2015 Xterra Grabouw

Xerra Grabouw must be one of the best if not the best Xterra in the world.  If there is a race to win this is it,  I have dreamed of winning Grabouw after my first race as a xterra rookie back in 2012.  The last months have been really good. Training has been going  really well.  I really do have great people around me helping me to make this happen. The support is just unreal.

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The last months I have been training really well on the xterra course and I knew it so well.  I new what the time must be when I get to some points in order for me not to blow up and over cook it.  Race plan was to swim hard and make my gap so that I don’t have to go too hard up the frist big hill.  Well lets just say the race plan didn’t work out….. :-)

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I went out really fast in the swim just to make sure no one jumps on my feet.  I got away really easy and was solo for a long time.  I followed the girl on the paddle board assuming she will point me in the right way to me.  Never follow the gril on the paddle board. :-) I think I swam about 200m extra.  I was really bleak when I saw that I have swam so wrong and didn’t have the lead that I was hoping for.  Plan 1 out the window. Improvise!

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Onto the bike and what do you know FedEx didn’t make it in time with my legs.  Man my legs was broken and dead. I really had nothing to give.  I really don’t know why that happen but one has to keep going.  I made it up the first climb and lost some time to the other was in 4th.  I count even push the flats and thats normal my strongest part of the bike leg.  I am not called  Big Blade Blignaut for nothing. :-)

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The only hope I had on the bike was the downhills.  I knew the route so well and had all my lines dialled in. I had to hook it.  But for some reason I wasn’t smooth at all.  I got so upset with myself.  After a while I just told my self just stay calm and keep going.  I started to ride bit better but still had no legs.

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There was really some sick trails and loved it really so much.  Even having a bad day I still had fun.  Hitting it hard in the single track.

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Once I got off the bike I really felt good,  Started running and legs was good.  I said to myself I am going to run my heart out.  I had to finish in the top 3 South Africans to get my slot to World champs.  I just said to mysfel there is no way I am missing out on that.  Antonie had 30sec on my out of T2.  I knew Antonie  is one of the fastest runners in out sport.  I saw that I was closing the cap to him so I knew I was running well.  Once I bribed the gap to Antonie it was race on and we ran together for the next 7km.  We dropped one another a cupple of times and we just couldn’t break one another.

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Then I knew its time to give it all.  I ran so hard down the hill and passed Antonie then I had a small gap, I kept on running super hard till we hit the first beach section,  I looked into the distance and saw there was Roger the 2014 U23 ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion.  Some how I found another gear and kept on pushing hard.  I saw that the gap was closing.

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What a shot, Chopper struggling to keep up :-) #DirtyFast I really wanted that top 3.  Also after a really bad start to my race how I came back in to the race.  When it was 1.5km to go I had to close 50 seconds.  I had to fight  as hard as I could.  As I got closer and closer I saw that I was going to run out of road.  I ran hard up the finsh shoot and there I saw Roger just 15seconds in front of me.

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This was me telling him he was lucky, then a big congrats for the 3rd.

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This photo says it all, Man look at my face I never seen it like that. It just showed how hard I really pushed on the run.  I was really bleak about 4th.  Man 4th sucks!!! :-) BUT a big but, I am really proud that I didn’t give up and get going all the way to the end.  On a race that didn’t go as planned I was really happy to make it happen even when nothing is working out.  Got my slot to world champs and super stoked.

Xterra Grabouw will always be a great and special event one day I will win this event and I can’t wait for that day.

Now the racing kicks off and will be doing some travailing.

Will make my racing calendar public soon.

Till I blog again Keep it in the big blade.

Cheers

2015 Xterra Buffelspoort

My first race of the season didn’t go as planed. ‪#‎BuffelspoortXterra‬ is one hard fun race. Out of the water first and was leading the bike till about halfway. From there in it just went backwards. Had a big crash, kept going.

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I was 3rd of the bike with 2nd in sight but just didn’t have any legs after a hard bike. Not happy with my end result 4th but happy with the first part of the race. Thanks to xterra South Africa and  Stillwatersports for putting on a great show! ‪World class‬ event!

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Next up for me will be Xterra Grabouw, Till I blog again keep it in the big blade.

Momentum Health Oatwell DUAL CROSS #4

I have had a month with really good training and have been hitting high numbers on my #PowerTap, showing some great form. I was so hungry to race, and race hard!

I love racing at Van Gaalens Cheese Farm with really cool single track there, it can also be a hard route but for this race it was flat and fast.

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Loved having my hero there (my Mom) this woman is just amazing. What she has done for me I cannot describe in words.

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Last prep before the gun goes off!

