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.
Jeff is back ! That’s the big news of the day. I told you he finished well yesterday so we had some hope for today and indeed things went well. 120km and three serious climbs on the profile of that fourth stage between Saronsberg in Tulbagh and our new home for the next two nights in Wellington. It took me two double espresso to be able to get on the bike this morning but after that the stage probably offered the most varied conditions we’ve had since the beginning of the week. The start was super fast with one hour in a big group and this huge dust cloud to ride in in the front group, I’d say there were about 60 teams (including all the pros) in that first group and even though we try and keep some distance it sometimes feels like a blind ride… I can be scared like a little boy in those cases (I have a triathlon season to get ready for so now is not the time for a mass peloton crash) but I don’t show it and try to stay calm riding on one side or the other so that in case something happens I can try and jump in the ditch 😉 !
Anyway that was the start and first hour and then finally we got into a climb in the forest, pretty much the first time we’ve had trees taller than us this week (and you know we are not tall…), pine smell, OK legs for both Jeff and I, sounds good. Then for a couple hours we were back to more usual trails, sand, rocks, an 8km super technical rocky climb that we got to ride with world champion Nino Schurter (Florian Vogel is injured at a knee and was a bit behind) and then a bit more sand. After water point two we went on tarmac, we haven’t seen much tarmac this week but this time we got to climb a full 16km on tarmac to the top of a mountain. We don’t go to a mountain bike race to ride on tarmac but that was quite an enjoyable experience, first for my butt as I’m kind of running out of skin there (had to ride with a Look bib short instead of the American Classic for the first time this week as I needed a change in pressure points for the day) and second because the scenery was just very beautiful ! The downhill started on tarmac too but pretty soon drove us to singletracks, lot of them, finally in forest again, we loved it ! Water point 3 was pretty close to the finish line but we were up again for a last loop with an 8km tough climb with the sun getting pretty « agressive » at this time of the day and a final wonderful singletrack downhill. We were in 33th position with 2km to go but at that point we got caught by three teams on the last fast downhill section heading to the finish. The guys sprinted to the finish and almost crashed in the last corner, we watched them from just behind to finish in a good 36th position today. We are now inside top 40 in general classification with a 38th position.
It feels so good to have just a great day of riding with a friend with no problem (appart from that race being very hard of course), that’s why we came here for and we take it whenever it comes ! We suffered of course but not the bad day kind of suffering, we suffered to obtain a good finish position which is much more enjoyable than suffering to simply crawl to the finish line… Let’s get three more of these days, shall we 😉 ?
Now is time for dinner and we need to load on carbs again to be out there tomorrow, short stage with 75km and lot of singletracks are announced so we expect a low average speed and lot of short sprints after tight corners so those carbs will be useful. In the mean time enjoy your own rides wherever you are riding now 🙂 .