Maluti Double 90 is a team time trial over a distance of 180km. This tough endurance event focuses on team dynamics, with the time of the 6th rider across the finish line being taken as the team's official time.
Hosted by the Pedal Power Association, the event took place on Saturday in the scenic town of Clarens. This town, with it's steep ascents and picturesque valleys lends itself to the race, with riders pitting their skill and stamina against the challenge of the terrain of the Eastern Free State countryside.
With an elevation gain of over 2220m and average altitude of 1900m, this demanding race presents a challenge to both the professional and novice rider alike.
The RoadCover Team entered the race as the defending champions of last year’s event. As a team time trial needs 12 riders, the RoadCover team consisted of their 7 riders, Bradley Potgieter, Willie Smit, Brendon Davids, Kent Main, Mornay Van Heerden, Clint Hendricks, Eddie Van Heerden and team manager Nic White, as well as 4 guest riders: Kai Pritzen, Travis Walker, Peter Seyffert and Chris Jooste.
Seeded as the fastest team, RoadCover started last as the favourites. Starting in Clarens the route wound its way through Bethlehem to Kestell, with the last 50km through the scenic but unforgiving terrain of the Golden Gate Nature Reserve.
“We had good team rotation and team members riding really smoothly together,” says Team Manager, Nic White, who participated in the challenge. “From last year’s experience, we knew that the route was going to be tough, demanding skill and strategy in order to make good time.”
Around the 40km mark, RoadCover team started to make up time, catching some of the riders in front of them, arriving at the feed zone in Kestell after 100km.
Race Turning Point
Continuing their pace, the RoadCover team passed the last couple of teams and were first on the road, just before the Golden Gate Reserve and the biggest climb of the race.
Despite losing 1 or 2 riders through the Golden Gate Reserve, the RoadCover team continued to keep up their strong position, taking advantage of the downhill ride of the last 20km to keep their position, finishing first for the second consecutive year,
A perfect ending
“Congratulations must go the organisers for putting on a great event as well as the other participating teams who come out for a memorable weekend. Some get all their 12 riders through to the finish after covering 180km. It’s good for the sport and a really nice event for people to come along and do.
“Everyone enjoyed this gruelling event. At the end of the day, it’s not about winning. Rather, this endurance race is more about a great team effort and commeradierie. Despite the steep inclines and challenging moments, our guys had a lot of fun out there: going fast and riding together, accomplishing first place to keep the title as a team,” concludes White.