teamvantastic, Till is Talking Blogs / 24 März, 2017

Cape Epic „Stage 4“ – Where Did Those Legs Come From

We are 25km into Stage 4 of the Absa Cape Epic and my heart rate is near maxed out as today’s stage is not only one for good riding but also for race tactics. 2 kilometers ago we head to make the decision to ride up a climb with a group way faster than what we should be riding and therefore have a train to ride with in the long 5km flat bit to water point one or go easy on the climb but therefore face the headwinds on our own. It all sounds so nice and pretty but at this point we had already ridden 25 kilometers above our usual speed as it was a flat start to the stage.

Now I am sitting here with 5km to go until the first water point and while my pulse is beating through my eyeballs Stefan clearly has a moment of great legs and decides to attack the group ahead of us. He is on fire like a race horse chasing the carrot and while he is slowly closing the gap I decided to not yet throw in the towel but after a quick calculation of potential energy reserves I decided I can hang on by a thread until he catches the group. As he rides up to the rear wheel of the group I have this brief moment if relief and happiness. Just a split second though until Stefan pulls out to the right and decided to destroy this group as well….

It must be about 5km later that I finally regain vision and see other things than just dust and a wheel and we head on at top speed to water point 2 at KM60. A quick refill costs us our group but the following climbing and single trails – today’s stage is 112km with 2100 meters of climbing brings the other riders back in sight and with a strong push on the final climbs we pass another roughly 10-15 teams before descending into Oak Valley to finish an awesome day on the bike. The longest I’ve ever ridden on a MTB.

3 Stages left but with the King Stage still waiting for us!

Until tomorrow.

 

Sport, teamvantastic / 22 März, 2017

Cape Epic „Stage 3“ – When it Flows, it Flows

„Good morning South Africa“ is my first thought as the sun rises over our camp before Stage 3 of Cape Epic. What a pleasant moment letting me forget that for a night I hated Dutch people. Well, young, ignorant Dutch people who have the need to tell each other how awesome they are until way past bedtime for everybody else.

With about 60 seconds to go my team mate Stefan looks and me and says „hey, the first 10km are fairly flat. Go out hard and try to stay with the front bunch of our batch“ and so the 10km turned into 15km way above planned speed with close to no vision. I have never inhaled that much dirt in such a short time.

From there on out it was a fantastic ride through South Africa with good pressure on the pedal, neither of us dying half way and our best stage finish so far after enjoying some seriously beautiful single trails throughout the day but let’s not forget or as Stefan says. So far it was all fun and easy, now Cape Epic begins. 112 kilometers tomorrow.

teamvantastic, Till is Talking Blogs / 22 März, 2017

Cape Epic “Stage 2” – A Historic Stage

Stage 2 of Cape Epic 2017 will go down in the history books as the first stage in the history of the race to be shortened due to the severe conditions the past days. With up to 45 Celsius out on the course and more than 115 drop outs at yesterdays stage alone the only sensible decision race organisers could make. 
Read more
Sport, teamvantastic / 20 März, 2017

Cape Epic „Stage 1“ – More Heat, More Rocks, More Intervals

There are those mountain bikers who say cycling uphill is the real deal and those who say cycling downhill is the real deal. Today both versions sucked. In the nicest, most terrible, fun, exhausting and arm cramping way….

Read more
Sport, teamvantastic, Travel / 19 März, 2017

Cape Epic ‚The Prologue‘ – Heat, Dust and Dehydration.

“We are standing in line, shaking hands with a few of the riders we know, answering a last questions but the head doesn’t process anymore, the head is in the moment. It is 9:33:15 and we have exactly 3 minutes until the gun goes off for he toughest MTB stage race in the world. The ABSA Cape Epic 2017….

Read more