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November 2, 2009

The Cape Epic Route 2010: My Perspective

There was so much hype around the Epic route. Its like guys imagined there would be an easy day in there somewhere, that magically, a pan flat 25km stage would be announced on day 5 to make it easier. Its the Epic people….

Here is my personal take on the route, now that its been made public:

Day 1: In keeping with economic scales, this is the day that I presume the Epic bank on having 1/3 of the field bailing so that they can save on food, etc. So, as its traditionally been, its a day where they try and break you. Its no different. Its brutal. The last 12km are along a railroad, going uphill along the railroad, on a mountainbike. Nuff said.

Day 2: The Yawn before the STORM. I bet there is epic soft sand in there in the last 20km. This day will be harder than expected, because you are going to expect to be going a bit easier, because of day 3. Don’t be that stupid.

Day 3: GET ERR DONE. Imagine your car stalling in your driveway because its too steep. We are going to do that on our bikes on day 3. Basically going from Camps Bay to about 200m above the Cable Car, in 20km. On our bikes. Offroad. WTF!?! Only to be topped by a ridiculously technical descent of terror to the finish and a long, flat section which will destroy your mind. I bet every single guy in the field will want to quit at some point on day 3.

Day 4: to add insult to injury, day 4 looks like a heart beat chart. We too, will be wondering if we are dead or alive… countless little hills. By little of course I mean like 2-3km of pain, so lots of Chapmans Peaks from Noordhoek side. I will put cash on it that they are covered in sand and molasses.

Day 5: The route profile of this stage is not online yet, so it must be so scary that they can’t put it up. I am personally looking forward to it. Can only be fun going 860m vertical in roughly 13km. So Camps Bay to 100m over the cable car station, but this time in 13km. Oh, then vertically straight back down again.

Day 6: In my opinion, the hardest day out there. You will be too far in to give up, but so tired by this stage you might do permanent damage. A nice climb up to the cable car at 106km INTO the race should sort the mongrels from the township hounds at this point. I expect to be crying on this day. I bet there is sand… can’t wait for the sand.

Day 7: this day will go by in a blur. Its the auto-pilot day. nothing will make sense anymore. people will be speaking in tongues. there will be delirious giggles.

Day 8: last day. somehow the power will be back. we will be flying towards the finish with purpose, excited to be done, but wishing it could go on forever, but with more personal support from our loved ones. It will all seems so quick, like it went by in a flash, even though in the moments it felt like forever in hell.

Not one day will be easy. Not one day will have you thinking the whole day that it went well. Its just not designed that way. Its meant to push us beyond out belief of what we are capable of. Its just freaking awesome…

The full route profile, by the way, is here. Just look out for the 2010 route button near the top.

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