In its second edition, the Lights by Linea executive corporate TOR was a resounding success. After having done a couple of races on the tarmac for the Lights by Linea team, I was invited to join the TOR for its lap around the Cape. The Lights by Linea team was there to act as super domestiques, pacing guys back in and the occasional push to get the corporates back into their respective groups, after they had been dropped by their more competitive counter parts.
The TOR is a 3 day, social ride around the Western Cape. I say social, but the more competitive bunch of the 30 plus corporates did trade a few punches! The name TOR is derived from a heavy South African, east rand accent play on the word, Tour. Try it for yourself…
The first day of the TOR kicked off in Stellenbosch; the riders would need to traverse the: Helshoogte, Franschoek and Viljoens passes before they could sink into a couple of cold ones at Houw Hoek Inn. This would also mark their departure point on the second stage before travelling in an easterly direction towards Caledon, with a final kick towards the sea to finish the stage in Hermanus. On paper this day may have looked easier but the howling wind had other ideas. The third and final stage would leave Hermanus, follow the scenic R44 along the coast before heading back to Stellenbosch.
Pistol Pete with his bags for the weekend, when you see him next please ask him to explain the benefits of using a large, clear plastic bag as his luggage.
Refuel in Franschoek.
As you can see it was no walk in the park and the beers and buffet meals would have to be earned. As I was fighting off a bit of a head cold after a low immune system after the Epic, I took the soft option and sat in the following cars for the first half of each day before a leisurely pedal to the end of the stage. I timed my riding perfectly each day, only getting out on the bike after the passes or when the wind was behind us.
Whilst the TOR allowed some downtime and socialising, everyone had to remain on their toes as the fines crew were hard at work, looking for any slip ups. Some of the fines got serious, a borat suit to be worn in the next stage being one of them…
All in all it was a fantastic 3 days and the Lights by Linea crew and support staff put on a superb, well organised event, which I think many will be eager to return to next year. It was also fantastic on my behalf, to be able to ride bikes in a more leisurely fashion without the pressure of racing and to enjoy a beer or two in the evenings with a double serving of dessert.
Regrouping on top of Franschoek pass.
Lights by Linea team come to the rescue of Borat AKA horns, note: suit being worn incorrectly, fine.