Biogen Toyota’s ROBYN DE GROOT will team up with CycleLab partner DAVID COOK to compete for top honours in the Mixed category at this years Old Mutual Joburg2c, the 9-day mountain bike race which started on the outskirts of Johannesburg today, and finishes in Scottburgh next weekend.
De Groot, the South African National Marathon Champion, will take to the start line in her second attempt at the multi-stage event and is excited to be racing with the new navigational format for this year’s edition.
“I think the navigation format is going to make it tough, I remember last year the stages were long, and there’s nothing quite like doing a one hundred kilometre plus day and getting lost at the end – hopefully there won’t be many of those,” smiled the 31 year old.
After missing the Absa Cape Epic this year, the part time biokineticist who lives and trains in Johannesburg said she was looking forward to getting back to racing again.
“My last race I competed in was the MTN series race in Tulbagh, which was quite a while ago. I didn’t have such a great race there, which retrospectively was actually a good thing. There’s nothing like a sub-optimal performance to give you a wake up and get you back on top of your game, so I’ve put in quite a lot of work since then to move my level up.”
“I coach myself, and have been doing around twenty-five hour weeks, which is a lot for me, considering that I have work too. I normally build for two weeks, then take a recovery week. To train specifically for JHB2C, I’ve put in more hours and distance than usual, as we will be spending quite a bit of time riding our bikes over the next week, so I’m expecting to feel quite a lot better than I have at previous stage races. This final week is all about resting a bit to absorb the stress.”
The former Olympic road racer has only been racing a mountain bike for eighteen months, which is a remarkable fact considering her prolific career on the dirt to date. Aside from being the National Champion, she also has numerous MTN National marathon wins to her name, alongside many more low-profile event podium results.
“I’m really looking forward to riding my Project One Trek Superfly FS 9.9 SL XX1 in its first real stage racing test. Coming from the road racing scene, I’ve always enjoyed a hard tail, but switching over to the full-suspension in March this year has been a real eye-opener. It just rolls faster, for longer, and will preserve that full-body fatigue that would normally kick in around day four.”
“Surprisingly enough, the bike has really helped with my climbing. I’ve got much more traction than I previously had, and the fit of the bike really suits my style. I sit slightly more upright, which engages the posterior chain in a more efficient way for better power.”
“With my Project One order, not only did I get a special colour, but I was fortunate enough to be able to choose SRAM XX1 gearing, coupled with Shimano XTR brakes – so I can really have the best of both worlds.
Trek South Africa wishes Robyn de Groot the very best of luck as she races throughout next week towards Scottburgh. For more information on Robyn de Groot, or the bike she rides, visit www.trekbikes.com/za/en or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.co.za/trekbikesa.
Source: Royalty Sports