|Team KMD straight after we finish (taken from my Go Pro)|
Today is the last stage. After a prologue, and 7 stages of racing over 800km of rocky trails, up mountains, down mountains, across ridge lines, semi arid deserts, winery's, apple orchards, we "only" have a 65km stage from Oak Valley Winery in Elgin to Lourensford in the next valley. Nearly 85% of the field is still in the race, so out of 1200 riders at the start, there are just over 1000 left to ride this last stage. I must admit, I seem to have noticed a lot of fresh arms and collarbones in slings over the past week, as falls are the main reason teams have to pull out.
|Mark shows the strain of the week!|
On the start line there is a feeling of light heartedness and almost relief as riders sense that barring one final mishap, they will see the finish of the largest and toughest mountain bike stage race in the world. Jarrod and I get into our "usual" spot of just behind the pro's to take advantage of the fast start. We seem to be getting stronger as the week has progressed and our bodies have held up reasonably well. I have a very sore back, saddle sores that I cant describe!, and my hands cant pick anything up as they are so tired from holding the handlebars and brakes for 35 odd hours, and double blisters on the back of each heel that are as deep as a golf bunker! But we are looking for a good last stage.
|Part of the Field watching the Aerobatics|
|Buzz showing his adept bike handling skills|
on one of the climbs
We pose for photos and get our finishing medals. Christelle (Jarrod’s fiancée), her family and Jarrods Parents are all there , as I have done my bit, getting Jarrod to the finish in one piece, ready for his wedding this Wednesday!!
We are 58th on the stage, our best result for the week and finish the race in 92nd place on the GC overall. The time lost with my broken chain on stage 3 has cost us dearly in the GC, and if we had of not had it and got the 80mins back that it took us to fix it, we would have finished around 65th-70th overall. Not a bad result!!
We spend the afternoon in the sun, eating and having a few beers. Johnny and Mark also have a good result on the stage and come in around 110th place and around 150th overall in the GC.
For some it’s off to a wedding, but unfortunately for me, it’s back to work. I am now in JoBurg at the airport in transit back to Oz.
So that’s it from the Cape Epic. It was an epic week with a tough race. I loved every second of it.
Thanks to our sponsors, Champion Systems, (who make bullet proof kit!), Cisco, Symantec, The Fixed Wheel, Hampton Cycles, Specialized, Spectum Natural, and ZeBosch Wheels.
We have a heap of Go Pro Video footage that I will be posting on You Tube once I edit it, so watch out for it on channel Fozzyaabb
So only one question remains to be answere, because know I am going to be asked……..Would I do it again?
My Answer: There are somethings in life that should only be experienced ONCE!!!