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Getting in the zone, game face with my Oakley Radarlock. That first 5 km is so fast and hard but honestly I don’t go all out on the first run and keep just under my threshold. When I jump on the bike I recover faster and then I go all out on the bike.

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Starting this race is like watching a horse race, once that gun goes, man, it’s crazy going to get in to the single track first.

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I had these 2 youngsters running with me the whole way. Was good to run with them, we got into transition in about 5th place. I knew I would ride away from them in the first 5km though.

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At about halfway on to the bike Phillip Buys bridged the gap with me and went for it on the one climb. I let him go because I knew if I tried to go with him I would blow up like a science project gone wrong. I knew there was a long fast flat after that and if there is one thing I can do really well is push a big gear on the flats. After time trialing my way back to Philip I said to myself there is no way he is going to ride away from me now. The mind is an amazing thing as I managed to ride with him all the way to T2. Look I have to be honest it wasn’t easy, my legs were burning like a bon fire but I kept going. Here is a really cool photo they got of us crossing the river at full speed.

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Into T2 and by the look of my face you can see I am pretty much in the box there. I left it all out on the bike so the legs were cramping big time. But I only had 2.5km left and I was saying to myself that I can win!

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I was broken but really happy to come in second again and to finish second in the series. Brand was really amazing and he did show great form during the entire series. Very well done to him.

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At the end of the day if I look back on how the race went I was really happy. Was so stoked to stick with Philip and ride with him, that was a really good confidence booster to see all the hard work I have put into my biking beginning to show.

Thanks so much to Team Jeep for bringing me into the team for this series, it was great to be part of the team.

‘Til I blog again. Keep it in the big blade!

Momentum Health Oatwell DUAL CROSS #3

It has been crazy since I got back form the race. Moving in to a new place and training for the Enduronam; the long stuff has been killing me but starting to feel good now.

The 3rd round of the Momentum Health Oatwell DUAL CROSS kicked off just out side Pretoria. A really flat and fast venue, a so called big man’s course. When it’s flat sometimes people think it’s going to be easy. They are thinking wrong. It’s full gas from the start! S-Works Epic renegade tyres, yes, it’s Strava time.

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Setting up my Wit Blitz. Specialized S-Works Epic World Cup. We really got to know each other so well over the last few months. Its such a fast and comfortable bike. Oh yeah that’s right, that’s Neon yellow Supacaz silicon grips.

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Nice and strong field here at the 3rd round of the series. Even my good training buddy from Stellenbosch came to race. Antonie runs like a vlak haas!

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The first run was super fast and Brand came in at 15 min so that’s not messing around at all! I lost 1:15 on the first run. I had no more speed but I knew when I got on to that bike I was going to fly.

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No photos of us on the bike, the photographers said we where way to fast. Gopro guys that’s all I am saying. :-)

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At about 10km to go I had a side wall cut so you know what that means! Long walk or tube. I took a chance and plugged it, said a loud prayer, AMEN! Off I went and it held up all the way to the end of the bike leg.

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That second run was so hard. Giving it my all on the bike after that flat I knew I just had to push it.

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Was happy that was over as you can see from my face, that was fun lets do that again!

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All smile after a great race. Thanks Team Jeep once again, you guys rock!

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Brand giving his age away with his boy on his hip. “Ballie Krag” very well done to the guys on the podium you guys did not make it easy for me out there! But it’s always great racing you guys. Until next time.

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Having a Crafty with that Vlakhaas himself. Antonie jou Legend!

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After the race we Braai! Great to spend time with my family; always fun and entertaining. Here is JP my brother in law singing to my sister. It was also my mom’s birthday the next day so was great to celebrate with her. Love you loads mom, you are my Hero!

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The next day its was back on the grind in the pool for 5km swim set!

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So this is my new place! The view from my bedroom window. Not bad hey?

Its been real!

Until I blog again, keep it in the big blade.

Momentum Health Oatwell DUAL CROSS #2 Hakahana

4 weeks down the line and its racing time again! The past 4 weeks was really good training and I can feel I am so much fitter than what I was at the first race. Give me 2 weeks and I am good, give me 4 weeks and I am great, give me 8 weeks and I am excellent. Second round of the series took me back to my roots, North West province, Hartebeespoort dam. I knew I was back to my roots when I stayed at the Oxwagon Lodge. Ok, really now I slept in an Oxwagon. See photo below, that was my room. Very cool!

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After I had my pap and vleis it was time to get ready for the race the next day! A cold winters morning at Hakahana and so ready to race, setting up in the transition and getting ready for the race. My Specialized Terra Off road triathlon shoes made for fast transitions and they are super stiff and comfy.

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Got to love my big wheels! Fast track 2.2 Control in the front and Renegade 2.3 control at the back! Talk about a crazy combination. Loved it, supper fast rolling and very good grip!

