Well as the title suggests today was a hill climb stage, 5.5km long up the glen from Camps Bay and then up Signal Hill all the way round to the car park. My start was late (since I was halfway up the filed 🙂 ) but I still got there early. I met up with John and we cruised down to Vida for some breakfast. After that we headed off and did some more warming up, I did some practice runs to scout the course and plan my route. I did an easy tempo run and took 20 minutes. The last time I rode up here in anger it took me 18 minutes so things were looking good for a better time.
It was an awesome day with not much wind, I felt no pressure to do anything spectacular and I rolled up and down taking in the sights and sounds. On my way down riders were already on there timed runs and I headed down and loaded into the holding area.
3…2…1… go! I was out of the chute but hadn’t clipped my left foot in properly and I slipped out of the pedal, it took a while to clip in and I looked like a stranded chop at the traffic lights but I was soon on my way and my heart was already pounding, I had to tell myself to maintain a rhythm and watch my cadence, I had scouted out some nice little cheats on the road camber and I weaved from side to side for the slickest line up the climb. I neared the turn and I felt like it had been ages since I started, this way kinda halfway and the turn is very steep and you have to stand to pedal. The crowd cheered and I felt like a superstar. but in a race that separates the men from the boys I was definitely still amongst the boys!
The extra effort I put in on the steep crowd section cost me a little later past the car park but I didn’t care. I hit the downhill section and mashed a big gear and recovered a while, for the last bit of incline. The last km was not so steep but it was in the wind and I was tired already. I got out the saddle and sprinted the last 200m and stopped my watch on 15 minutes 40 secs. I was astonished that I had cut two and a half minutes off my last time there and this after the previous three days. Just awesome.
I cruised back down and met my family and supporters, I watched a few big guns race up at mental speeds. My job was done!