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Cape Epic 2017 - Nobmobbers...

Antsonline's picture

By Antsonline - Posted on 22 February 2017

Hi all.
Whilst we all have various ways of keeping in touch and communicating these days, this site stills holds great community value and it is (even those on the other 'sister' sites) a relatively small group of web-based friends.

This year, there are a few Nobmobbers (and maybe some others I don't know about) heading over to Cape Town to race the Cape Epic.
Wayne (Dicko on here) Dickinson is teaming up with Mike(Blades) Faretta under the SXC / EXC banner. THey have been training the house down so will go well I am sure.

I am heading over with a mate (Dave - not on here) to also race - riding a South African branded bike (PYGA) and supported by SRAM.

I'm going to do my best to provide some updates via a suitable media outlet, and think the best way will be to run a blog that I update and then share with daily reports etc.

If you are interested - I have kicked this off already - to talk about some of the prep, and a bit of the back story. There are four little articles up there already. As the race commences (19th March) it will be used for progress of all the Aussie teams, with a few photos (hopefully) and some of the juicy stories.

Here is the link, I hope you enjoy the material:

Jubas's picture

Great stuff!

Looking forward to the updates. This is an absolute bucket list race for me, but alas can't ever see myself finding the time to get the training in! Sad

Lach's picture

... look forward to the reports during the race. And say hi when you lap me at the Willo!!

Antsonline's picture

Thanks @Lach and @Jubas - yep - will try and keep things up to date and reporting on the important and not so important stuff!
See you at The Willo!

GarethP's picture

Good luck Anthony, hope you have a blast. It's mega experience, enjoy it all

Here's a restaurant for the loser to buy you dinner!

Or the Foodbarn in Noordhook is freaking amazing too and you'll probably get a table.

Truth Coffee Roasting in town is cool place too for a coffee

hawkeye's picture

Looking forward to following your progress.

Cadel and George don't stand a chance! As for that Brentjens guy, terrible commentator and well past it, you'll kick his ass.

all74's picture

Really enjoyed the blog, keep it up. If I cant get in the Cape myself, I can live it vicariously through your exploits. Love how you sum up training 7 days per week with "And that is it. Nothing special". Inspiring me to do a bit more than my couple of hours once a week.

Antsonline's picture

Thanks for all the positive responses and support guys. It does mean a lot. For the record, please know that I will taking it all with me - because I suspect there will be some pretty dark moments in the race - and I'm sure all of you know - every bit of cheer can help!

And yes - I'll keep on with the blog - next one is gonna be a bit tech focused - a bit of a run down of the bikes and kit we will be running. I figure MTBers like the gear as much as riding it!

Fatboy's picture

Looking forward to the stories Ant. Have you noticed how much slower recovery is since you hit the big 40?

Antsonline's picture

Haha - @fatboy - not yet. It was only yesterday though!

sikllama's picture

Best of luck @Antsonline on what really is the pinnacle of MTB stage racing in the world!

Look forward, like posters above, to reading more of your blog on the leadup and during the race itself.

I'm sure you wont mind me sharing a quick story which demonstrates the kind of preparation and dedication you have to the sport...

I was introduced to you in the aftermath of the 2014 3 Ring Circus at Wingello (thanks @jp) where you finished on the podium - we exchanged pleasantries and you proceeded to tell our group about your race, how you stayed with the leading group, bringing back breakaways etc and found yourself in a sprint to the finish for 2nd place overall with a certain Shaun Lewis (no slouch). As you rounded the final corner you told the group that you knew that a tree root was on the inside of the corner so you drifted a little wide to avoid it, whilst Shaun took the inside line. The outside proved to be the quicker line and you took 2nd place. In a 50km race a tree root 25m from the finish line was the difference between 2nd and 3rd - I was suitably impressed and still think of it regularly!


Antsonline's picture

Thanks @Sikllama - that was a fun sprint - because Shaun is one of the fastest in straight line speed for sure.

I lost a sprint at one of the Husky100 races one year, because I assumed they had the same finish line as a year previously. 4 of us came to the last 200m together and I launched.
The line wasnt there, and all 3 others (Shaun, Blair and Andy Hall), sailed past me.
From that day onwards,I made a point of checking the final 1km of a race. Just in case!

Pete B's picture

Good luck in the cape, you'll smash it. Going by how strong you're looking at Heffron in recent weeks, I'd say the training is paying dividends.

Lach's picture

7th place in Masters in that field is pretty damn good. No shame being down a few minutes on Cadel & George at this stage, with a couple of other genuine marathon stage race legends leading the Category. Live streaming from mid-race on from 6.00 pm today for Stage 1 - just a lazy 100 kms with 2.3km of vertical.

