April 24, 2011 (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) – We caught up with Canada’s Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team), Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) and Derek Zandstra (Team Canada) for a brief take on their impressions on World Cup #1 in Pietermaritzburg this weekend – the course, conditions and their races…
Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team
The course was great as we had perfect weather. I felt strong and that my form is at a good starting place for the World Cup season. The first lap was interesting as most of the climbing was single track where passing was pretty much impossible until you hit sections of fire road. Luckily I was able to be in the top 10 and maintain contact with the leaders until the passing opportunities opened up.
Irina [Kalentieva] and I rode much of the race together with Julie Bresett getting off the front on lap 1 and Chengyuan Ren overtaking us on lap two. With 1.5 laps to go Irina attacked and I spent the rest of the race chasing. Today [Sunday] we went to a nature reserve to check out some African wild life and tomorrow I fly to Arizona for the Whiskey 50.
Women’s XC results and photos here.
Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain
I was happy to get my season started off with a solid top-20 finish at the first World Cup; the result isn’t superb but is something to build on as the season moves forward. I was able to get a decent start from my fourth row position and rode a good controlled pace that I was able to push to the end.
I thought the new course in Pietermaritzburg was a big improvement and it definitely had some challenges both physically and technically. I was happy to have survived the long travel and the race here in South Africa and now the goal is to stay healthy as I head back to Europe for more racing over the next month.
Derek Zandstra (Can) Team Canada
Yea… I am pretty sore after the race. I had a bad crash on the rock garden getting tangled up with another rider. That happened on the 3rd lap of six. I thought that might have ended the race for me but I started to loosen up and was able to pedal again. The course was really cool. It had some great spectator spots and it was challenging for a lot of riders.
The main rock garden was exciting on the pre-ride. There were always about 10 to 20 riders scattered on the hill trying to figure it out making it way worse than it seemed. If it had rain everything would have been a lot different because the course was clay. It would have been more of a running race. It was fast and the new time frames are making everything change for training. It’s moving in the right direction from what I can see.
Men’s XC results and photos here.