|Team Fixed Wheel leaving waterpoint 3. Note me with a mouthful off Food and|
Buzz knows where the camera is!!
|Better Morning than yesterday|
This was deemed to be the Queen stage of this year’s race. Like stage 1, also ranked a 5/5 for difficulty. 134km on a mountain bike in race conditions is a long long way. For us, around 6 hours on the bike. I was a bit apprehensive about this stage if it was the hardest, as the 2 days before were brutal. At least the rain kept away and it was quite mild as we lined up in the startline. Our mechanics had been busy, working on the bikes till 2am this morning after all the mud yesterday to get them ready for the 7am start. New chains were the minimum required as the mud had destroyed the chain from yesterday.
|In the start chute waiting for the start|
|Rusty looking good before the stage......|
Buzz and I got stronger as the race went on, however he wasn’t doing as much on the front as usual. After riding so much with him, I can tell something is wrong with him by the way he pedals. The wind was brutal today and the last 40k was into a block headwind on district trails and roads. We had a water crossing that was nearly waste deep across a river, and they had men in the water as well as rope to guide us as we went across holding our bikes above our head. Damo had a big scare from the local wildlife when he crossed the river……a cow! He said later he thought is was a lion!!
Not long before the water crossing, Buzz was sitting on the back of a pack and at 40k an hour he had a little “Chucky Chunder”. So Damo is the only one who hasn’t had a little technicolor yawn on the bike as yet.
We picked up a few spots today and had a much better resultlt after the disappointment of yesterdays stage. We were 13th in Masters but only 5 minutes off the top 5 Masters. We lost a couple of spots just getting
over the last two hills. I started to ‘bonk” with 10k to go and had to shovel food and special gels into me to get home. Bonking is a cycling term when you don’t eat enough and your blood sugar level drops quickly. Once this happens, you have no energy and you go backwards. I luckily managed to recover enough to get home.
|People cook up a BBQ (called Braai) here in their front lawns|
Not, plenty of meat in this country!
When we were at the medical tent trying to find Rusty, Damo and David bumped into one of the many celebrities doing the race.
It was 3 time Formula One champion, Alain Prost. Damo managed to talk him into a photo.
|Damo and Alain Prost|
We came to our new accommodation in the town of Caledon which is about 45 mins away from the race village. However after looking at the one man tent city and knowing how hard this race is, that is one option I wouldn’t take.
All in all a very tough day on the bikeand a disappointing one for Russ.
Tomorrow we are back in the hills
|The handlebars of my bike. Note the profile map to tell me what|
is coming up
|Some Blokes hit the corner a little hard!|
|Damo looking a lonely figure as he came through checkpoint 3 without his partner|
|The Hampton and Fixed Wheel boys recovering after the finish|
|Buzz was 'benched" after todays stage|
|David is in the middle of everything. We got him a pass and he is talking to everyone!!|
|This is where Rusty ended up|
|At the medical tent looking for Rusty after we finished|
|We are too old (and Smart) to stay in one of these|