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Trying to help Phillip Buys with some fast transition tips. Was great to have him there on the start line with us!

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Out on the first run I knew my running was better but still not at the normal running pace that I am used too! So I didn’t kill myself on the run. I got in to the transition in 3rd place but was feeling good and didn’t over do it at all! A fast T1 and out on to the hard bike leg! I did ride the course the day before so I knew the first section was very flat and fast but after that there was a lot of climbing. I kept it under 350 watts but I was very aerodynamic with my Specialized S-Works Evade helmet saving a lot of watts there by going the same speed. As we know aerodynamic is everything!

Have a look at this video. #AeroIsEverything

On the bike I was in second for a long time chasing hard to catch Brand but he was riding really well. When Phillip bridged the gap I rode for a while with him but when I saw over 800 watts flashing on my PowerTap I knew I had to back down, I knew if I kept on going like that I was going to blow up big time and probably end up walking the run!

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Oh yeah rocking Blue Supacaz grips and yellow plugs! Got off the bike in 3rd. Legs were really good after the bike and I was running fast. It wasn’t long before I passed Phillip. We did have some words as I passed him. He said that T2 was so much harder than T1. I just smiled and passed him.

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It was great to come second but I am still not too happy with it! 2nd is first loser! I am on the hunt for 1st now! “Its ok to lose but you can never get comfortable with it” Wise words from Eric Thomas.

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Was great to stand next to these 2 amazing talented Athletes. Very well done to Brand and Phillip. Cool combination on the podium. Duathlete, Triathlete and a mountain biker! Who is fitter?

After a great weekend at the race and time spent with family and friends it was time to return to the promised land. As we approached the Airport I saw that the surf was amazing! I called my friend Roger and said, ‘Roge get the boards and lets go surf, the waves look amazing!’ Yeah, so called rest day turned out to be a surf day! Man we had loads of fun!

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Roger and I sitting behind the brake. Yip that’s where the sharks are at. :-)

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All big smiles after I got worked by a big wave!

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Best feeling ever when you get up and a wave takes you!

Thanks again to all my Sponsors that make all this happen for me without you the Big Blade Blignaut will not be here! A special thanks to Team jeep for letting me race this series!

Till I blog again! Keep it in the big blade!

Cheers!

Momentum Health DUAL CROSS Series #1

During 3 weeks of no training and I get a phone call from Team Jeep asking me If I will race the Momentum Health Dual cross series for them. My response was sure I am in. One would think that I should start training but I still had 1 week left of rest so i couldn’t do any training. However I continued stocking up on antioxidants, by this I mean red wine which is apparently good for the heart. Maybe one glass not a bottle though?

After my 3 week hibernation, on doctors orders, it was time to go on the hunt again. Do what I do best, GRIND! At first I felt like an oversize buffalo but after a week of training the buffalo felt pretty good! I had one week of training and one week of tapering. Going into the race I really didn’t know what to expect. All I knew is that I was going to suffer and that’s not a bad thing, I love to suffer. Legs on fire, tasting blood and hurting like hell, whats not to like?

Team Jeep really did an amazing job setting me up for the series so a big thanks to them for the opportunity.

The race plan was not to over do it on the first run, hit the bike really hard and then just hold on for the next run. Well somehow the plan worked!

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Early morning interview with Carel!

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Amazing shot with the sun coming up over me while I am setting up in transition. Oh yeah check out that bad boy! Specialized S-Works World cup Epic.

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I knew that first run was going to be very hard but didn’t think it was going to be that hard! I wasn’t joking about the ‘tasting blood’ part! I lost so much time on the first run I came in to T1 in about 10th place! On the run I was just thinking get me on to the bike right now! I knew there was a lot of work to be done.

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Out of T1! check out my Supacaz green and yellow grips! Rocking the neon’s!

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I don’t know how or what but FedEx delivered my biking legs just on time. Man did I feel good on that bike, I was passing one by one, it wasn’t long before I was in second!

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I raced with my PowerTap and it really helped me a lot so I didn’t over do it on the climbs.
I knew from training if I go over 400 watts I am going to blow up and am not even going to see the end of the bike leg never mind the run. So I just kept it at 400 watts and on the flat over 300 watts. For those of you that don’t know watts, go Google it! :-)

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Back into the transition and I was broken but just had to hang in there for the 2.5km run! I started cramping big time but I kept pushing! There was a bit of a confusing part of the second run so we all bunched up and we were a couple of guys who ended up sprinting for second! I had nothing left but I ended up 4th in the end of the day.

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I am very happy with 4th with only 2 weeks of training in the legs. I am sure I will just get faster as the series goes on. Thanks again to Team Jeep for all the support!

