Tomorrow it’s prologue time at the Cape Epic 2011 in Cape Town. The best mtb marathon riders in the world will be battling it out once more in teams of 2 over 8 stages and 770kms. 4 years ago I stood there myself. At the time the start was in Knysna, a beautiful bay town 5 hours east of Cape Town. Ever since I’v been following the event with more attention than other mtb stage races – saying that I have a bit of a bond with it might be going too far but still.
There were the breathtaking landscapes, sunrise starts in the morning, endless roads, dessert singletracks and countless punctures. The daily victory, crossing the finish line after another 9h+ day in the saddle, sharing the experience with your teammate and wondering where those daily 7 to 8 liters of liquids went. The breakfast and dinner tent with the other 1198 participants, daily measuring of the bike damage and wear, the massage (moment of the day), fueling up on energy (anything goes) and promising yourself you will never eat those energy gels again.
It was also suffering as on day 3 when we punctured 5 times and had to race against the clock to make it to the cut off time in 9h45m. A fantastic teammate who was on all days (except maybe one?) superior and fully supportive. The disappointment of abandoning the race on the second to last day at 20k from the finish line – at the same time the reason for returning once more in the future to finish the event. Cause in the end, every year again, when the Cape Epic starts you really wish you were there.
If you want to get some impressions on our 2007 experience (partly in Dutch, partly in English) check the teamskelle archive.
This year the organizer is again providing live reporting with gps and polar tracking (and video feed?).