After a recovery drink, 4 cokes, a shower, a huge lunch, an afternoon nap, biltong, a massage and now a coffee and pancake I feel as if I’ve recovered enough to get some words out. Four days into the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek and we are we’ll and truly deep in the heart of the race. The achy sore feeling doesn’t leave the legs so easily anymore.
With an easier stage on the cards today, any normal team would take the opportunity to recover a bit more before the beastly two days ahead. Not Hanco and I. I will admit that I did think through the idea somewhat last night, and it did sound like a good one when I presented it to Hanco this morning. As we are towards the tail end of the top 10, we wanted to make our presence known at this race.
With 30km of gravel road and a tailwind to start the stage it was the perfect opportunity for us to attack early, and so we did. Hanco comes with a wealth of road racing experience, and today we would draw on this. I would follow any attacks if there were any, and then Hanco would ride across once we had a sustainable gap. There weren’t any attacks and so when the moment was right the ginger ninja came flying down the side of the bunch and immediately put daylight between himself and the peloton. I waited a few moments to check that there was no reaction and then went across.
The idea of riding off the front of the race is a romantic one, until you’re actually doing it, and then it hurts, a lot. But, the exposure it generates for our sponsors and us is worth it.
We soon had company from the RECM pair and solo rider Konny Looser. We combined well until some 20km later, Hanco unfortunately double punctured, we were able to bomb it and get going again, but by then the front group had passed us.
At the head of affairs the Scott team won the stage from a 4 team sprint and Scott Factory maintain their lead. Bulls took 2nd, with the young Fairview Elite team rounding out the podium and EAI in 4th.
Tomorrow a beast of a stage awaits #kammanassiekannon. The infamous Kamanasssie presents herself early on, the steep gradients and many hike a bike sections will keep many of the riders awake in their tents tonight. Whilst the Kammanassie is beautiful, you most certainly pay a price for it.
The Duiwelskop climb later in the stage, used to be in a totally separate stage, so the double whammy along with the final climbs on the 7 Passes road means that we are in for an exceptionally tough stage. To make matters worse, it looks as though rain is on the horizon for us.