What can I say – but super stoked to have finished Stage 3 of the 2016 Absa Cape Epic. We left Tulbagh as we headed towards Wellington and straight into the South Easter pushing hard to keep us longer in Tulbagh. It was tough riding into a head wind and through in truck loads of sand brought in specifically for this stage from the Sahara Desert and you have quite a challenging combo. Battling through sand and very technical terrain made us work hard to reach the finish and that’s how I felt with 20km to go – finished. After water point 2 we cycled up Bains Kloof that felt like an eternity and it really got hot out there as temparature maxed out at 39.2 degrees according to my Suunto watch. It felt like the last water point would never come. What I have realised today is that I am not a roadie, open roads and bunch riding does not do it for me. As in life I am a loner and so it would seem on a mountain bike as well, except for riding with my partner who was super strong today and carried me through the last sections of the stage. On the fall count I am one up now as I decided to come to a sudden stop hitting a bank of sand trucked in at the bottom of a techno a descent we were flying down, at least I provided a spectacular view for Thinus and the 10 odd people we passed on that section.
Thinus was really looking good today and hopefully we both are ready to ride tomorrow with strong legs as our muscles are aching after grinding into the wind through the sand and on the massage table there was a flinch of pain even before Nicole actually touched my quads – “eina pyn”
Our riding time was 7:51.56 for the stage and, not that it matters, we are now 376th on the GC. Tomorrow promises loads of single track and hopefull loads of safe fun on the descents. Again thanks for all the best wishes, we aim not to disappoint and make it to the finish.