Trek / VW Cape Epic Diary: The bigger picture

All strung out, two by two

All strung out, two by two (Image credit: Sven Martin)

It's been six days now since the Cape Epic stage race wrapped up in Cape Town, South Africa. I've heard from the riders and staff that they are finally back home, lost luggage has been reclaimed, and they are gradually adjusting to normal life. It's fair to say that everyone is flat out exhausted and happy to be done.

Shortly after the finish of the final stage, I got the happy report that Chris [Eatough] and Jeremiah [Bishop] were eighth on the final stage, and Sue [Haywood] and Jenny [Smith] were second. Each team solidified its hold on their overall positions. From a racing standpoint, things went as well as we could have hoped. I think the level on the men's side was higher even than we anticipated, and Chris especially was stunned by the level of the World Cup riders in attendance. On the women's side, we put up the best fight we could and made a great race out of it. Two stage wins plus the prologue is really good!

Plus, from a team and brand perspective, we gained a great deal of exposure. Interviews and TV on Eurosport, photos in London Times, plus all the endemic cycling press covering the race. While I personally was in the US working the first two NMBS events, it seemed like EVERY DAY people were coming up to me and asking how our team was doing in the Cape. I think it's fair to say that the eyes of the mountain bike world were focused on the Cape Epic as a class-leading global event. It's good for our team to participate at that level when we can.

In chatting with riders and staff, it's interesting to hear more about the race and the effort required. Chris for one said that he's confident that the training benefit will persist through the whole season. Jeremiah is likely to be on par with his World Cup competitors, going into the first three rounds of the World Cup. On the other hand, the staff is just flat out exhausted. Steve our mechanic said that he's never worked so hard in his life, and he's a really hard worker! I'm glad that our first-year soigneur Laura hasn't quit yet ...

Read the complete diary entry or see Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Cape Epic.

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