Somebody mentioned a fact that apparently day three of a stage race such as the Cape Epic is the breaking point for a lot of riders, and if you make it through the day your chances of completing the entire event increase dramatically.
And during the first 40km before we arrived at the waterstop, this certainly seemed to be the case. It was carnage on even just the first climb, people walking and their partners pushing or carrying their bikes for them. I lost count of the number of people relenting under the strain this early in the day.
Reportedly, 20% of the field has dropped out during the first two stages alone. That’s quite impressive, but it’s no surprise. With that in mind, it was a steady start for Team Mule Bar / Bikemagic.com as Ben and I rolled out on to 86km course packed with over 1700m of climbing.
While the daily mileage and climbing is tough on the body and mind, the landscapes we’ve been riding through so far, and particular in this region, are incredibly spectacular and to degree, distracting from the pain. While it’s hard to take in the view when you’re grovelling up long climbs with sweat flooding down the face, it’s hard to ignore the breathtaking mountain ranges and vast open plains, made even more special as the sun rises after an early 7am start.
This country really takes your breath away.
Full results and more photos at www.cape-epic.com/live