A restless night haunted by bad luck nevertheless followed by an enjoyable penultimate day at Cape Epic
The sixth and penultimate stage of Cape Epic commenced and concluded at the Cape Peninsula University Campus in Wellington, just like it did yesterday. Even though today's stage featured slightly less elevation, it was nevertheless characterised by constant ups and downs over a total of 81 kilometres. The weather made life particularly difficult for the riders yet again, with it raining quite hard before the start of the stage.
"It was really heavy tonight!" reported mechanic Mario Lexmüller. "Because of the strong winds and the rain, we had to secure the tents even further for the support staff and the material last night. For some riders it even rained through the windows of the campers, but our guys stayed dry as far as I know, at least tonight."
The adverse conditions didn't bother the BORA-hansgrohe duo too much, however, and they were able to start the race well despite the restless night and the rain. "Today it went really well from the beginning, up to kilometre 40 we were even heading towards the top ten," Ben Zwiehoff says about the first half of the race. "Unfortunately, I then had a problem with my rear derailleur, so I couldn't shift anymore. So we had to stop and fix it, which took quite a long time and only half worked. Even after fixing the problem, for a while, I only had three gears to choose from, which of course is not optimal on this terrain."
"I tried to help Ben as much as I could, but I couldn't do much more than cheer him on at that moment." said Lennard Kämna about his teammate’s mechanical incident.
"Even though the incident was not ideal, we made the best of it in the end, and still had a lot of fun on the trails. The trails are really cool here, particularly when you remember that we’re actually riding in the wilderness," Ben describes the rest of the stage. After arriving at the finish line, it was time to clean up and eat with the other riders so that they would be well prepared for tomorrow's seventh and final stage of Cape Epic.
"Tomorrow is the last day and we’ll reach the Val de Vie. Of course, we're both really looking forward to it, even though I'm only just getting going. The mood is great and we'll see what tomorrow brings," Lennard concluded.
Photos: ©Michal Cerveny