Apr 21, 2009

Stage 1 Photos

Here we are on Stage 1 of the Epic. This was a monster of a day and at dinner in the evening Christoph Sauser was quoted as saying that this particular Stage 1 was: 'the toughest ever'.

Here's a bit more of what he had to say about the day:
"I felt super up Groenlandberg, this is almost a hour climb, but the descent was so rocky and for ever. Everything went numb!
On my stage profile the last 35km look easy and fast, but it took for ever and my energy went low."*
Whilst I'm nowhere near Sauser's level we were at least on the same page on the day.

I'm guessing this is somewhere near the top of Groenlandberg, maybe even on the Villiersdorp side of it. Either way, I was stuffed and still had quite a long way to go!

Finally we rolled into Villiersdorp for a hard earnt rest. Paul had clocked his family at the finishline and it was great to see them, especially as they had muffins and cold beer

This picture seems a bit repetitive but I've included it as our mates Dan & Anka are right behind us (Dan's in green to the left). Dan struggled big time on this stage with cramping. Eventually they went on to beat us by almost 6½minutes finishing 277th one place ahead of us

This was a really tough day! To understand how tough you had to be there. The temperature was up to 46°C at times and the climbs were long and tough but also quite technical, particularly Groenlandberg. The attrition rate on this Stage was minimised by the fact that the cutoff was extended by about 90 minutes. Many of the riders who had done previous Epics were saying this was VERY VERY tough. Personally this is the biggest day I've ever had on a bike and I came close to blowing it.

* Taken from Sauser's blog

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