The Rock Fest !
When the Race Director stands up at dinner and asks the weary riders to discontinue the abuse and threats he had been receiving then it speaks volumes for difficulty of course they designed.
It was a Rock fest ….and it went on for 80 km non-stop…..our bodies took an absolute pounding riding over and over and over the rocks in the extreme heat.
It took Team Betway 9h55 to get over the finish line today, again cutting it very fine and making it painfully difficult for friends and family tracking the event.
Having them at all the finish was a welcoming site for two very tired bodies.
Stage 5 was the first time that David witnessed Gareth lose his sense of humour just 60 km into the race, he unusually stopped, ripped his shirt off, the proceeded to take off the straps from his BIB shorts.
He had a spare pair of cycling shorts with him and proceeded to ride on with two pairs of shorts. This pretty much sums up the first 80km of the ride and possibly why we think it turned all the riders wanting to seek vengeance on the race director.
When we eventually got to the tar Bainskloof Pass after 80km, we rode with levels of suspense as we just could not believe that we had been given a reprieve from the suffering…..slowly very slowly our spirits lifted and the pass gently swept us up to the final water point overlooking Wellingoton.
It was a welcome sight as we both know and could see the end is on our sights. We still had the last climbing of Welvanpas to do, and then the descents on the famed black run.
David nearly had a bad fall on the black run, but managed to grab a tree while his bike took off down some rocks. The tails were chewed up by the 1000 riders in front of us, but admittedly fatigue also played a big part.
We witnessed the results of a terrible crash between riders early into the start. Misfortune had one rider impaled by a bikes cross-bar, the volume of blood loss caused him to into shock and we heard he suffered a heart attack at the scene.
When we rode past the paramedics were pounding on his chest. The unconfirmed news tonight via the rumour-mill is that he was in ICU. We really hope he recovers.
So here we are 44 hours of riding and a route tomorrow that we are familiar with. The key is to get through Stage six without taking any risks and looking after our bikes.
We are 457th in the General Classification …..we gained a couple of places , but who is counting….our goal is to get over that finish line.