sani2c was absolutely amazing and it is one race I’ll hopefully be able to do for the rest of my life or until I can’t cycle anymore. It’s the most well-organised event I’ve ever been to where they dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s. It was my first major stage race and I was blown away by the effort they put in and the quality of everything.
The race overall was spectacular and the scenery and views were magnificent. Everything was a work of art and just picture perfect.
Day 1: 82km; 1 183m ascent; 1 420m descent
Kristen and I had a really good day. We started in the a-batch and knew we weren’t yet able to beat dormakaba’s Amy Beth McDougall and Samantha Sanders. We were ambitious but not silly. We started chasing them, but quickly realised they were in a class of their own.
I told Kristen that we needed to settle our nerves and do our best while not burning out as we needed to conserve ourselves for the queen stage. We were happy when we crossed the line in third. Team Bell Equipment’s Andrea de Boer and Hayley Smith were in the b-batch so we were unaware of them being ahead of us as we thought they were only going to take our batch’s times. If we had known we would’ve pushed harder and tried to chase them, but you live and learn. We were a little disappointed but still happy with our result.
Day 2: 96km; 1 529m ascent; 1 867m descent
I called it the “Death by Iconic” on my Strava device. This climb is basically what the whole stage was about. It felt like we were climbing for an eternity. It was very tough and technical and I had to concentrate and keep my balance. We had to make sure every stroke was perfect and we didn’t wiggle or stop.
I wasn’t feeling my best and Kristen was the stronger rider, so I was behind her most of the time. She went up the climb like a rocket and I burnt too many matches, which I felt later in the race.
I didn’t hit the wall, I smashed into it. I think my legs are still lying somewhere on the climb. We passed the second-placed team so we were happy about that, but we were still third overall.
Day 3: 83km; 681m ascent; 1 315m descent
The final stage went a lot better for me. I called it the “Fast and Furious” on my Strava. I tried to concentrate more on recovery and eating right, which paid off. My legs were still a bit sore in the beginning, but later I felt like I had a brand new set of legs.
We averaged almost 30km/h in the first 50km. The terrain was flat, we went through sugar cane fields and there was still a lot of climbing, but it was shorter and punchier.
We caught up with the Bell girls about 20km from the end and stuck with them. After the water bridge there was a climb and we had to go uphill through streets to the finish. Luckily we are strong climbers so I knew we would be able to make our break there.
At the last climb before the finish line I said to Kristen that we had to go. I gave it my all and attacked, she was on my wheel and we finished second again. That feeling afterwards was absolutely amazing. After three days of tough racing, legs burning, dust in our mouths and eyes, it paid off. It was all forgotten in that moment. That was amazing and something we will never forget.
sani2C was incredible. Every day was like a new adventure with the most beautiful tracks that took your breath away.
The first day was a little cold at the start and Danielle and I were tense but super excited. We ended third on the day.
The second day was the long day; we took it with new positivity and enjoyed every moment between the awesome tracks and views. We finished second and were third overall.
The last day we started a little later. It was a fast racing day and we caught the Bell team at the last water point and stuck with them until the end. We won the sprint finish and came second on the last day and stayed third overall.
What an incredible experience it was. Danielle and I worked well together, motivated and helped each other.
It was a great experience for both of us and we were so grateful to finish third overall in the women’s race.
We will be doing sani2c again next year – it was amazing!