2017 Cape Epic Stage 5
Stage racing brings so many sensations, emotions and daily differences. While yesterday brought Hansgrohe – Cadence Nutrition their best result yet, today was a suffer fest. What makes Annie Last and Mariske Strauss such incredible athletes, is that on a day when things go badly, they still race to fifth place on the stage and retain their third place in General Classification.
Stage five was billed as the ‘fun stage’ of this year’s Cape Epic, and all talk was of how it would suit the cross country specialists. Unfortunately, the day that promised the most for us, coincided with a day that Mariske’s legs didn’t join the party! She explains,
“Annie was amazing today but I just went backwards from the first climb! I misplaced my legs…definitely didn’t have them on course. But that’s part of racing. I’ve had a lovely massage, a gorgeous piece of fillet steak and a nap and now I’m ready to go again! It’s the last seriously tough day tomorrow, and then we are almost home.”
The Cape Epic is not just about how good your legs are, it’s about how well you recover and how you are able to deal with the mental challenges. Annie and Mariske are not going to bed tonight mulling over a ‘bad’ day, they are looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and having a good day together. Annie is really positive,
“It was a tough day but we worked so well together as a team. There was lots of lovely single tracks, as well as a couple of really tough climbs in there as well, but altogether it was a really nice stage. We are well over the half way mark now which is good for the head. I’m enjoying the race and the team atmosphere, and looking forward to tomorrow.”
Martin is still doing his thing as the fastest Outcast. It’s crazy to see just how fast, and seemingly effortlessly, that he passes riders as he makes his way towards the front of the race from his Batch C start. He is in great form and high spirits, and is being a brilliant ambassador for Silverback with a great deal of media work.
It is indicative of our successful Cape Epic campaign so far, that a fifth place finish denotes a day where one of the ladies struggled! We are incredibly proud.
Tomorrow the Queen Stage – 103 km and 2750 meters of vertical ascent. It’s going to be Epic!