Published by on Dec 2nd, 2012, No Comments

Pure Planet Racing are slaves to the wind at Coronation Double Century

Team Pure Planet Racing at the start of the Coronation Double Century 2012

The Coronation Double Century came and went in the proverbial flash (albeit a windy one) last weekend.  It gave Team Pure Planet Racing another opportunity to expand our small troupe of green ambassadors into a larger team of twelve for this epic one-day cycle through the beautiful Western Cape.

The Double Century, or DC as it is commonly known, is a 202km road ride with teams of up to twelve riders, six of whom must finish together, that covers a hilly circular route from Swellendam through the Robertson wine region.  In the days leading up to the event, the region had been battered by heavy rains, which made certain parts of the route interesting (an off-road a la Roubaix-style dirt section was included due to the tar road being washed out).  However, it wasn’t the weather that threatened to derail the event at the last minute, but local farmworker strikes.  Nonetheless, come race day, the obstacles had been overcome and nothing was going to stop the race happening.  This included the gale-force winds that starting blowing early on race morning.

Thanks to focused planning and commitment from Raoul, aka Urban Ninja, Pure Planet had managed to put together a formidable team for this year’s event.  Although there was much downplaying, a definite air of anticipation and expectation existed.  Just for some context, there are 240 teams, of which a fair number are considered “competitive”, and some of the pro-level teams often import top riders for this event.

Team PPR still strong at 165km mark

Team Pure Planet went off 8th last, indicating their high ranking, and hit the route hard, attacking the hills early on and powering through the wind. There were some “casualties” early on to the conditions, some of who managed to bounce back and others that had to unfortunately retreat to the support vehicle.  With lovely female support, this was probably a much more enjoyable experience than riding in the weather conditions.  The wind that had battered the Team head-on for 120kms, then became a intense tailwind after the halfway refueling stop.  Although you may expect this to be be easy going, there is nowhere to hide with a tailwind.  With the Team doing 60km/h plus on the flats, each rider had to push to their max not to cause a gap to open that they couldn’t close.

Much celebration for a job well done

Ultimately sheer determination combined with the riders playing to their individual riding strengths helped keep up the momentum, and spirit, right to the end.  Finishing at a flying pace with ten riders, in a time of 5h49 and 8th place was an all-round brilliant result for Team Pure Planet Racing.  A very professional looking unit that again was working hard at growing the Pure Planet brand and awareness campaign.  Thanks again to the whole team, and Raoul for putting it together.


Photos credited to Jezebel Antonio