Monday, March 31, 2008

Cape Epic - Stage 2

Waited a bit too long today for the results to come through from the Cape Epic's toughest day in history. I think it took out more than I thought and the riders were tending to themselves rather than their admiring public. I can't blame them after seeing the graph of the route they took yesterday:I've been up that first "small" climb and trust me it is not that small and also nowhere near as short as it looks on that graph. A challenging 8% average gradient the Montagu Pass is nothing to be scoffed at esspecially when you have a 140km to undertake on the day. Yes I will repeat that for those of you who thought I may have mistyped that: 140km!!!! Ouch!!!! I think the liberal use of explanation marks is completely justified once you re-read that last sentence. As you can see in the picture the second killer is even longer and steeper and I will not repeat it becasue once should be enough to make you cry, 18% gradient's. Even the pro's were forced to push their steed's up these loose, rocky cliff's. What made matters worse was tip-toeing your way down the other side where had you had the abilities of a mountain goat you may just have been able to manage. Did I mention that the baking Karoo desert peaked at 39 degree's... centigrade. Roel Paulissen and Jakob Fuglsang made a miraculous comeback after the dissapointing start to this year's edition. They finished almost five minutes ahead of yesterday's winners, who managed to hang onto their yellow jersey. Burry Stander reflected on the past two days with grimace saying he had never hurt as much in his career. “I thought the Giro del Capo was tough, but this has been a nother level.” In third place was the German Alb-Gold Mountainbike team, Hannes Genze and Jochen Kaess. Pictures of the last two days can be found here and here. Also from the Trek Team a take on the race so far take a look at Jeremiah Bishop and Chris Eatough. these are two of the best in the world and to hear how difficult the race is from these guys can only mean that this is not a race for the timid.
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