Orange Monkey MTB team reports from Karkloof International

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Orange Monkey-Cannondale went into their third race in as many weeks in Africa with a full strength team for the first time since arriving. A dry dusty course with little climbing but some tough technical rock gardens and world class competition from South Africa, France and Germany this was sure to be an exciting day of racing.

Junior rider, Alex Baker started the day with a great opening first lap that had him flying through the feed in 2nd position before taking the lead as the riders exited the arena. It wasn’t long before three riders, including Alex were well away from the rest of the field. On lap 4 of 5 it was Carl Dorkin who stormed to the head of the race and continued on to take the win with Alex finishing in 2nd place in only his second race of the season!

The tension for the Elite Men’s race had been building all day with the guy’s form GT-Skoda-Chamonix in attendance as well as the top riders in South Africa the pace was bound to be high. Indeed it was with Phillip Buys flying through the first lap in less than 13 minutes closely followed by James Reid and then our own Rourke Croeser. Dave Fletcher was sitting in 5th with Ben just inside the top 20 after a crash in the rock garden.

Lap 2 and it was Dave who was the first Monkey sighted in 4th place and then Ben still inside the top 20 and moving up well, however no sign of Rourke who had snapped his chain at the beginning of the lap and not been able to fix it meaning he would be off the podium for the first time this season. As the race progresses Ben continues to move up through the field and Dave flirts with 3rd place before the guys come home exhausted in heat of around 35 degrees to finish 4th and 16th.

This was another fantastic race for the team at a fantastic venue with the backdrop of Karkloof Falls. We have been made to feel very welcome in South Africa and would like to thank Max Cluer and his team for their encouragement and help.