Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cape Epic - Stage 2: Dr Evil 2: Tinker & Johnny 0

Here is a story from my partner Johnny Kritzinger's about Stage 2. It has been so busy I haven't had time to keep up with the blog stories. But I couldn't have written a better story than this one...
Some of the race leaders

Johnny leading our pack

Tinker hanging in the middle of the pack
Vantage Point 2 was at the BC Wines winery

ABSA Cape-Epic Day 3 Stage 2

After a well deserved rest it was all action again at 5 o'clock in the morning. Feeling good and keen to make up for some lost time Tinker and myself set our bottoms on our saddles for what was to be the 3rd day of the untamed African race.

The start greeted us with a fast and flat 6km section of tar. Great to get the legs warmed up and move up in something that looks like the peleton you'd see in the Tour de France. On the top of the small hill the arrows sent us right and into the mountains. This section of downhill was just crazy! What made it even harder than the tons of rocks sticking out was the enormous dust cloud that was being created by the riders. The dust made it impossible to see where you were going! A big crash in this section saw other DCM Chrome Monavie rider Jacques Janse Van Rensburg go down hard as another riders' bike flew in-front of him!

We made it through safely and putting the hammer down to try and catch the small bunch ahead of us. Tinker was flying! I just had to keep up on the downhills,my hard tail not the best option for untamed Africa. ( I did not tell Tinker, but he had a massive rear wheel puncture when his rear tire met a sharp used a lot of sealant but sealed perfectly!) Stan's Sealant is the best invention in mtb!!

Sitting pretty in the second big bunch of the day we were happy as our company were the two leading masters teams for the day. They did some big pulls on the flat roads and one could feel the tension build between them as the finish line drew closer with every pedal stroke.

The cooler weather definitely helped us today. The body does not fatigue as much like it does in the ridiculously hot weather like we had on stage 1. Our goal of trying to make up some lost time was a sure thing and we were feeling great as we rolled along the fast open roads towards Villiersdorp.

Like it was not hard enough forcing our bikes and bodies through the sand and undulating rocky terrain. Dr. Evil had something special for us for the finish....a steep 5km climb to the top of a mast tower on a koppie (small mountain/rise)! This sting in the tail sure did hurt! The climb also gave us our first sight of wild animals,weird because we had apparently rode through a private animal reserve along the route. Nonetheless we were happy to see some cows! Tinker makes an awesome cow moo and he can even make them stand up and walk out of the way.

The fast single track downhill was a real treat after the hard climb and knowing that it was only another 5km to the finish made it even better. Swooping through the vineyards and onto the tar road for the last 1km to the finish we were really happy with our 14th place on the day. A brilliant ride on anyone's terms!

Tinker and Johnny finishing Day 3 Stage 2
Our goal for the rest of the ABSA Cape Epic will be just to keep it smooth and consistent. That should see us shape up pretty well!

All in all....another great day in Africa!

Leroy Geldenhuys the team mechanic for the trip (top notch - See Tiger Cycles here is SA to find him) and Joshua cheering us on

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