Black Flash's picture

Awesome to watch how the pros do it! And see that they too make mistakes.
Looking at the station splits, Blades (Mike) and Dicko had a brilliant Finish to stage 1.
Ants and Dave? Hmmm, maybe the opposite, losing around 10 minutes somewhere in the final split. Hopefully all is ok.
Looking forward to someone's write up.
Thanks Lach for the link to the live feed.

Fatboy's picture

Ant spent the arvo sleeping in the medical tent attached to a drip. Sounds like he emptied himself. Sounds like he is hopeful to keep going tomorrow assuming the Dr agrees.

Lach's picture

... it looked like they were ahead of the Category leaders Brentjen and Avezedo, though not all Masters had their trackers active. When I checked back much later, they were well behind. Only two of the Masters teams got in under 5 hours, so it was obviously a brutal stage. Today doesn't look any easier......

Lach's picture

... Dicko and Michael Faretta are also riding in Masters and doing well.

Antsonline's picture

Hey guys - super quick as I am eating breaky getting ready for stage 2. We went really well yesterday but it was too hard. I suffered really bad - like never before - but finished. It came down to just making it over the line. Sven Nys and I were in the same boat - he also had a real nightmare day.
I went onto a drip coz I essentially collapsed at the finish and the Doc needs to assess me this morning before I start. Should be ok but he was worried about my kidneys.
I suspect that today (another 100km and 2300vm) will be ridden very slowly to get around.
Thanks for all your concern. If you are near Instagram, I tend to put things up on there most frequently - @antsinstants

Thanks again - I'll keep you involved!

obmal's picture


I’m only guessing as to the conditions out there but it must have been a super tough day, although as I once found out that it’s surprisingly not that hard to get caught out with hydration on long endurance rides in hotter than your normal training/ride conditions.

Must have been a horrible and scary feeling at the end, look after yourself out there Ants.

GarethP's picture

Looks like today has been shortened to 65km due to hot conditions

hawkeye's picture

on live streaming but missed it due to the shortened stage. Sad

Good to see they listened to medical advice.

I found it tough enough doing a road bike training ride in 40C temperatures out at West Head over the Christmas break - trying to *race* a MTB over distance and climbing at not much more than walking pace on those nasty steep climbs in that heat boggles the mind. Shocked

Good news - Ants is still in the race and at 14th in category, 70th in GC.

Antsonline's picture

Today was tough, but much better. We got around but without much fanfare. My legs were empty from the gun but we managed and made the best of what we could muster.

For interest, it now turns out that yesterday was the toughest in the history of the Epic. They had over 130 withdrawals as a result of yesterday - either people not finishing, or tough souls that made it through, but the doctor wouldn't allow to start this morning. It made me feel a bit better when I found that out.
Today's stage was shortened at the request / demand of the medics.
Just too much risk.

Anyway - thanks for tuning in - it really flatters me. I will get stronger again with every day, and although tomorrow is gonna be hot again, Thursday is due to be much cooler.

Antsonline's picture

If anyone is still watching - a bit of news. The last few days have slowly seen me recover from the suffering of the first stage. Today I finally came good and was able to ride as I know (and my partner knows) I / we are capable of.
We snagged 4th in Masters today, behind Bart B (who was 3rd). It felt great to finally be able to push again. We have found that starting REALLY slowly for the first 5-10km has been very effective. Today we were almost last out of the 'A' start group over the first hill (despite Dave and I being good climbers). We then slowly turned the screw and spent the next 80km overtaking other teams, riding right up to the front. It felt great.
Big day tomorrow for us.

Very sad news though - @dicko has had to withdraw today with a torn hip flexor. He is really upset, and rightly so.

Lach's picture

... that's a really good result!! Hope you can carry that form up and over the Groenlandberg today. Sorry to hear about Dicko, I thought something might have gone wrong when he wasn't showing on the results when I checked last night.

GarethP's picture

Definitely still watching and have noticed you guys move up a few places. 4th is a great result!

Massive bummer for Dicko, unfortunately I know the feeling

Pete B's picture

Well done Ant. Awesome effort to recover so well, I'm sure half the battle is in your head.
Keep powering on, we're all behind you.

hawkeye's picture

Volker Grimm finished Masters although without partner Arran Pearson. Some 16hrs off the GC winning pace, I reckon just finishing was a massive achievement, especially with some of those 40C days early on.

I hope Arran is OK - haven't seen any news.

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