Ready to Race
This season’s training has been good, but tough. Getting older makes you wonder if you can still make the magic happen on the racecourse. I’m excited because all the explosive power work and strength work from the past couple of months is paying off. Going into the race season, I feel ready for flight and I’m sure I can do some fast racing again this year!
In order to arrive at the Cape Epic more prepared than ever before, my team will spend several early-season weeks together training in South Africa.
This “Cape Camp” starts with Grabouw, Race #1 of the South African Marathon Series. This race happens to take place on one of the Cape Epic courses, so it’s a great opportunity for us to scout it out. Next we will do some summer training and recon the other courses. Being on the course gives us a chance to get a feel for the terrain, the layout and imagine how the racing could play out given the conditions. The sand, heat, hike-a-bikes, and leg-crushing climbs all hold surprises. The raw landscape presents hazards that can cause mechanicals and has the potential to cause race-ending crashes! This homework should pay off and make the difference in taming the Cape Epic beast… or at least appeasing it!
My home base for the next several weeks will be Stellenbosch’s relaxing Ride In. It’s a place I’m familiar with, as our team’s home-away-from-home when we convene for the Cape Epic. It’s a great base of operations, as a ride center and with a nice coffee spot.
If I have an odd day off, I’d like to go fishing for shark or help with some local trail work, but I have a hunch we will be pretty busy on the bikes if we do it right!
Toward the end of this trip, our final test will be the Tankwa Trek Stage Race. Competing in this race will assure we have all the wrinkles ironed out and that we are working together as a well-oiled machine.
Afterward Tankwa Trek, I will come home for a few weeks. I’ll tune up the top-end of my fitness, and look forward to racing Virginia’s Monster Cross, before returning to South Africa to take on the Cape Epic.