Greyton – Oak Valley, 115km, 2900m
“This should be the hardest stage!”
We woke up to chilly morning in Greyton. I pushed in bowl of oats. porridge and another bowl of muesli. We had the chance of starting in A bunch to get as today there was a Sasol ladies hot spot. Not that we were gonna win it butt took the opportunity. As expected we got dropped right from start and formed small group with slower pace to go with. The suited me perfect as I’m a slow starter or my legs are.
Beautiful morning on bike it was with mist in the fields and views on mountains. First 35kms I think was on smooth gravel road then there was a single track up hill and nice down hill to water point 1 that was only at 50km
By then it was warming up. We hit the Rusty Gates climb and it looked pretty scary but was doable except of shorter section where most people pushed. It was hot but still ok. Again amazing views from there I considered taking a selfie and a pic of the landscape but was busy trying to stay on my bike.
Water point 2 was on 70km where I drank a lot and ate the usual banana and muffin.
There were about 3 climbs to water point 3 that was another 20km away and by then it was hot hot hot. I was running low on water and so I just had Rehydrate sachet packet as a snack. It seemed to help for a while.
From 3rd water point it was only 25km but prob the most difficult ones for me as the last climb was bumpy and seriously hot. Somehow I managed the mind game of keeping going as one can’t really stop in middle of nowhere in the heat and we eventually got to top of the climb and enjoyed the steep down hill. Last 10 k’s took forever as usual there was another ”last few climbs” and at last fun single track to Oak Valley that did seem to be bit never ending for me.
I had to hold tears back in the finish. One gets emotional after a day like today. We came in 11th loosing our 10th spot on GC to Khombisa ladies who are riding everyday better. We had lost too much time on monday. They had puncture today also but still managed to beat us!
2 days to go with shorter stage on Sunday to Lourensford and 85km, 1800m ascent and lot of single track.
Let’s have some fun now!