Team Crank – Absa Cape Epic stage 2 report

So, that was tough, but we got through the longest day of this years Epic. I awoke in the middle of the night with a cracking headache, nausea and in a cold sweat. Not ideal when you have 146km and over 2000m of climbing to deal with. I managed to get a couple mouth fulls of oats in at breakfast, hoping that I would feel fine but alas, 10km into the first 18km climb, yes 18km, I knew I was in for a long day. I simply had nothing in the tank, with the feeling of nausea not helping at all.

I got to water point 1, roughly 35km into the stage, in a complete panic. I knew that there was a legitimate chance of me not completing the stage. Knowing that I still had 115km to go filled me with horror. We pressed on, literally soft peddling along the dirt roads with team after team after bunch passing us, with me unable to hang on. I limped into water point 2, having covered 77km, just over half way. I chatted to Paul, who reassured me that there was no ways that I was not getting to Tulbach. His reasoning is that he would get too lonely, what a gentleman.

Shit got real from here and I eventually came to a standstill at 80km and vomited like I there was no tomorrow. It just kept coming and coming. Some sympathetic cries of ‘better luck next time’ and ‘look away honey’ ensued, but there was just no stopping it. After a little chat to myself, I got back onto my trusty stead and believe it or not actually started feeling a little stronger. We rolled through the end, finishing in 8:10 and moving down to 176th overall.

The route today was again not my cup of tea, too many dirt roads, and I dont think you need to start a stage with a 18km climb, and then finish it off with a climb that took back markers over 35 min to summit due to its 25 deg gradient. I believe things get better from tomorrow, I cant wait. Hoping like crazy that I recover in time to ride comfortably tomorrow. I must add that that my Scott Spark 910 was phenomenal today, and definitely made a tough day more bearable.

To see what happened at the front end of the field, click here. Again, Paul and I were a mere 2.5 hours off the front.

Tomorrow sees us doing a 92km figure of 8 loop around the beautiful Tulbach region. Also know as ‘the tour of the basin’ due to the imposing surrounding mountain ranges,  its going to be a tough day after what we went through today, with 1950m of climbing.