Racing the JBay Windfarm Classic

Two of Team Mad Macs-häzz members attempted the tough Jbay Windfarm ultra-marathon race. Max Sullivan came close on two previous occasions, while his team mate Declan Sidey had lady luck on his side during this year’s event.

WORDS : DECLAN SIDEY
IMAGES : JAZZ KUSCHKE & KODY MCGEGOR

The rocky rolling hills around Jeffrey’s Bay woke up the legs.

Unfinished business was the name of the day; my teammate Max Sullivan has a love-hate relationship with the event after two years of narrowly missing out on taking the win at the prestigious event. This year he was coming in in great shape and his right-hand man to pick up the slack in the case of any mishaps. Our plan was simple; make sure one of us wins. I have been struggling for form for a number of weeks; however, we knew all eyes would be on me and Max could use his good form to go clear, not the way it played out however.

Declan putting down some watts at the start.

In professional sport unanticipated misfortunes and disappointment are particularly common and as fortune would have it Max was coming into the event after a week of flu and antibiotics and holding onto nothing buthope on the start line, no pressure for the confidence
lacking teammate.

The extreme conditions and ultra-marathon distance of 85km meant we were in for a formidable day. Paris Basson, Andre Nelson, Jason Reid and Jason Peach smelt a rat early on after a relaxed start on the
initial lumps and on the main climb of the day just 10km in, the fight began. Max made a good call by telling me he was not feeling well, we quickly decided to change plans and I set off in pursuit of the early aggressor, Basson, as Max headed for an early shower to make sure he could fight again another day, racing sick is not masculine, it can be extremely detrimental to your wellbeing in the long term and emotions need to be omitted when in this position.

Torrential rain made the 85km race even tougher.

Subsequently 15km in I decided I should work hard for the great prize purse for winning the challenging event and I went on a solo 70km mission to the finish. This took me through stunning trails, relentless wind and two massive downpours. In the extremely slippery and muddy trails the chasers were coming into difficulty trying to close the gap. I was conservative and made sure not to make any blunders or damage my whip.

Declan claiming the overall victory.

Easier said than done when feeling like a scampering house cat on a wooden floor. Getting to the finish at the coastal town was a big relief after a tricky final section and I knew after three long year’s celebrations were in order as the trophy was finally coming home to Stellenbosch with Team Mad Macs p/b hazz.

To everyone who went out and completed the event a massive congrats, that was one of the tougher days
I have had on the bike – it had a proper Attakwas feel to it. If you ever get the chance to do the event I’d say jump at it, but don’t let the route profile deceive you, next year I will have a smaller chain ring on at the front. Interpret that information as you please.

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