Fenner’s Total Performance Training Blog

Knowledge is Power

All done and dusted at the Absa Cape Epic

Posted by fenner on April 6, 2012

What a race the Absa Cape Epic is, nothing short of the TDF for MTB stage racing. The trails are not great flowing singletrack, or to technical, but, the sheer length of the stages and the size of the infrastructure creates a monumental race of attrition.

A tough day at the office

After moving up to 4th place after the Queen stage 3 (day 4) and maintaining the position and nearly snagging a podium on Stage 4 (day 5) the wheels fell off for Ollie as a gastro, gut issue caused havoc. Ollie was simply unable to eat hardly anything and with the next days stage being the wettest and toughest in the history of the event it was all over red rover as far as the podium in 2012 was concerned. Along with the gut issues stage 5 also thew a heap of other problems our way with a puncture for Ollie that we just couldn’t get fixed and ended up needing one of my 26″ tubes and a hand pump to get us back on track again (losing 30+ mins in the pouring rain and cold!!) My rear brakes then packed up with about 60km to go and then with 20km to go so did my front brakes!!! This was interesting to say the least as riding think muddy singletrack towards the finish necessitated either laying the bike down in the mud at high-speed, jumping off or braking with my feet in the mud!!! It was an issue and cost us more time for sure. We ended up losing over 60 mins this day and completed the stage in 7.5 hours of wet muddy slogging. Stages 6 and 7 followed the similar pattern and Ollie couldn’t hang with our usual bunch, so, we just tapped it out and looked to make sure we got a finish under our belts at the end of the race.

The wet one!!

Overall the Cape Epic is a must do endurance smash fest that I have to come back and give another go, it kicks your butt every day, but, it keeps you frothing for more. I would like to thanks Ollie for inviting me to race with him in 2012 and I apologise for being a grumpy arse sometimes when our race for the podium was over. A massive shout out to my lovely wife Sally who looked after us, massaged us both and generally made sure during the week that we had everything we needed. Also thanks to Jenny for all her help and morning coffee runs to get me moving.

Big thanks to my sponsors and supporters Dean and Gen of Torq for keeping us fueled during the ride, Monza, Sram, Cube Bikes for the awesome AMS and running gear that kept soaking up the punishment day after day. Aussie Butt Cream for keeping the comfort down under with no undercarriage issues during the week. OzRiders for the best grips on the market. Lastly to all the facebook and Tweeters who kept the messages of support coming over.

Job done

Now the entry has been put in for the 2013 edition and it will be down to the lottery, fingers crossed I will be back in then to finish the job off.




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