Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cape Epic Prologue - Ben's Story

Ben Sonntong wrote up a great story about his team race today and I wanted to post it since it was such a tough way to start this incredible race. Ben and Jacques have an excellent attitude about it though, and recovered tonight with a good massage, pasta, and rest after this hot frustrating day. What Ben didn't mention is that after the end of the race he spent almost two hours in the clinic - he was one of the three random drug tests for the day... And after this day he still had a great attitude. Good luck tomorrow.

"Cape Epic Kick Off

Ok, there would have been much better ways to start out the Cape Epic, than breaking a rear dereilleur and running instead of riding 80% of todays prologe. But stuff happens, and we, Jacques and me, are both positive that the during the next days we can make up this mishap.

Both Jacques and me started very excited into today's prologe. After we went through the twisting start/ finish area, I passed the lead to Jacques, who is known to be one of the best climbers out there. The rumors were right and he put the hammer down. We were off to a fast start and after just 5min into the race we were passing the team in front of us.

Yeah, we made up a minute on them that quickly. The plan was to make Jacques push on the climbs and than I would lead the downhills pointing the line to Jacques, who has more of a road background. We made it save down the first downhill, but soon after at the start of the longest climb of todays prologe, I just heard a horrible noise behind me. First I thought it was just the chain which dropped from Jacques bike, but his reaction sounded more dramatic and soon I realized that his rear dereilleur was in parts. No chance to fix this mishap! I took a couplce seconds for both of us, we were both shocked, but we realized that we need to keep going.

Jacques ran up the hills and on the flats and rolling sections I was pushing him. It took a while before teams start to pass us, we were going strong before, but soon one team after the other came by. It was a frustrating situation, nothing we both could do. Our only goal was to finish todays stage and limit the losses.In the end, after 14lkm of running and pushing, we finished todays stage 24min down on Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser, who took the 1st victory of 2009 Cape Epic. Of course, we are dissapointed, but maybe this mishap will made us a stronger team for the following days.

There is lots of racing ahead and we will try to prove that we belong to the strongest teams in this field. We didn't asked for this "team bounding" extreme situation, but we will go positive into the next stages, since we still want to find out, how fit we are compared to this world class field! Tomorrow, the real Cape Epic start, which means for us, waking up at 4, drive 1 hour to the start and hitting 180 heart rate at 7am sharp! The starts are early and for tomorrow Jacques and I have to be right awake. After todays result we have to start in Block E, so we have to make our way through the field quick to catch the lead group, because that's where we want to be in!!!


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