The Absa Cape Epic normally brings a roller coaster of emotions and for those that have not ridden it, it might be difficult to phantom exactly all the emotions one goes through. Thinus seemed to have had such a day on the bike today, starting of with my favorite bunch riding on open gravel road (not) we got of fairly quickly but soon my legs were just nowhere and from a personal point I had to hang in there to keep up with Thinus, knowing two big climbs laid ahead within the first 20kms including the infamous 28 switchback climb of Aap Duez – it was tough.
Later on the unthinkable happened as we once again had to go up a big steep climb with me riding to the top and Thinus getting off to walk – never before in our cycling journey has that happened before. I knew then Thinus were struggling and at that dark place where your mind starts playing games with you and every little hill or incline becomes a major challenge and one has to dig deep to keep peddling and going forward. Well done to my partner for not giving up or in to his emotion as we ended strongly to tick off another stage. Nothing much to report as a still lead the fall count two one, other than the fighting son an engaged American couple on their bikes which provides some entertainment for our group of riders, guys we have become to know over the last couple of days. Tomorrow’s stage seems to be yet another tough one as we have 2500 meters of climbing over 93km to be completed in 8 and a half hours – slightly challenging and very much daunting. I am sure we will be visiting some dark places again, in our minds and on route as we have to cross 5 little mountains. Up and down and up and down and up and down – don’t let this get you down – the finish of stage 5 is in sight.
Our riding time today was 5:31.21, 141st in our category and 399th on GC, which places us overall at 133rd in our category and 370th overall, not that it matters. Tomorrow all we want is to reach Boschendal within the 8 hours 30 allowed.