Some people get all the good jobs... Our Endurance Ed, Scott Cornish, has teamed up with the experienced stage racing machine Stuart Spies to take on the legendary, wild and untamed ABSA Cape Epic. Stay tuned as the pair endeavour to bring you all the pain, suffering and glory of this legendary stage race.
Day '0' - Registration
We made it. The long haul on Wednesday night took its toll a little on our legs, as did the sudden change in temperature. The single figures of Wales to 28degree heat of Cape Town. All bags arrived with us too, but this time no bikes as we were collecting them on arrival.
My partner is stage race regular and all time strong man, Stuart Spies. He knows the drill; how to pull through the bad days and smash it on the good ones.
We are riding for Momsen, a home grown South African brand designed specifically for races such as the Cape Epic. These are no holds barred marathon/xc bikes, 100mm up front, 80mm out back. We are on the Shimano XTR equiped Team models with Fox Factory Float shocks. As much as the XTR crank is a beautiful bit of kit, I am running a Rotor INpower crank and 34T Q ring. The ever reliable Stans Crest wheels are shod with Vee tyres.
This is far bigger than the Cape Epic I rode back in 2006. The atmosphere is really something, riders from all over the world and a few familar faces from the UK and France.
The registration is super slick, done in a matter of minutes. The wheeled Evoc bags we get for transporting kit are awesome. Once registered it was back to the Commodore Hotel, race HQ to pack, fettle with bikes and fit number boards and jersey numbers.
There were some real gems amongst the rider packs. They had thought of our white Euro skin and backsides, having included sun lotion and a pot of Assos' finest butt cream.
It's 'only' the prologue tomorrow, 26km and 800m of climbing around the vineyards of Meerendal; all amateurs off at 30 seconds, the pros off last at 1 minute intervals. We'll be setting off at 9.54 am, so a leisurely start for us! This decides the seeding for stage 1. The weather will be a pleasant 20 or so degrees, but still playing it safe with factor 50!
Early start though to get the bus out of Cape Town to the start. At least it'll get us into the rythmn of the 5am alarm calls for the rest of the week.