Day 4/Stage 3 at the Absa Cape Epic from Robertson to Greyton, was a huge distance of 134km with around 1800m of climbing.
As rider’s completed day 4, which is considered the halfway mark, and is the longest ride day, the news is that all five teams riding under Team Absa are still in the race, riding their hearts out for their chosen charity, Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy, which is based in Johannesburg.
At least half of the teams are made up of ‘first-timers’ – novices - to the Absa Cape Epic. One such first-timer is former Springbok and Natal Sharks rugby player, Stefan Terblanche, partnered with Joel Stranksy, who is completing his 5th Absa Cape Epic, and who will guide Terblanche through all the rough patches.
Terblanche comments, “You constantly have to have meetings with yourself. This race is much tougher than a rugby match and shows you that once your mind has conquered, the body can do anything."
Another first-timer with strong legs and mind is the young 23 year old, Tsepo Nyirenda, who is teamed up with Clayton Duckworth under Team Absa Flying McDucks. This is Clayton’s third Epic. Clayton just completed today riding the last 30km without his right pedal.
Tsepo Nyirenda said after finishing said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up that counts.” Nyirenda is a Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy rider so this means more to him than most because whatever he is able to achieve, others will surely follow.
Actress, activist, humanitarian and motivational speaker, Hlubi Mboya, best known as ‘Nandipa’ in Isidingo, is also a first-timer and is teamed up with racing driver, Gugu Zulu.
Mboya says her mantra is to keep calm and take one day at a time. Not always possible with cramping legs, sore hands, stiff shoulders and the Cape wind, which were the elements the back markers faced today. “One bite size at a time; this is how I am going to work this thing. It is tougher than I expected but I have a great partner in Gugu.” This is Gugu Zulu’s second Absa Cape Epic.