Stage 5: The Queen Stage
Stage 5 was quite hard. We climbed a lot, but the trails were beautiful and the downhills were nice and smooth. I felt a lot better and the support on route was also great.
Stage 6 is going to be tough due to our start time that has been moved to 08:35, the route is a bit shorter but the climbing is still hard and continuous. The hardest part about this stage is the heat; temperatures are expected to go up to 35 degrees, so we’ll have to hydrate a lot more! I am, however, very excited as we are nearing the end, with two more days to go! I believe it will still be a great day with some fun single track and great scenery.
We left Oak Valley on route to Stellenbosch on a day that felt like we were climbing 80% of the time! 😅 There was a strong wind but, fortunately for us, it helped us up many of the ever-present climbs.
After replenishing our glycogen stores and hydrating, it was off to another painful session at the physios, followed by icepacks.
Stage 6: The Queen’s evil twin
So, turns out the Queen stage has an evil twin – It’s called Stage 6.
This is my dad’s fifth Cape Epic, and he says this is hands down the toughest stage he’s ever ridden – with temperatures soaring into the low 40’s, a lot of technical riding and white knuckle descents😅. But Stage 6 was by far the hardest stage for me as well.
The climbing was relentless and the downhills pretty steep and technical. The heat was also quite intense. I’ve never drunk so much water and USN in my life before. It was, however, an amazing feeling to cross the finish line knowing what we had just done and that we have 1 day left.
My dad inspired me as he rode even whilst he was sick with a stomach bug, but it just goes to show that our minds are powerful; if we believe we can do something, we will.
But we did it! Ice packs tonight for our new bruises and then we’ll be good to go.
One more stage to close this chapter in history 😎.
Stage 7: The end is in sight!
I woke up with the stomach bug my dad had on Saturday. I was feeling quite stiff and sore but excited to finish the race. For Stage 7, the aim was just to stay safe and finish the race.
In summary, the ABSA Cape Epic 2019 was just that … Epic. 💃🏼
I had one of the hardest yet most amazing weeks of my life. There were many challenges – from getting dehydrated on Stage 1 to my arms going into excruciating pain (from day 3). I learnt how to push through the pain this week and it definitely made me a stronger cyclist but also a stronger person.
I just want to say thank you to each and every person who supported me and encouraged me along the way!!💕 Thank you to the Cape Epic organisers for making the routes brutal yet beautiful. I also want to thank the Chiros and ABSA staff who helped me with any aches, pains and injuries💪🏼.
Thank you to our sponsor, Peaceforce Security, for the kit and support. But the biggest thank you will have to go to my dad. Thank you Willem Groenewald for making this experience possible and for pulling me through this week, wouldn’t have been able to do it without you!
It’s been one wild ride and I look forward to some rest and recovery this week. I can’t wait to see what the next adventure will be.