Monday, November 9, 2009

Belgium Summer

The 2010 route has been announced and again the Epic has not disappointed with their continued quest to re-invent themselves year after year. Here is a short run down of the stages:

Stage 1: Diemersfontein (Wellington) to Ceres, 117km / 2190m

Stage 2: Ceres to Ceres, 90km / 1625m

Stage 3: Ceres to Ceres, 115km / 2280m

Stage 4: Ceres to Worcester, 86km / 1640m

Stage 5: Worcester (TTT), 27km / 860m

Stage 6: Worcester to Oak Valley (Grabouw), 123km / 2230m

Stage 7: Oak Valley to Oak Valley, 99km / 2160m

Stage 8: Oak Valley to Lourensford (Somerset West), 65km / 1640m

Total: 722km / 14625m

Get the full route detail here:


At first glance the route does again look a bit easier. It’s definitely shorter, there is less climbing and its one day shorter than last year! I again do not think it will be as tough as the 2008 race but it is definitely not going to be easy!

The team time trail on day 5 looks like a lung buster, 860m in 27km is no mean feat, but we will have some extra precious hours to recover that day. We are definitely going to be in a warmer environment for the first few days. Ceres is well known for its high temperatures and rocky technical riding.

Training is again in full swing. Getting back in to the early morning training routine is not going to bad. We came through our winter hibernation in much better shape that last year. We both started this years training leaner and stronger than last year. I’m now just desperately waiting for summer to start! We have had a mixture of gale force winds and rain for the last couple of weeks!

The strong winds caused havoc in Eden forest, one of our favourite riding spots. An insane amount of pine trees were blown over and is now littered across the trails. The trails are pretty much unrideable at the moment.

For the moment it looks like we are going to be missing the Desert Dash in Namibia. This is an awesome 340km non-stop race from Windhoek to Swakopmund ( We did it as a four-man team in 2007 and were looking forward to trying it solo this year!

Our next major race is the Attakwas Extreme MTB challenge on the 16th of January ( It’s a gruelling 126km / 1220m race from Outshoorn to Klein Brak. It always a great way to see how your preparations for the Epic is going. This year we have set ourselves the ambitious goal of doing a 6:30 ride!
So happy training to all our Epic comrades!

If you are looking for a truly unique, awesome African mountain bike experience go and check out houseMARTIN Mountain Bike Adventures ( Anka and Sven are putting together an unforgettable trip through South Africa and Botswana in March 2010.

Oh and one more thing! Lisa had been given the opportunity to re-open the restaurant on Eikendal Wine Estate (on the R44 between Somerset West) over the December holidays ( Please come out and support her! They have an awesome breakfast and lunch menu and they do pre-packed picnics! It’s a great coffee stop whilst training or bring the misses for a picnic on a Sunday afternoon to make up for all the time spent away on the bike!



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