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Just reward after a rough opening at the Zuurberg Trek

Just reward after a rough opening at the Zuurberg Trek

After “sucking wheel and suffering” on the first stage of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek, former Springbok Joel Stransky is ready to enjoy the luxury provided at the Zuurberg Mountain Inn.

The great thing about this race is that most of us stay centrally in the hotel and that means absolutely everything we could need is right here and that is so, so convenient.

This also creates a real sense of camaraderie which, needless to say, disappears completely once you take off from the start.

The start is very hard. You get through that little neutral section and then it’s a three of four kilometre climb where you’re just fighting to keep up with the pros.

It’s important to get a good start because you soon jump into single track and you need to be in a good position for that.

We got to where we wanted to be and we’re both quite decent technically so we went down the valley quite well.

It must be said that it’s an absolutely beautiful bit of single track with some great riding.

The path down is magnificent and when you reach the bottom it’s almost disappointing that the single track is over.

Then we went through the reserve and the orchards and that was quite lumpy, tiring and demanding.

After all of that, we were faced with the big climb at the end.

Again, that was just a matter of me sucking wheel and suffering behind Andrew but we managed to catch a few teams before we then came up the pass quite nicely.

It was a really tough way to finish, as every day here will be.

Having ridden it before, when you start that climb you don’t remember exactly how tough it is but reality is very quickly chucked in your face though.

I think the best thing, most sensational way to finish, is the cappuccino and First Choice chocolate milk that is shoved in your hand when you cross the finish.

It’s the perfect way to prepare for lunch, which was fantastic.

My bike doesn’t need any work on it today but I might consider going for a massage later as I am feeling a bit fragile.

But to be completely honest, it is quite fresh so the thought of the cold isn’t quite as appealing as the pampering. I think my bed is calling.

CAPTION: Joel Stransky on the first day of the Great Zuurberg Trek that started and finished at the Zuurberg Mountain Inn in the Eastern Cape today. Photo: Full Stop Communications

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