News contributor Greg Gibson is currently racing the Cape Epic in South Africa.
The Cape Epic is widely regarded as the toughest MTB stage race on the planet.
This year's Cape Epic features a seemingly endless list of MTB celebrities
including: Olympic medalists, World Champions, National Champions, World Cup
Champions, and on and on.
as Greg checks in after each stage sharing the pain and joy that go along with
a week-long stage race.
competing in the Open Men's category with his brother Charlie. Together they
make up team TruckerCo.com.
Stage IV and
The stage 4 time trial was no fun. Though
it was kind of a rest day , it was just too short. The 30-kilometer course took
us about 1hr 25min. I struggled to get warmed up and going until an hour in.
We lost a few minutes, but it is worth saving your legs and losing a minute than
losing .5 hour the next day. The TT course took us around a mall and through a
golf course. We also got to see some singletrack. The time trial was actually a
little meaningless and not very exciting.
Today was the longest stage in length. We
basically had a 100k road race before hitting a big monster climb.
Chuck did all the work and I sat in for the
first 4 hours. I hated those 4 hours.
We rode in a group that kept surging and
slowing the whole time.
On the monster climb we rode very well. I
felt amazing and drilled it to the finish. I really am a big pussy when the
wind blows in my face.
We completed the stage in just over 6
hours, although it didn't feel that long. Our long training hours are
just now beginning to pay off. We have no issues with sore muscles or
sore knee or anything of the sort. Neither of us have blown or bonked
yet. We both seem quite fresh even though we are not the fastest team.
We have both done the entire race without
sunglasses and gloves. Everyone thinks we are crazy. I think that extra crap
just gets in the way.
Gloves are for crashing. If you use ESI
grips you don't need them.
The best part of the race is passing
through villages and the school children line up to give you high 5's. I
like the real ungloved hi-5 slap noise. The only problem is if too many
are lined up you loose a lot of momentum. You wouldn't think it but they really
slow you down.
I am also figuring out the feed zones a
little better. We are doing fine just carrying a bottle and filling it up. They
have plenty of coke and candy for me to munch on.
What’s interesting is all the candy, sodas,
and energy drink use glucose as the main ingredient. In the states the same
items use fructose from corn syrup. Both are monosaccharides and provide a nice
kick, but my body is more comfortable with the fructose. I have found that some
real fruit juice or pineapple juice in my back pocket does the trick.
While we are racing we eat almost no solid food. Dairy is a big no no and
protein doesn't seem to help any.
The most important thing is to keep your
blood sugar up with a variety of sources so that you body doesn't have to tap
into your glycogen stores. When your glycogen stores are empty, you are done.
Electrolytes aren't too much of an issue as long as you just drink enough
water. 1 water bottle an hour is usually adequate. I like to keep things
simple, light, and consistent.
Remember that poor nutrition is the primary
cause of muscle fatigue, but overeating will leave you heavy and slow.
currently sits in 33rd place in the Men's category and are steadily moving up
Team CF with
Cheryl Sornson and Selene Yaeger are currently 9th in the Ladies divison
Team Jamis with Jason Sager and Ben Sonntag are sitting in 19th