Until I blog again, stay on the hunt and remember always keep it in the big blade!

“Anything that is
worth while does not
come easy” Theo Blignaut

Its been way to long!!!!

I know, I know its been a very long time since I have done a blog but here goes this is what have been going on in my life.

After buffelspoort xterra it was back to the promise land “Stellenbosch” as you know :-). A really hard day for me in Buffelspoort I had to get back to the drawing board and see how can I fix my health and training. I got the iron levels up but not where they need to be. I knew it was going to be a really hard race at Grabouw Xterra. I also knew that I wasn’t in the best form going in to that race so I really had to rip out the guts and telnet on the day.

It is always so nice to be part Xterra Grabouw, Stillwater sport does an amazing job with putting the xterra. In the swim i could feel that this race was going to be a very hard and long one so I just had to stay focused and keep pushing hard all the way to the end.

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out the water with the front guys and out of T1 first but it didn’t take Dan long to came flying past me and he ended up winning on the day.

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I rode my favorite bike in this race. the S-Works Camber, man what a bike! it think it is the perfect bike for Grabouw xterra. It is such an amazing ride. This is what I had to say about the bike and the race.

ABSA CAPE EPIC:

I think the word Epic says it all. This was one of my dreams to ride the Epic one day and it came true! I knew it was a hrad race but I knew how to suffer and I went in to the race with the right mind set. I was ready to suffer everyday for 8 days.

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Cupcake “Cherise” and I about to start the race at Meerendal wine estate.

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Supersport asking me “how are you going to handle this long race” I said Day by day. A triathlete racing the Epic!!!! :-)

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One of our best moves ” The Slingshot” One way to use my swimming training in a bike race!

Absa Cape Epic 2014 Stage 2 Robertson

One of the hardest day in the epic was stage 2 in and around Robertson. Well let’s just say Mud and rain for 100km what’s not to like. Ended up 3rd in this stage. Crossing the Brede river

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This photo says it all how the day was. Was so proud of cupcake for hanging in there the hole way.

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This is as on our way to win Stage 3 in the ABSA CAPE EPIC. This day will stick with me forever. I will never for get it. From the start we where so keen to get racing this was the longest stage (140km) with big open roads and 3000m of climbing so it was so important that we had to stick with a group. We got a way from the leading team and had 4min on then till about 4okm to go they got pulled back to us by a big group. Once again the race was on. As we were siting in the group I told Cupcake there is no way I am coming second today! we will win this stage! She said yeah we will! So at 5km to go there was a very steep hill, That is where we mad out move. I told Cheriese to gram on and lets go! again at the top I slingshot her in to the single track and off we went! it was one of the best feeling to come in the finish shoot and be the first mixed team! Must say after 140km of racing it was no joke was glad to be done!

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After that win the stoke was very high and was so keen to get racing but bad luck hit as both the next day! Cupcake got a big asthma attack and there was no way that she could have continue the race she was forced to pull out. Have to say what a fighter she was! Will go to war with her any day!

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After the Epic it was back to triathlon, prepping for SA and Africa Cross triathlon Championships. As you know the Epic can leave a nice dent it you legs. Well it did and it took my system down with it. I was sick 3 times after epic and training didn’t go to well but I know that I had good legs in me from the Epic.

SA champs was at Bufflefpoort so it was so great to see my family again. Now that I spend more time in Stellenbosch I don’t get to see them often.

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It is always good to go check the course out some days before the race to check out some lines and save some seconds.

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This is what happens when you spend a lot of time with the “CAVE MAN” Conrad Stolz you start to see lines you would have never seen before. So yip that line was the better one nice jump too! I just had to keep the stoke high on this bike route.

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Out the water first and as I got up I cramped in both legs so I knew it was going to be a long day.

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Out on the bike I knew this is were I really need to push it I had the Epic in my legs to ride on! Oh yeah so i did after the first lap i had 4 min lead. The funny thing was that my power wasnt event that high that my Powertap was showing it showed that my body was down. But it was shut up legs and keep going!

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On the run I just had to hang in I knew i had some time to play around with. But had to keep running on faith and keep pushing. Was cramping like crazy and not feeling good. This is were guts and talent came in. I held on for the win and was happy to add another SA champion title to my name. Was also my first African tile. Yes I am very pleased with that! Now its world champs baby!

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A week after the champs back in Stellenbosch there was a short race called the Liberty Duo Challenge 20km MTB with a lot of climbing then a fast 8km trail run! Was happy to hit the top spot again!

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A action shot that of me hitting the MTB trails in Stellenbosch on my S-Works epic! What a bike!

For now its rise and grind for world champs!

Till I blog again Keep it in the BIG blade!

#BigBladeBlignaut