Cape Epic: Murderous Stage – all went well!
Diary from Michael Opper and Ralf Kropp: 29.03.2011
„The same procedure as every day…“:
Following a rude awakening from my alarm clock, 05:00am for a 07:00am start, the second stage covering 2300 meters altitude and a total of 104km started.
The first 12km were a problem free ride over even terrain and the stage seemed light and easy...then came the mountain: 1000m altitude and so steep in sections that we were forced to dismount and push out bikes. It must be said however, we had enough company for the long push - it seemed that no-one was able to pass this section in the saddle!
Upon arrival at the summit, the trail thankfully continued downhill for while into the Talkessel from where on the trail changed consistently between very technical sections in a long loop back to the height of the Pass.
Uphill is strenuous, Downhill is dangerous! This section recall did separate the pack and a choice had to be made - either we ride headlong straight into a massive pile-up or we also become part of the large group of foot traffic.
We crossed the finish line in 20th place with a time of 6:13:34,0 which meant that following our arduous Monday, we had managed to regain 6 positions and creep up from 28th place to 22 place overall with a total time of 13:07:18,3.
...and thats the way we like it: One problem-free day behind us - wonderful!
Ralf and Michael