In 2013 I was fortunate enough to be given an entry to the most popular and biggest stage race in the world, the Sani2C. ( I detailed my experience in 4 parts – Losing my virginity – Sani2C 2013) At the time, I had 6 weeks to train, and spent most of the time reading countless articles, asking a million questions and generally just being nervous about how I would manage 3 days on a bike. I lined up in Underberg, freezing, ignorant and ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
Fast forward 5 years and since that first stage race, my resume has grown substantially:
3 x Sani2C, 2 x Berg n Bush, 1 x Makpans, 1 x Transbaviaans, 4 x Cradle Mountain Trophy, 1 x Route 99, 1 x Swazi Frontier, 4 x Wines 2 Whales and of course 1 x Absa Cape Epic.
Considering above, one could argue that Sani is now old news and I even heard a comment the other day about Sani “having run it’s course”, so why am I so excited the week of?
Sani2C is folklore
Speak to any up and coming cyclist, Sani2C is his Everest, the one that he wants to do and the one he strives to do. People don’t start cycling and immediately put the EPIC on the board as their first stage race, they just don’t. Sani2C holds that spot.
Sani2C has the perfect mix of amazing trail, tough ascents and technical riding to test you as a rider, but not chew you up and spit you out like other more brutal rides. It really celebrates the trail, it celebrates the rider. Everything on this ride is geared towards giving you the most amazing three days of riding and relaxation you can have.
Now that I’m no longer worried about finishing, but rather dropping the hammer, I’m also SOOO looking forward to the rider chill areas. The barn at Jolivet, the bar at McKenzie and the vibe in the evenings listening to the race briefing.
Back to the Race in 2017
Thanks to my EPIC partner, I’m returning to Sani2C and will be doing the race this year. In 2013 I did the race (K batch) and then enjoyed the trail for two years (A batch) and will line up in C batch at the race on Thursday.
I close my eyes and I see
Stage 1 – First 15km (flatbox [blood dripping from my eyes]), View climb, PG Bison, McKenzie climb and 100s of Clover milks.
Stage 2 – Cold, Early Start. Single track down Umko, Smile, CLLIIIMMMMBBB.
Stage 3 – Hammertime, Vernon Crooks, Descent, Rotary Stop, Floating Bridge.
To all the riders, enjoy it, we are all privileged beyond belief!