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2013 Absa Cape Epic: Day 4

21 Mar 2013

The 2013 Absa Cape Epic has certainly been an eventful Epic, living up to it's name of being epic! Trials and tribulations have been experienced right across the field from the riders that chase podium positions to those battling sand, rocks and blistering heat. There's a rumour that more IV's have been given in the last 2 days than in the whole Epic last year!

It's been a tough one!

One thing we are most certainly reminded of... this Cape Epic story is not for sissies! It requires a serious amount of mental toughness, tenaciousness, guts, power and strength whether you are out to finish the stage or whether you are trying to win it. 

With the events of the last few stages, the songo camp was extremely hungry to get that win that they had their eye on. But Epic is never with out it's trials and tribulations. Christoph and Burry had their fair share. Cost them an Epic or 2!

This morning Jaroslav and Christoph headed out to the start line with their one locked in, a stage win. It worked out so well that today of all the days is a public holiday in South Africa, Human Right's Day. This meant the songo kids could come out to the race and support Susi and Jaro on a day they most probably needed it more than ever. It was perfect! 

We arrived, two taxi's full to the brim with kids, armed and ready to cheer. We were lined up and ready but according to the schedule, we only expected the riders to arrive at 10.53am, we had at least another 20minutes to wait. Next thing I know I hear the children cheering and clapping. They had spotted the familiar cycling kit. Christoph and Jaroslav were on their way. I had goosebumps as I stood amoungst the kids clapping, it was fantastic. They are such big fans! I have no doubt that this helped their motivation because from then onwards Susi and Jaro just flew! They had that finish line insight now and a whole lot of vooma to get them home. 

As soon as they had left the water point, after having sized the gap between the following Bulls 1 and 2 teams and Merida Multivan, we swiftly headed straight for the finish line, to await the final outcome!

To say that it was beyond exciting is a small understatement. Anticipation, excitement, it was all brewing! Paul Kaye did an excellent job of building momentum! But nothing beats the crazy cheering on seeing our riders charge down the finish line in 1st position. It was superb!

It so so special to have Burry's mom at the finish line as well. Christoph gave his podium flowers to her in dedication of their ride for Burry. It was emotional. Burry's nephew snuck on stage to stand with Susi and Jaro on the podium. That definitely tugged on heart strings. Our boys were extremely proud of the fantastic performance and that everything had come together on the day. We were beyond proud of them and their tenaciousness, determination and absolute focus. True role models!

It was wonderful to see Cherise and Duane finish 2nd in the mixed teams today, definitely flying with extra mojo! We heard later that on this day 6 years ago, Burry asked Cherise to be his girlfriend. He was definitely with them all today. 

After battling dehydration and stomach issues for several days, severely dehydrated again at WP1, Azukile, riding with Sipho in the Exxaro jersey had to pull out. I can't begin to explain how hard and deep Azu can dig to find mental strength and courage beyond so many. To see him pull out wearing the leaders Exxaro jersey, we know it really was the very last point for him. Sipho continues to ride as an Outcast and will give the next few days everything he has got, why? "To learn more" he says!

Songo Fipaza was feeling the strain of the last few days and welcomed the reprieve of Stage 5's shorter day tomorrow. By dinner time he looked somewhat better but we will keep a beady eye on our man!

The leading gap is tiny. We will keep our strength, stature and focus for the upcoming days. May the good riding and good fortune prevail. Congratulations to everyone who has made it this far, it's all downhill from here!