Saturday, 2 April 2011

Stage 3,4,5 Broken rib fallout, shadow of a man, and ball baking OR is it breaking!!!!

Well the rib did finally finish C's campaign for the Cape Epic 2011. She is not sure if the pain of the rib or watching the riders roll out each morning since has been more painful. I suspect the latter would be closer to the truth. With a very competitive brother that doesn't have much patience, Christelle felt it better to put the off-roader away and spare herself the grief of a brother carrying on like a bear with a sore tooth having to go at a little slower pace. This Cape Epic is a real team game and sometimes you have to yield to the rider that is suffering. There is always going to be moments or days in this race where one is going better than the other. If there is not a solid cohesion or understanding of your race partner there can be issues. I have seen riders pull out due to big issues with teammates and people just spit it and ride off on each other, funny stuff to the on-lookers but ugly while in the game I'm sure. The rules say if you aren't within 2 minutes at all times you cop an hour penalty, if it happens again...... gooooone from the race. There are race transponder check points all over the courses so its policed fairly

So stage 3 saw Ben hit the roads for a mass roll out of over 1000 riders with a field diminishing rapidly with broken bones or dehydration or just being too busted to continue. The word around is the race this year has been the hardest so far and most technical. Ben now being on his own was in his element and found himself latch onto the front group after a 5 min gap from the start line. He crossed that gap with other riders keen to tick over a good time over the 125km stage. It was a pretty tough course from Tulbagh to Worcester with narly descents, water crossings and tough climbs with the final 9km on the tar roads. Even after the 100+km the pro's were absolutely driving it at the front. It's dead set like a sprint for them and super impressive to watch, The top Masters riders arent too far behind as well I must say which is pretty impressive stuff. With whispers of 2012 including Team Fixed wheel with (fatso Wright and Wazza Burgess going head to head with team Buzz/Fozz, and team Lard/Barge? the Epic could take on a whole new look. The infiltation of the Epic by the Aussies could begin in ernest. They do love to hate us, so bring it on. Ben finished Stage 3 in great spirits and called it a lakker ride. He rolled in a fair bit further up the field this day and was in good spirits. Rudy and Paris had mechanical issues today which saw 2 x broken pedals for `paris within 20km. With tough pebbles and sand to contend with it was a very hard section to navigate to the next water zone and new pedals. You have to carry the credit card with you on this race in case you need new stuff at the feed zones. Can work out to be an expensive race.......

Rudy is now beginning to look like a SHADOW of his former self. He has been living on gels for many days and I think it may be starting to take its toll. His hip is coming good though after gracing the table of "Arnold - the smiling (not) asassin from Austria. This man is at each Epic and has the latest in recovery technology and the ever trusty Accupuncture needles, thrown in with the elbow from his massive arms manages to get the riders up and running.

Stage 4 -- THE TIME TRIAL - All individual riders who have lost the teammate roll out first for the TT. So Ben had an early start and the chance to tap out a nice 36km with a solid 800m of climbing. The plan was for a recover ride today with no benefit in smashing himself. The following day would see a 143km smash fest with some good fast sections that road cyclists would revel in. He tapped out a nice 1.55 to be happy with another lakker ride and plenty of day left to recover before tomorrow. Rudy and Paris set off with a big push in mind, but with Rudy starting to run on fumes it was going to be a tough 36km. He grovelled for the whole ride and they only managed a 1.33, a respectable time but well off the pace of the guns who rolled in at 1.10.... freaks. After the riders had completed the course it was time for the Buzz to hit the trails for the first time in a while. I have managed to secure the services of an Ellsworth dual suspension from Ben's local bike boys, so it was time to make some use of it. The tracks took me over some great scenic viewing points, rolling past some massive Ostrich's and over some serious shale rock on the tracks. It was good to blow the lungs out and hit some fast downhills. The bike goes well, so I'm looking forward to my race day on the final stage of the Epic. I have a 50km MTB race over some of the main course on Sunday. We are looking for the first overseas podium for team KMD so stay tuned. (not likely though given over 1000 riders and a punter on the MTB)

Stage 5 - And some magic scenery. Another early mass start for a long road roll out for all the riders. It was a fast start to the 143 km stage 5. Rudy is certainly feeling second hand now and struggling to find his legs, stomach and butt hole functioning well. The front riders smashed through the early stages of the race very fast with big groups working well to gap people and turn the screws. The pro's almost an hour ahead of the riders coming through was an awesome effort. It was interesting to see some different riders roll through in front of their usual places. I think the roadies managed pretty well today if they had some good tech skills with a final climb and descent of 80 odd meters over about 8km. Ben had a blow out of the rear tyre today and a broken spoke. I think the amount of pizza he consumed the night before tipped the scales in the wrong direction putting too much pressure on that poor spoke. So he dropped away a little but still managed a solid time and felt ok at the end. He certainly rides well for a solid unit and is well and truely a diesel engine. Rudy and Paris were obviously struggling lagging well behind Ben at the finish, some 20+ mins in arrears. Rudy was now looking like a SAFA skeleton of note. He grovelled from the start and must've been in all sorts of pain for the full 143km. He wasn't able to get much tucker in and has starting dropping some blood in the outback loo. Not a good sign. We dragged him to the Medical tent for a good talking too by the Doc as the message to eat proper food wasn't going in. His fluid level was up but the gels were taking a toll on his gut. Seeing him at the start of stage 6 he certainly looked a little fresher, so here's hoping he gets through the day in good shape for a big push on the final day. The evening saw Ben's lovely wife Johanette lob into town for the final stages of the race. We were booked into a quaint little villa at an apple farm just out of town for the next 2 nights. The villa had been under construction for some time but we were assured it would be ready for us on time. I don't think so....

We arrived to see all hands on deck trying to finish the place. But with external cladding missing and looking seriously like a few days away from completion we were not going to stay in that. The owner feeling pretty sheepish ushered us into her place for the afternoon so we could shower up and was offering a free stay. Ben was taking it all in his stride and didn't cause too many waves at all. That was until Johanette turned up. Fark me........ did she let loose. Look out for an angry South African mother and wife. Completely unhappy with the situation she took Ben's balls in hand and locked them away in the handbag. While Ben stood quiet she unleashed on the owners demanding a better situation. C and I took the opportunity to disappear back to the race village and go around the storm that was opening up over the normally quiet apple farm. Another man quickly looking like a former shadow of himself. Quite a funny sight to see. We arrived back to inhabit another nice little house on the property and the ability to have free stay at the place for the rest of time. So I will book for next year before we leave........ Christelle's rib is slowly coming good with sleeping at night the toughest task for comfort. My legs are getting itchy for some riding given they have had some good rest now since I've been away. The weather has turned a little cold but with great weather during the day. We managed to take a little deviation off the main track to see a beautiful valley town called Franschoek. The mountain pass was magnificent with some brilliant roads that would rival some of the great climbs that we have done in Europe over the past couple of years. The descents would be super fast with nice flowing corners and a solid gradient. Hopefully the race goes through here next year. Off for some sight seeing and a nice lunch by the ocean side, whale watching town of Hermanus while the riders smash themselves over 119km second last stage....... BUZZ

1 comment:

  1. Look so color blog.. but one thing to note that It is important to check...Uncover the five simple maintenance checks you should be doing to ensure your safety before you get on your bike.Bikes Adelaide