Friday 4 June 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 19:55 | No comments

Cape Epic - Stage Five

Date: 25 March 2010
Start/Finish: Worcester
Distance: 27km
Climbing: 860m

The Pocket Rocket looking good in blue
Stage Five was a bit of a strange day for most people. It was time trial day, which for most people meant a rest day, unless of course you were a pro and your life depended on winning the Epic. For the rest of us Stage Five was just another way of saying "A chance to sleep late and then go for a bit of a ride, and then spend the rest of the day chilling in Worcester". That's exactly what The Pocket Rocket and I had in mind for today.

Blue kit, blue socks, blue gloves, blue bike - where are the fashion police now?
Queuing for our 9:30am start 
 As usual, we were going to take it easy, I was going to follow The Pocket Rocket blah blah blah, but really, who were we kidding? We both knew I would stick to the plan for about 10 minutes, and then my competitive nature would get the best of me and I would end up making The Pocket Rocket suffer on the climbs.
 Looking cool, calm and focussed.

Dr Evil had found another perfect location for an impossibly tough route, 860m of climbing in just 27kms was going to be a killer. This was going to be mountain goat heaven with short steep climbs and crazy descents. I couldn't wait, but I could see that The Pocket Rocket was nervous.

And we're off.
Stick to the plan!
After getting a Tour de France style send off down the ramp we quickly got into a good rhythm. We had both neglected the option of a warm up ride - what is the point when you are sitting in 300 and something-eth position. As I expected, The Pocket Rocket set the pace initially, and I just latched onto his wheel. As the road started to tilt up, I started to get a little restless, and when we spotted the team that started 2 minutes ahead of us my will power crumbled. I had to chase them. The one thing about the Epic is that no matter how bad you are feeling on a bike - there is ALWAYS someone worse off, and today we found that someone quite early on. At about 5 kilometres into the ride we road past a team that had stopped by the side of the road. My initial assumption was that they had had a mechanical, and as I was about to mumble the obligatory offer to help, the paler of the two riders looked across to us with desperation in his eyes and proceeded to projectile vomit while his partner looked on helplessly with fear and trepidation written all over his face.

At least The Pocket Rocket hadn't tested our partnership like that yet...

Up up and more up
The "flat" part of the route.
The course for the time trial really was brutal - really steep climbs, loose descents and washed out corners. The technical nature made the riding tough, and a lapse in concentration could easily have ended the race right there, but both The Pocket Rocket and I made it through successfully - The Pocket Rocket's technical skills improving with each descent, as well as his resolve to suffer up the climbs.

Like a moonscape
Getting ready for the downhill.
Me - making lots of dust as I fly down the hill
MTB Heaven.
Our spectator was on hand to take a some photos and videos of us as we neared the halfway mark - I am always amazed at the lift a friendly face can provide.

After initially just wanting to survive, we ended up putting in quite a good effort and moved up several places. Whether or not we had been a little silly would be answered by our performance in the following stage.
Racing for the day almost done.

I think The Pocket Rocket had a good day.

178. Cat
247. GC

Overall: 31:03.04,7


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