Thursday, 19 March 2015

Cape Epic - Stage 4

Another day and another long hot stage.

We rolled out again at 7am and straight into some shitty gravel roads.  No crashes for a change and it seemed all a bit calmer today.

We had a few climbs near the start and I felt quite good. Somewhere we went through a game park early on.  I missed seeing the Rhino which was apparently 20 metes from us and it was not behind a fence.  Post the few climbs there was quite a good group and maybe 10 teams were all together Looked down somewhere and we were already 50km in.  

It stayed like this till maybe 80 km.  I got a telling off from someone for always passing them on corners.  Wasn't intentional just they are slow.  Seemed to be some frayed tempers as earlier two others were having a go at each other.  My response was just to chill out and relax...the race isn't won and lost over little things.

Had my first mishap where the rear tyre had very little pressure.  Quick bomb but that was it we were off the group.  Filled up at and impromptu water point and lost my head for the next 20 mins.  Steep hot climb.  Got back into it on the next and promptly had the chain jam between cassette and spokes. I was trying to make up time and asked two slower riders to move over which they did.  Straight past them and bang straight into a rock.  Cursing and swearing I had to plug it twice and use two bombs.

Fanie was waiting for me at the water point just before the timing beam.  He stopped counting how many teams went past us at eleven but it was probably more.  Just for good measure not long after the water point I dropped the chain again and had to top up the air in the rear once more.

Post this we put the hammer down.  Think we manged to pass three teams before the end over the last fifteen kilometres.  We got our highest place stage finish today and highest place in class as well.  We even moved up to 60th on GC and to 13th in class.  Would have been better but everyone will have a bike issue at some point.

Both of us felt good post finish and I managed an ice bath and shower and massage in record time.  Had my feet up all day post finish and I feel well on the road to recovery for tomorrow.  Only three more days to go.

Stage place 11th, GC 56th
Over all 13th, GC 60th

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