So there is climbing, and it’s not easy climbing. Last year’s TT route up the mountainside in Wellington (in extreme heat) is the stuff of infamy. This year, the climbs were either in the vicinity of 20 degrees’ gradient, or switchback climbs. My fuck, did we do switchback climbs today.
I am generally in favour of switchback climbs (i.e. in preference to going straight up) because the lateral paths are at a lesser gradient. However, in order to make it around the corner, you need to build up a little pace, and then you have to keep it going up the steep pitch of the bend. When your legs are tired these things hurt.
What I’m getting at, is even if one decided to take it easy, the climbs will have the final say. The way my body reacts to them is that my legs are capable of producing the minimum level of required Watts, but due to my ‘throat history’ I can’t inhale enough air to keep my cardiovascular system happy. I end up gasping for air.
Anyway, we had another day of getting around in one piece, and we had some fun on the superb Oak Valley and Paul Cluver singletrack. Even when traffic held us up it was still fun.
Another cool feature of today’s stage is that a bunch of mates took advantage of the public holiday to come and support us around the course. Thank you so much, guys, it makes a huge difference to our day!
Tomorrow is the Queen Stage. There are whispers doing the rounds of how it’s going to be one of the toughest days of Epic, ever. And, because the route is effectively new, it’s fertile space for gloomy expectations to grow. By this time tomorrow it will no longer be a mystery to the bulk of the field.
Once we’ve got to Stellenbosch I might relax a bit, but we need to get through tomorrow first.