Race Report: Malcolm Dunkeld – Cullinan2Tonteldoos

262km of excellent district roads is what Cullinan2Tonteldoos offered the 361 riders that participated. A race of two halves as the first half is flat and fast whereas the second half is basically two massive climbs including the infamous Korfneck pass at 240km.

The bagpipes created a sombre mood at 17H00 in Cullinan the race started with a 10km neutral zone as we were lead out on a tar road. Then the speed picked up as soon as the dirt started. A large bunch was working hard including all three Keyhealth riders. At the 30km on a jeep track through a local farm Max Knox decided to lay down the hammer and lead an attack along with 5 other riders. Ruan and myself had to work hard in the chasing pack to try and close the gap. Max’s experience and serious speed made catching him impossible.

Sitting top 10 though all the four compulsory check points the riding was consistent and fast. Being left on my own after the first check point made the race somewhat more of a mental challenge as the lonely road offers very little motivation or support. Fortunately I had the friendly face of Greg at the checkpoints always willing to clean a chain and full up a water bottle.  

The last 40km’s started with a 10km tar drag and then a short downhill followed by a long drag and the Korfneck pass. I managed to catch 8th and 9th place at the final check point. After a fast decent into Tonteldoos there was a sting at the end of the race as we had to ride a freshly cut grass track into the race village. Managing to make a gap on the riders a caught allowed me to finish a respectable 8th place behind team mate Ruan van der Merwe.

Thanks again to Greg for seconding me and to all our sponsors for the support.

 

Malcolm Dunkeld