Absa Cape Epic: Dry but brutal

Rory van Zyl

The transition from Robertson to Greyton saw a difficult 1 800m of climbing but at least with beautiful scenery along the way.

Christoph Sauser of Meerendal Songo Specialised leads the front riders during stage three of the Cape Epic on March 26. (Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)

Stage three Robertson to Greyton
Distance: 134km
Total climbing: 1 800m

Wednesday was another brutal day in the Absa Cape Epic. A dry but brutal day. We transitioned from Robertson to Greyton, 134km and 1 800m of climbing. "Lots of free miles" is what I remember from the race briefing on Tuesday. They lied.

In cycling, one man's gentle tail wind is that same man's busting head wind several minutes later. Said head wind met us about 60km in, and stayed with us for the majority of the stage, making times slower and riders more grumpy.

Like Craig for example: after Australian cyclist Michael nonchalantly tossed his energy bar wrapper into the beautiful Karoo scrub on the northern side of the Riviersonderend Mountain (a place seemingly set back a few centuries) he received a blistering earful. "What are you talking about?" was his confused response.

But Craig and I had another steady day, cruising along well within ourselves, having a blast. The scenery, changing from Little Karoo to Cape fold mountain fynbos to windswept Overberg, was mind blowing.

Thursday is a slighter shorter day in and around Greyton, but by no means will it be easy. Loads of purpose-built single track accompanies loads of steep climbing. We're sore but ready for it.

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