Peach celebrates G2C victory
EAGER cyclists enjoyed a nice, warm morning last Sunday in the fifth Buco G2C Mountain Bike Race which drew cyclists from all over the Eastern Cape – and further afield.
With a bit of a wind behind the riders, and dry offroad conditions, it made for a very fast race from Grahamstown to Port Alfred.
Competing in his debut event was Jason Peach, who from the start broke free from the group and sped away, not stopping until he crossed the finish line in a time of 1hour, 47 minutes and 25 seconds, averaging about 32.40km/h. Peach said the race didn’t exactly go according to plan because when he broke free from the group, he expected the race favourite and last year’s winner Grant Daly to catch up with him.
“It’s really a beautiful ride, but it was a bit of a lonely one,” Peach said.
“It was my first time in this race, and I didn’t know what to expect. I had to dig for lines but it was a good ride,” he said.
Daly finished not long after Peach in a time of 1:50:22 and seconds after him Bruce Campbell came flying in over the finish line with a time of 1:50:34.
Another regular face at the G2C is Lloyd Vos, who dropped two positions from last year and ended in fourth position this year.
Campbell, who has done the G2C in previous years but did not feature on the podium last year, said he had a great time competing in the race.
“It’s beautiful and very fast. You can see the mountains and sea the whole time. He [Peach] attacked from the first moment. I caught Grant and thought we would catch him but he was just too fast,” he said.
Daly said he would be back next year to reclaim the winner’s title and joked that he wished he had an extra few volts in him. “I’m happy with the position though,” he said.
A total of 396 riders entered this year’s G2C with the youngest being Raye Moolman and Gareth Coward, both 15, and the oldest David Going at 71 years old.
Jason Meaton, the current G2C recordholder, did not take part this year again as he was ill, but is determined to return next year to break his own record.
Riders said the course was much faster this year as the ground was extremely dry and with the accompanying wind, it made for a fast descent after a massive hill at the start.
Tracy Campbell, Bruce’s wife, was the first lady home and finished in a good time of 2:05:25. Shannon Kirkhoff from East London finished two minutes after her. She completed a back-to-back race, starting early on Sunday morning in Port Alfred and cycling back down from Grahamstown to the finish line.
Despite a gradual descent from 643m above sea level in Grahamstown to the 69m in Port Alfred, cyclists described the course as not the easiest, with steep hills at the start and a tricky downhill single track which had dried up and vanished between the dry vegetation.
The last section was a comfortable short single track section through farmland and took the bikes off the country road and into the back of Rosehill Mall.
“The course is actually harder than before,” Vos said.
“Thank you very much to Buco for being such great sponsors,” Kirkhoff said.
LONELY RIDER: First time entrant Jason Peach broke away at the start of this year’s Grahamstown to Sea Mountain Bike Race and left his competitors as well as last year’s winner in the dust
BONDED THROUGH CYCLING: Returning rider Bruce Campbell finished off in third position this year and his wife Tracy won the ladies’ division