Following their recent triumph at the joberg2c, the Darkhorse Wheels, insured by TIB, team of Andrew Hill and Shaun-Nick Bester will be on the KAP sani2c start line at Glencairn next week with enjoyment at the heart of their charge.
It has been a busy four months for the newly formed Darkhorse team who paired up for the Absa Cape Epic in March and then took on the nine-day joberg2c in April.
Coming into the 2019 edition of the KAP sani2c, Hill and Bester have spent a lot more hours in the saddle than some of the other contenders and the Hillcrest resident Hill believes that they will be better off taking the pressure off themselves for the three-day shoot-out to the coast.
“There are going to be a lot of fresh legs at sani(2c) so we are going to take a more relaxed approach to the race,” Hill said.
“We definitely want to do well but we will see how the legs feel during the race because it is going to be another tough one with some seriously strong teams lining up.
“Having been so busy at the start of the year we will ride hard and if we can get into the top five that will be a great result.”
The pair rode away with the team title at the joBerg2c recently and without much category competition they had to diversify in their tactics with the solo riders providing their biggest threat.
“On such a long race you are lucky if something doesn’t go wrong and we didn’t have any issues which was great!
“We pushed hard and used the solo riders for pacing at times and also set our own pace but we didn’t take any big risks that might cost us the race.
“We achieved our goal in winning the joBerg2c because that was the aim from the beginning of the year,” he added.
The pair were some of the lucky few that got a taste of the changes to some of the track between Glencairn at Scottburgh.
“There have been a few changes to the day one route that have been made and it was good to get a taste of what it will be like on race day.
“Iconic Climb is obviously one of the focal points of the race and that is the same but there are one or two sections after Iconic that will make the racing interesting.”
Hill has never quite been able to crack the sani2c. He and Bester were in fifth place after the first stage last year but a mechanical on the second day ended their race.
“My derailleur jockey reel broke early on the second stage but it was a problem that a lot of guys had, so that was us done.
“It would be great if we could recreate that good day one and then continue well throughout but we will see how we go,” a relaxed Hill concluded.
The KAP sani2c is three days of riding 265kms from Underberg to Scottburgh, and it’s the largest mountain bike stage race in the world with up to 4200 riders taking part.
Three versions of the event run over five days, with The Trail from 14-16 May, the Adventure from 15-17 May, and the Race takes place from 16-18 May this year.