And just like that, all the build up for the 2017 Cape Epic is over. All that's left to do now is ride a bike.
The transport to get us to the start line in Meerendal was running late, so we sat on the bench outside the hotel, trying to deal with the pre-race nerves.
I knew what to expect over the next 8 days. I was better prepared than in 2015 and in better shape, but I was still nervous, and I couldn't figure out why.
Then it hit me, ignorance is bliss!
I was nervous because I knew what the next 8 days had in store, and it's not necessarily pleasant.
We got to the prologue a little rushed for time, but still made our 8:05 am start without issue and rolled down the start ramp.
The prologue was tame in comparison to what lies ahead, but still no cake walk with 26 km and 750 m of vertical. Around 1:45 later, we rolled back, across the finish line, happy to find some shade and get out of the sun.
Now the journey really begins. Tomorrow is a big day with over 100 km and 2300 m of vertical. All that during a hot day of 35 degrees!
I haven't been feeling myself lately on the bike, so although the race is officially started I will still be happy to get the first proper stage out of the way.
I hope to post updates here after each stage, but I can't promise it. The post race routine comes first, so if there's no time to blog after stuffing faces with food, showering, stuffing faces with more food, getting a quick massage and strapping if needed, and of course stuffing faces with even more food, you may not get an update here.
But you can always track us live on the Cape Epic website. Our team number is 511.
As always, thanks to our supporters for helping us get here, including The Base by RVH, Pedalhead Bicycle Works, and The Westin Cape Town.
Thanks for following along, hope to keep you posted!