Cape Epic: Stage 5. Worcester to Oak Valley Wine Estate

Diary from Michael Opper and Ralf Kropp: 01.04.2011

There a mountain in the way!
We all started together today and the first kilometers from Worcester were ridden neutrally. No-one was allowed to overtake...saying that, we are competitive athletes and not everyone found it easy to keep to this simple rule. Michael wasn't feeling well today and was suffering from throat pains making breathing difficult.

Just like previous days, hundreds of children lined the course edges holding their arms out for 'high-fives' from us riders, school children were even organized yesterday to welcome all athletes at the start with enthusiastic drumming and screaming. Just like every day, many farm laborers also took the time to come to the course edge and show their support. Todays course was not that technically difficult however the final section, directly after water-point #3, certainly had its share of issues we had to overcome. For a start there was a mountain directly in our way which should (must) be conquered. They could have at least tarmaced the road properly! Instead this section was again just sand, stones, rocks and gravel - how very inconsiderate. regardless of our issues due to having bicycles with us, I must say that the landscape is absolutely overwhelming. One would normally have to stop to take in the views, take out the camera and take pictures to preserve the experience - normally. I do hope the course photographers have done a good job and capture the riders, views and impressions well. Michaels cold had apparently not disabled him as much as we had feared and we came across the finish line in a time of 6:32:04,9 hours in 17th place in the masters category – in the overall standings we are now in 19th place with a total time of 28:07:04,0 hours.

Cape Epic - Michael Opper und Ralf Kropp