Date: Tuesday, 31st March 2007
Route: Kleinmond to Lourensford Wine Estate, Somerset West
This was the final day of pain for the riders. This last stage left Kleinmond on short and fast tar road, the riders crossed the Palmiet River and then turned right into the Kogelberg nature reserve. Everybody rode alongside the Palmiet River on the jeep track up and over the mountain. They passed through the busy apple orchids (picking season) of Elgin and Grabouw. The route worked its way up to the summit of Sir Lowry Pass. At the summit the riders all had to deal with a mandatory portage section for approximately a kilometre down slippery rocks. This portage was due to the fact that the Gamtou Pass is a national Heritage site and special permission had to be obtained for the Cape Epic to pass through the area. After the Gamtou Pass the riders dropped onto the railway below and descended for a bumpy few kilometres. The riders were welcomed by an incredible crowd of people at Lourensford and all finishers were able to collect their medals.
Stage 8 Interview with Team First Ascent Ndorfin.co.za
The guys had to deal with a not so early start (8:30am). They did not have to deal with the routine early morning Epic admin that became so normal. Some normal tasks that were a part of the Epic routine between 5am and 7am – packing cycling bags, preparing bottles, breakfast, getting bag to trucks, queuing for porta loos, strapping legs, and squeezing into start shoot… The last morning presented Team First Ascent Nodorfin.co.za with very few of these tasks… The guys were starting to grow tired of this routine… I don’t blame them, I was not even racing and I was pretty sick of the Cape Epic Routine!
The start shoot experience consisted of Mike, Mike, then more Mike with the him attempting to get a hands-up-in-the-air going, but both the bikers and the fans were too gatvol of hands-up-in-the-air kak! Well, I know I felt that way and both Crute and Rinnes felt that way too! Only minimal effort was was going to be expended throughout the last day of the Cape Epic. I think that everyone had pretty much had enough, they wanted their bed, shower, man/woman (or both) and pretty much any comfort that would allow them to forget! At least for a couple of days until their bodies recovered somewhat!
Crute reported a tough sweaty and very congested climb out of Kogelberg Biosphere. The is where Team First Ascent Ndorfin.co.za experienced their first and only mechanical issue, Crute’s chain broke and they fixed it in 1.2 minutes flat! MESSAGE: “Full Cudos to Action Cycling in Cape Town for doing such a fabulous job on Rinnes and Crute’s bikes.” Before the Cape Epic both of the guys replaced their entire drive chains, and various other items. They also had NO PUNCTURES! Rinnes did have one slight problem with a rear shock when his shock seal burst, but over 886km there were no other issues!!
The guys really appreciated apple farms near Grabouw and into the Grabouw forest as this was all more or less home ground as mentioned in previous posts. There was one last granny gear climb onto a back breaking portage, and then the home stretch into Lourensford. Rinnes had about 90mins to get to his brother’s wedding, so the guys were forced to pick up the pace! They finished in style in Lourensford!
Crute admitted to a little blubbering emotion as they turned into the finish shoot (still nothing from Android Rinnes). Crute managed to hide the emotion before the loyal bunch of Team Ndorfin First Ascent supporters noticed as they crossed the finish line… After the post race admin was complete, Corne and Twakkie congratulated Crute with “Why are you so clean guy?”. Corne was wear a cycling outfit with an inflatable something (I hope) shoved down the front of his pants. Crute simply responded with something equally lame “Don’t those moustaches slow you down?” and continued to receive much pampering while they listened to Goldfish. Crute finally left for Stellies to prepare for the night out…
Rodger Hoffman is done for now and will post more soon…