Day three, the final day, once again saw riders start from the race village of Jakkalswater and then head off into the surrounding farmlands. The day’s 54-km route included some history from the bygone era of the Boer War, allowing riders to view some old block houses built by the British, as well as riding along the railway line they built to transport copper.
Prize-giving was not only a celebration of finishing the three days but about enjoying some local cuisine of skilpaadjies and homemade rooster brood. To the uninitiated, this is wrapped-up kidneys and dough cooked over the fire – simply delish!
As hot as the conditions were, so too was that of the overall winner.
Having grown up in the area, Fourie Kotze certainly knows the terrain and being a grandmaster has had time to get to know it. Pulverising the field and winning each day, his time was 9:36:50, almost half-an-hour ahead of his nearest competitor, and cycling partner Hannele Steyn. As the first lady in, Hannele had a superb ride to finish in 10:04:39, despite getting a little lost on the second day.
Next year promises to be an even better event in an area that warms the heart and mesmerises the eyes. Numbers are capped for 2105, so be sure to keep an eye out when entries open.
For more information on this event and when entries open for the 2015 race, visit www.namaquaquest.co.za