Today we kicked off another adventure. Cape Pioneer were kind enough to send me an invite to come share their incredible route, their race and their experience for a week. Who am I to say no to such a kind offer. I am undoubtedly a little underprepared for an event like this, one which boasts a UCI accreditation and the likes.
You can read up a little more about the race here while I’m at it.
But why another stage race?
Its more complicated than that. Since our wedding in March, I have been running pretty much at full steam. I did a lot of the wedding planning, honeymoon stuff and after that I was starting to gear towards starting my own business.
So I haven’t really had the time to put in a big week anywhere – a training camp type week. These sorts of weeks are really good for me because emotionally, mentally and physically, I have no option but to get into the routine that the race offers.
Get up, eat, ride your bike for 5 hours, recover, eat, sleep, etc.
The routine and the riding / exercise relax me and really, it’s a bit of a holiday for me. Sure, I am going to push myself, to the limit and beyond, but still, I come out fit, rested (mentally) and ready (emotionally) for another stint of hard work.
This area, the Klein Karoo, is one of my favourites. Our Epic Unsupported rides are all out this way, so it’s an area that had served me well in the past.
But there is a change to my own format this time. I am riding solo, without a partner.
This means I do not have to worry about expectations or restrictions. I can go as I feel and if I want to push myself till I blow, its my own responsibility rather than management of a team’s speed. Conversely, if I want to go slowly, then I will.
I am taking the camera along each day, and I am hoping to show you an inner-perspective of how the race goes down, something perhaps not covered this intensely before.
Now with some images of today from others’ races that I took after my own, as well as some general images. We’ll kick off with the ride to the prologue start, which was a great little 8km warm-up.
Next up is my lap, a tough 15km which I didn’t shred. The goal was to get through without a fall, just letting my legs find themselves as there is plenty time to go to release the beast.
Nearing the finish – some great skies out there today.
Bumped into Renay Goustra – he got a little lost today but watch him – his form is good he will go well all week. He had just finished washing his bike. PRO life.
Team ASRIN set off for their effort.
Defending champions RECM in the start shoot.
Yes, that is a helicopter, hovering at rider height, on the dam wall. MENTAL!
My partners for the week, who now think I am their team manager because they were faster than me.
ASRIN approaching the finish line.
Overall winners Team Bulls, in soigneur action mode as they clean up to go for a cool-down ride. PRO life.