First thing in the morning I went to the tech zone to fetch my bike, but due to not having a bike repair package with them my bike was back of the queue, they didn’t get to it. I had to try fix my brakes, so I swapped my brake pads with some spare I had, but the rear breaks still would not work.
In a panic I went back to the tech zone and stood in a queue waiting for help. Eventually with about 10min to spare before the race the mechanic started to bleed my breaks. He told me that it was a 20-30min job, which meant I was definitely starting late. After a first rushed attempt at bleeding my breaks it was a fail and we were forced to swap breaks with another set as a temp solution.
I eventually started my race about 15min late. The start of the rotate was a district road, which meant I had missed out on bunch riding for the first 20km, this would mean I definitely loose time on my competitors. I decided to no fuss about this and just keep riding as strong and fast as I could.
I was motoring leading up to the big climb of Swartberg Pass, it actually helped morale starting further back because I was able to catch people consistently. By the time I hit the massive climb my legs were feeling it somewhat, but I kept going. Compared to my 2012 ride I was feeling much better, I managed to keep a decent speed up to the top. The finish line was actually at the top of the pass, but we still had another 15km to the camp site in Prince Albert. The views were spectacular and I made sure to stop along the way down.
My race had taken 5hrs 30min to the top of the pass and a further 30min to get to the camp site. The first thing I did when I arrived back at the camp site was to book my bike in at the tech zone and get my own breaks put back on my bike. The tech zone guys did a race check and made sure my bike was ready for stage 3.