With our lap of the Cape coming to an end on Sunday, I’ve had some time to reflect one a magnificent week of mountain biking. Ultimately a race of such nature requires you to have support structures in place which can help you through it. The ABSA Cape Epic really is the pinnacle of the sport and we are privileged to have this race on our doorstep, more so than what some realise I think. Jose Hermida summed it up quite nicely I think, he described the 3 monuments of mountain biking to be the World Championships, Olympic Games and the Cape Epic, quite something.
Simon and I had a great week on and off the bikes. The Epic is not easy and we found ourselves sharing many moments, sometimes in the middle of what feels like nowhere. After Simon proclaimed to me towards the end of stage two, after slogging it out in the mud for 5 hours ‘that he was in a dark place’ I again realised that we would need to support each other through the race, help each other where we could and ride off each other. Conserving energy, boxing smartly and the odd push or two can mean a world of difference.
Image Credits: Ash Smit
Off the bike the week would not have been possible without some fantastic support. Friends, family and sponsors all make a week like this do able. Their support in so many different ways is invaluable and I am very grateful for it.
I was lucky to have my sister working on the race as a massage therapist so we could catch up each day and then had my parents join for the final 3 days of the race. It was great for them to get a taste of what the Epic is, as it is just so much bigger than the other races at the moment. Their support was awesome and it was great to share it with him, especially crossing the line and joining the Amabubesi Club (the finishers club for riders who have done 3 epics).
I also had Ash and her family supporting on the week and their encouragement and help too was invaluable. As you can see Ash was behind the lenses again capturing some great shots.
Bear with me here as I have some important people to thank.
My body and bike mechanics were awesome. To the boys at Trail & Tar: Kevin, Clint and Grant, your work and service was great, my Merida Big 99 ran flawlessly the whole week. Aided by Squirt Chain Lube and Continental Tyres with Sludge Sealant I had no chain issues and did not have a single flat the whole week… impressive if I may say so myself.
To get my body back in working order each day I must thank Meg’s at R.E.S.T therapists, while she may have induced further pain after each tough stage, it did help repair me for the next day. I was also fortunate enough to have a generous supply of Enervit nutrition to keep me fuelled on the bike and to refuel with as we finished each stage.
As you can imagine all these things cost $$$, to assist me on this front I was fortunate to receive backing from Glasshouse Consulting and DC76 who stepped in without hesitation 4 days before the start of the race. Again I am most grateful for this, thank you DuToit and Randy! Check out their awesome new team site: www.glasshouse-dc76.com
As you can see many support structures and pillars are required in order to get through something like this. While we may not have been racing at the real sharp end of the race, I feel that I have unfinished business with the Epic and I look forward to returning, hopefully next year to chase those elusive goals. I am fortunate to have built a base around me whom I trust and can rely on; their support to me is invaluable and will play an important role in my future in cycling.
Mucnhing some delicous Woolworths Christmas Cake.
Image Credit: Ash Smit
Image credit: Oakpics