After the Cape Epic was postponed twice, it was a true relief for the athletes to compete in South Africa again. Our Swiss MTB athlete Ariane Lüthi participated in this year’s Capic Epic together with the south african rider Robyn de Groot.
The pure numbers made it even more epic:
647 kilometers distance and 15 550 meters of climbing.
For the steep climbs, the fast downhill sections and all these rocky trails, Ariane can rely on our R2.0 Off-Road Wheels. Our versatile wheelset combines light weight, lateral stiffness, comfort, and durability.
The Cape Epic set off with a prologue around Cape Town and with seven more stages to come. The riders took the challenging trails from Cape Town to Val de Vie, where the race will find it’s Grand Finale.
After the prologue with a distance of 20km and 600 Meters of climbing on the slopes of the table mountain national park, Ariane and Robyn ended up third in slippery conditions and didn’t lose too much time and nervs for the upcoming stages.
The next days were a mixture of crashing, being held up and losing energy gels. Ariane and Robyn crashed several times, but stood up again even more. One thing that never faded was their will to fight back into contact to the leaders.
Leaving Wellington on stage 5 will be a major physical and psychological hurdle on the trail to Val de Vie. This queen stage has a distance of 84 kilometers, 2900 Meters of climbing and will take roughly 8 ½ hours. One good thing after reading these frightening numbers, Ariane had no crash for the first time, since leaving Cape Town. But the tough and intense days before this stage payed the tribute, Ariane didn’t feel well and so they lost time again. What payed off now is the strong teamwork between Ariane and Robyn.
Due the crashes from stage 1 to stage 4, the energy guzzling days of fighting back to the leaders and the tough course, Ariane and Robyn lost the second place in the GC. But what they didn’t lose on this stage and never on a previous stage was their spirit!
A rocky dual track was the finale section of the brutal roller coaster ride on stage 7 that ended in Val de Vie and will be kept in Ariane’s memory.
Speechless at the finish Line and full of impressions, one thing that ariane could say after finishing this brutal, emotional and exhausting race is:
“I know now is that if I have a team supporting me, like ours did, not only with their amazing expertise but with their hearts, the result doesn’t matter. Because the people who held our backs free this week love us not for the result we achieve but for the humans we are.”
Ten participations for Ariane at the Cape Epic, but this one will be a special one!
Photos: Wim Vanderwegen