With all the upcoming stage races happening across South Africa, such as the Glacier Storms River Traverse and Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek, Team First Ascent rider Luke Evans, shares with us what he all packs into his trusty First Ascent Yak Sac Duffle for his stage races.
Team First Ascent rider, Luke Evans at the start line of the Storms River Traverse
On bike kit:
- Enough bibs and tops for each stage, if the race is longer than 3 stages there are often laundry facilities available so enquire over the use of those.
- Arm warmers
- Camelback if its your preference for hydradtion
Team First Ascent taking on the Tankwa Trek trails
Winter Stage Races:
If the race is in winter or could experience some rain, I usually pack in following extra items:
- Knee Warmers
- Rain jacket
- Thermal gloves to be worn under normal gloves
- Baggie Pants – if its your style then roll them in summer too!
Joberg2C riders putting their off-bike race kit - the First Ascent Compass Jacket to the test
Off Bike Apparel:
My general approach is to pack less rather than more, stage races and mountain bikers in general are usually very laid back and you often spend half the afternoon napping, so your gear stays fairly clean and nobody really cares if you wear the same tracksuit pants every day.
- Your favourite race finishers shirts, just so everyone knows this isn’t your first rodeo
- Compression pants, work great as a double up for cool evenings aswell
- Rain Jacket
- 1 or 2 pairs of loose comfy shorts
- Tracksuit pants for the evening
- Closed shoes
Race competitiors enjoying the wonderful hospitality of the Dryland Events in their First Ascent Storms River Fleece Jackets
- Premeasured container of energy drink, this saves the space of brining a big tub
- Plenty of energy bars
- A few gels to get you out of trouble or over the last hill home
- Some recovery mix if you are looking to get the most out of your performance at the event
If the stage race requires you to stay in a tented race village you are going to need to make sure you can have a comfortable night’s sleep to be prepared for what each days riding has in store! I usually try using more space for this, than off bike wear as a comfortable night’s sleep is critical especially on the longer events.
- Fitted single sheet, I put this over the mattress so I can use my sleeping bag as a duvet!
- Sleeping bag unzipped for extra comfort. Tents can get cold so its worth investing in a high quality warm down bag such as the Icebreaker.
- Favourite pillow from home
- Head torch – so easy to forget but saves using your phones battery for a torch.
- Battery pack – to charge phone and garmin
- Lightweight microfibre towel, takes up no space and will easily be dry before having to pack up the next am.
- Small decanted containers of shower gels and shampoos
- Slip slops for the shower
View the full MTB stage race kit list here