The Cape Epic always has a few memorable moments, Stage 2 dished it up for us nicely. It happened right out the blocks after the first km.. high velocity winds hitting us hard from the side.

It was quite a sight seeing the listing riders being swept to and fro on their bikes….everyone hunkering down looking to protect themselves on the inside line like roadies, but no protection to be found.

Coupled with that was an ominous grey cloud and low temperatures as nature played mind games on the tired bodies….how does one motivate yourself in these conditions knowing you have 90km to go and only stage 2?

We heard a few people turned back this morning, how could we blame them?

We then started climbing. If anyone was tracking us, they would have been very worried about our making the stage cut-off.

However when you studied the race profile, you could see that just under ½ the days total ascent was to be achieved in the first 25km. With Gareth as chipper as ever, it was up to me to keep the pace constrained, I was feeling the strain of the wind and the initial climbing, and rode at a pace I felt would get the job done.

I knew that baring a late mechanical, we would eat back our time and finish comfortably inside the cut-off. It is however nervy to play that game.

The second half of the day consisted of some magnificent single tracks but also some riding through vast open fields where the wind punished every rider.

It was only in the last 10km that we had some reprieve with a tail wind, we were wondering how the course designers made sure that we had the head-wind for the majority of the ride.

If anyone watches the daily highlights on TV, you will get a sense of what the conditions are like.

Some of our positives so far?

  •  We love our Nespresso Machine. The line at the coffee tent takes forever in the am, and Gareth has the first cappuccino going before his eyes open.
  •  We love the camper van, those poor campers in tents after the rain and wind…..how did we do it last year? Last night the wind was blowing those little tents flat.
  • Gareth discovered BIB shorts, and he has not visited the bum clinic yet! Let’s hope it stays that way for both of us.
  • The daily post-race massage is something else you can’t do without. Thanks Francois and team.
    • Mighty Mike…..we have a 5 star concierge service….

We head into stage 3 tomorrow, a moving stage that takes us to Worcester (and the longest at 126km) We feel positive, we are riding safe and look forward to see how our bodies react tomorrow….it should be telling.