So, where to start? It was a rough day out there for us. It started with me hearing the heavy breathing from partner Pieter Calitz on the toilet at 2am, not ideal. When I woke up 2 hrs later, the same dreaded rush to toilet was enforced on me, then again. And again.
Being the stubborn blokes that we are, we rolled down to the start line and started what promised to be a tough day out, even for the healthy. 113 km and over 2000m climbing is a big day in anybodies book.
The first couple kilometers were neutral which again was a treat. The racing began and we started the climb up Rexford before 400 riders had to try squeeze into a near vertical narrow single track, not great. It was then onto a mammoth grassy climb before riding through the informal settlement which was a very interesting and unique experience.
A quick stop at water point one was the next highlight. We were lieing in the top 15 fairly comfortably when I got a big hole in my tyre. A quick plug and a couple bombs later and we were on our way. After chasing hard and a couple monster climbs later, the lights started to go out. Both Pete and I were empty, no amount of Gu or even craft beer could have kept us going. We limped into water point 2 and called it. The intel we got was that it was a 20km easy ride back to Knysna, so we decided to take a slow ride back to the race village. After 20km we were nowhere near Knysna and the grumpy levels were peaking. Luckily some cars came passed and offered us a lift, happy times!
Up front, Renay Groustra and partner finished first, nearly 10 minutes ahead of 2nd place riders Timo Cooper and Adriaan Louw who had some tyre issues.
Tomorrow sees us riding the last day, 78km and 1700 elevation gain. Two famous passes stand between us and the finish line, Simolla and Phantom pass. We are hoping to feel healthy enough to give the last stage a good go and try make up for today!