Sjoe, it’s difficult to write this latest blog update as I don’t know where to start. What a phenomenal experience, the Absa Cape Epic is an amazing event and to be honest at the start in the rain yesterday the mood was jovial as everyone realised they were 67km and only 1800m (eish) of climbing away from finishing the race. The rain didn’t even matter although Mike Finch were not too impressed when I took his umbrella on the starting grid. There was start grid girls and rain was drizzling all over us, I needed to stay dry. (I gave it back way too soon).
I did feel nervous though as one has come this far to not mess it up on the last day, that, yes you have guessed it, started with a sh… mountain of climbing. My chain came off early and we lost a bit of momentum back soon we were on our way, climbing and climbing and climbing again. It felt that we would never reach the Gantouw pass but eventually we did and the riding got faster as gravity took over in building momentum. Reaching the last water point there was only 20km to go and I thought it would be easy to get this thing done and dusted – but no! Firstly I would like to say that no one weighing over 100kg’s should be riding up a hill with about 10 switchbacks until you reach the top only to be followed by 2 small but painful climbs – this I did not enjoy –at all!
Then we went onto a very rocky section and I just had enough and started to push hard to get this miserable section finished. If I was a Absa Cape Epic event organiser I would let the finish be on a hill or build a ramped finish line, just to add in more climbing to make the riders suffer, why not.
Just kidding, I found the last few kilometres very tough, if it was because we were so close to finishing and me getting emotional, no wait can’t be that I don’t have emotions, maybe just the thought of the amazing 8 days coming to an end got to me or that I had to be at the office today at 8am. Saying that, what an amazing feeling when you riding onto Lourensford and the finish line. I think it will take a couple of days to sink in. I’m really struggling to write and put everything into words so I won’t prolong this with too much soppy stuff and so forth.
Thank you to everyone that supported me on Facebook, Twitter and with messages – I really appreciate your support and in encouraging me to keep on going. Thanks to Chantel, Sean, Willie, Thinus, Loriaan, Thiaan, Howard, Evert, Nikki with Caleb, Ella and Mili that came to Lourensford to see me finish, you guys don’t know what that means to me. Thanks to my sister, Dirkie and brother in law,Johan and the rest of the family for putting up with me and supporting me as well as Henties and Yolande de Villiers for the encouragement during the race and to anyone I might have left out, everyone has been amazing. Thanks Jan and Shireen for looking after us this whole week and making sure everything runs smoothly. Thanks Craig Kolesky for hooking up for rides and giving some great Absa Cape Epic advice. To Greg that guided me through the race and made sure we stayed on track in finishing in time and for allowing me this opportunity to ride and be part of this inspirational event and riding for the JAG Foundation it’s much appreciated and thanks for a great ride and life experience.
Then thanks to my coach Swen Lauer for getting me ready for this event in getting me skilled and trained to ride a bike and to Nicola and Michael from Stillwater Sports for allowing me the opportunity to start my journey with the training campaign with Swen for Wines2Whales way back in 2012.
I’ll stop typing now
Sorry, one more thing – what should my next adventure be?