Rappel : Pendant la durée de la Cape Epic, deux de nos trois partenaires principaux étant étrangers (American Classic et KMC), le blog sera en anglais, vous pouvez cependant nous suivre en français en utilisant Google translate, les traductions ne sont jamais parfaites mais vous aurez je pense le plus important. Pour traduire en français l’article ci-dessous, cliquez ici.
The prologue of the Cape Epic is not your usual mountain biking day, you wake up early, get in a bus that drives you to some nice vineyards, this year in a town called Meerendal, you then wait for your turn… first start at 6:30am, last one at 12:00pm and 630 teams of two riders going for the 22km during that time.
I’ll talk about our race at the end, let’s keep some suspense here 😉 !
After the time trial the day was definitely not over, two hours by bus to get to Citrusdal. Citrusdal will be our home for the next two nights and the finish of monday’s stage (Citrusdal to Citrusdal). I feel like the prologue day is actually a long and complicated day with a tight schedule and lot of things to think about. And this is at the end of that day that the real fun begins. Now we found our new home, got our tents with 50° celsius inside, cold showers and great dinner with all of the riders, that’s the Cape Epic spirit !
Some pictures of that « spirit », but then slide down for race report.
Now the race, quick word about the « strong guys » first 😉 . The podium of the men race of the London olympics is actually racing here which makes the race very exciting : Kulhavy (gold) with Sauser (both on Look pedals… just saying…), Schurter (silver) with Vogel, Fontana (bronze) with Fumic. Today Kulhavy and Sauser were the strongest but I’m looking forward to seeing the start (we might be with the first group for a few minutes every once in a while) and the results of the next stages ! Of course there are other very good teams with some great long distance and stage races specialists.
Here is one picture showing the podium of the olympics in the press conference.
Finally our race. We had one simple main goal : try and be in the top 50 overall which will give us a chance to start in the first start bloc tomorrow. Starting in the first bloc makes the start a little less dangerous the next day so we’ll try and stay in that top 50 as much as we can. We were also happy to ride again together, it’s been two years, we’ll see if we need to adjust to the other a bit in this first effort or if it comes naturally like it did before.
We started at 9:16am which placed us pretty much right in the middle and we are aware that we are probably going to have to pass quite a few teams. We had a good start and after two minutes the one thing I’m usually worried about when Jeff is behind happened, he hit my rear wheel, the guy likes to be close, I mean very close, I always tell him it’s way too close and he should keep at least 30cm in between us but sometimes the bad habit comes back. He almost crashed but didn’t and I guess we took our lesson, I’m sure he’ll maintain a safer distance for the rest of the week, right Jeff ? ;-))) . After that, things went actually quite well, we really found our pace and it seems from doing triathlons I’m stronger on the flat sections than I used to be so we use that as an advantage and let Jeff hides when trails are fast. On the other hand, Jeff arrived here looking like a feather and he really climbs the steep sections as if he is one, so right now he is killing me in those steep sections but that’s good, it pushes me a little and I know quite well where my limits are so we can manage a great pace there too. I’m pretty sure in a couple of days when all the carbs (stocked with lot of water) I’ve accumulated the days before the start in my body will go, the difference will get smaller in the steep climbs and we will then be a perfect match. It’s the first time I feel like I’m too heavy, ahahah, that’s what it is when you have a super light partner.
I talk, I talk and almost forgot the results… after a lot of traffic in the singletracks which didn’t help having a good result, we ended up 49th. Remember the goal was to be in the top 50 so we can’t be happier 😉 . There are 35 UCI teams so we are in the front of the amateur race, pretty much in the exact same position we were two years ago after the prologue. Now the real race can start tomorrow, we’ll sleep in our tents, wake up at 5am and are looking forward to an early start tomorrow at 7am.
Thanks for reading, we’ll be back tomorrow of course 😉 !
PS : Oh by the way, one last picture for today, that’s during the prologue, sorry this one is of me, that’s all we have for now, but no worries we’ll get some of Jeff and some with both of us together in the next few days.