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My Group H set off this morning bright and early from the city hall in PMB for Day 1: 105km, +3000m alt gain.

We have some real FC old dogs in our group who sey a blistering pace up to the Minerva gate (45km). At this point I opted to drop off and settle into my comfortable conservative race pace. At the half way water stopped I bumped into Richmond who had had an off and blew 2 spokes. After installing the new spokes off we jetted. He was pushing a double up strategy so flew off leaving me to negotiate the technical umko river section on my own. This proved to be a blessing as I got time familiarise myself with being 100% independent. I surprising felt very comfortable progressed well with no nav issues or offs.

My strategy is very clear,take it easy on the first 8 days to consolidate the fitness then stretch the legs later on. Finishing is priority 1 then a respectable time. 

Some facts I was proud of today:
– I stuck to my strategy
– ITB issues stayed away
– My map reading was top class
– The bike and kit feels good
– Lastly, my head is in a good place

This race really is the heart of mountain biking. The 2 wheels allowing you to explore foreign valleys and terrain. Freakin awesome!

Tomorrow 85km or so via Donnybrook to Ntsikeni.

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