Sunday, 28 March 2010
Absa Cape Epic Stage 8
The build up to the final 65km stage of the 2010 Absa Cape Epic was every bit as exciting as the start. This morning started a little later, affording us a 6am lie-in. 900+ potential finishers lined up for the largest mass-start i've ever been part of. As the music pumped out, Mike 'the mic', regular MC on the world circuit, whipped the riders up as the helicopters began to turn their rotors. The sky was just turning pink as they lifted off and had time just to skim us twice before we tore, en-masse out of Oak Valley.
We had stayed up (til 7:30pm) for the rider briefing and must have missed the part when the race director said "all riders disengage brains!" Guys who for the past 7 days had crept at pedestrian pace down every descent were suddenly downhill-demons. We saw one rider who had used his face as a brake on a rocky section and another lying on his back on the apex of a corner. Lots of guys getting over excited and spoiling it all on their final day...
Dave and i took it steady, partly due to my still not eating but mostly not wanting to take any risks on the last day. We rode on some spectacular terrain again, including a historic cart track where the grooves from the wheels were worn deep into the bedrock! Then onto another, this time active railway track.
25 more clicks and we were road-racing to the end! The final race village was ram-jammed with people. Thomas Frishneckt handed us our medals, photos were taken and finisher's picnic hampers handed out.
Will embelish this blog with photos shortly but for now, Dave and i, Nick and Damo, Pau and Marcel and all our incredible support crew, without whom we definately wouldn't have finished the event, are off for some real food, some beers and a looong kip in a proper bed!