Pietermaritzburg – The collapse of the water pipeline running across the uMngeni River in the outskirts of Durban has forced a last minute change to the BSi Steel dusi2c mountain bike stage race this weekend. The bridge collapsed after ongoing theft of cables supporting the water pipeline that supplies the northern suburbs of the city.
Race organiser ‘Farmer Glen’ Haw has had to change the route but is quite pleased with the change following the collapsing of one of the many river crossings that the race will use this coming weekend.
“It was a bit of a curve ball,” the popular race organiser said. “With the pipe down we had to make a plan and fortunately for us there is another pipe further down the river that we are going to have to use, we just need to work out how we are going to get riders to the crossing.”
The collapsed pipe was an important part of the inaugural route of the dusi2c but Farmer Glen feels that this could be a bit of a blessing in disguise and he is quite sure that it will be better for riders to use the crossing that they have been forced into using than using the one that they did in 2013.
“Last year we used that collapsed pipe which had bits of balustrading that had been stolen and I think that this year’s crossing is going to be a lot safer for riders and our only problem right now is working out how the riders will get onto the track that runs along the pipe.
“We could use a ladder to the riders down there and then create a compulsory portage on the other side with marshals in position to help out but we are going to make a decision on that tomorrow,” Haw explained.
The problem pipe was only going to become an issue in the latter parts of day two of the race which makes the organisers lives a little easier and Haw believes that it will further reduce the concern as the field should have been spread out by the time they arrive at the pipe which is just short of the headwaters of the Inanda Dam.
“The crossing happens quite far into the race on the second day which is lucky for us because if it was early it would really cause a few problems with the guys at the front but we shouldn’t have any problems this weekend with it which is a relief.
“Apart from this small issue I have been through the route over the weekend and I really think it is starting to come together really nicely. The more I ride it the more I realise how much fun it is and how it caters to all riders.
“Most of the track has been prepared and the floating bridges will start going up towards the end of the week in time for the riders this weekend,” an excited Haw beamed.
Having had a year to reflect on the debut edition of the race Haw believes that it is a race for anyone and that the track that they have laid this year is going to be a treat for riders when they leave the iconic Camps Drift early on Saturday morning.
“It is not a difficult race and is really great for guys that don’t have too much time to train but want to be part of a race where they don’t have to suffer. It is perfect for the riders that are relatively fit and we are hoping that this year is going to be better than last year in terms of the course as well as the whole experience!”
More information can be found at www.dusi2c.co.za
Source: Gameplan Media