The last time I competed in the Argus Cycle Tour was in 2004 – in a mountain bike, a not so light mountain bike. My time then was a reasonable 4:29:58. This year was going to be interesting since the training was way better, as was the Carbo Loading and nutrition, and I was riding a Road (racing) bike.
Fortune of fortunes I was able to negotiate my starting group from the back markers to the L group, effectively a 2.5 hour difference that would get me to the finish before the heat really hit (and boy did it hit hard).
My start time was 6:54am. I held back, looking for a group I could stick with. This took a while because everyone just blasted off. Anyway I caught up while slip streaming a tandem bike.
The kilometres went by quickly with Boyes Drive providing wonderful views.
At some random hill on the way to Simonstown I managed to bump into someone while trying to weave past the slower riders – certainly got the heart racing – however no one fell.
Winding around Misty Cliffs I was ever grateful for the group I was with even though I had to fight to stay with them when we filtered through slower groups.
When I hit the base of Chapman’s peak I asked someone what time they were aiming for; I was blown away – was I going that fast? Seems like I was heading for a 3hr 20min finish. So I eased up Chappies without much pain, at which point the concept of a group was lost.
I stopped at the top of Chappies to grab a drink of water and Powerade since my bottles were running low. After some brief sigh therapy I free wheeled my way down, saving some energy for the last hills.
The only hill that really pressed me was Suikerbossie, it seemed to go on and on and on, but powered by the ever present support alone the road I was able to make my way up without walking.
The rest of the way was at high speed as I made my way to the finish. At one point someone touched my back tyre, looking around to see that the person was ok I said sorry – for what it’s worth, the guy seemed to amped that he did not fall like he had a new lease on life.