racing last week as I don’t have a bike at the moment. However on Friday afternoon I headed to The Bike Shed for an XC ride and to chat to Jaco Veldsman. It was the day prior the Cape Town Urban Assault and as far as I was concerned I was just going to watch.

Then, Jaco offered me the chance to race a Rocky Mountain Element 50 XC bike, which he has as a demo bike from Hullabaloo. I was sceptical at first and a bit worried how the bike would hold up, but I decided it would be better than watching, so I decided I’d give it a go and have some fun. We fitted some DH wheels, cranks and bars which gave it more of a DH feel.

On Saturday afternoon I headed out to Cape Town to sign in and do some runs down the hill. I got some funny looks when I arrived but after a few runs down I was having fun and felt pretty fast on the XC machine. I did feel quite loose down the high-speed section of the track and also down the stairs, but it was a blast.

Sunday morning came around and I was a little tired as my good friend had his 23rd birthday the night before, but I was just here to have fun and do my thing. I got in two practice runs before the race run, feeling solid, smooth and in control.

In the first run I made a few mistakes, but still felt good down towards the bottom and I came across with a 2:49, second fastest behind Johann Potgieter (2:43). I would normally be disappointed with that time, but considering I was on an XC bike, I was very pretty pleased and quite surprised to be honest.

Now that I had seen where I stood I felt I had some more in the tank for run two and was looking to close the gap a bit. I also knew that I had to keep it together because in Urban Assault they average out the two run times and don’t take the fastest run.
By my second run the wind came up slightly and I really pushed hard. I didn’t make any major mistakes and felt that the run was better, however when I crossed the finish line my time was slower, at 2:50. I was a bit dissappointed as I really thought that I would have a faster run but furtunately it was still good enough for second overall.

A big thumbs up to Jaco Veldsman and Rocky Mountain (Hullabaloo) for hooking me up with the bike for the weekend. For anyone looking to get an awesome XC bike that gets the job done both up- and down-hill, have a look at their range.