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Going Epic: Myriam Saugy prepares for the Cape Epic
29-year-old Swiss endurance racer Myriam Saugy is training for the Cape Epic mountain bike race to be held in South Africa from March 24 - 31, 2007. She set a goal of participating in the Cape Epic two years ago. In this diary, she documents her training and preparation for the off-road stage race.
Saugy began mountain biking in 2000 and racing in 2002. She now rides for Team Texner BMC (www.team-vtt-texner.ch) and is a member of the Swiss endurance national team. Saugy races as an amateur; she is also pursuing a teaching degree in history and geography.
South Africa, March 25, 2007
Stage one: A fast start
Outside temperature: maybe 35 degrees C. Weather: sunny, not a cloud in the sky. Here we are in Uniondale South Africa after a 101km and 2,660m uphill stage.
Since the last time I wrote you many things have happened. First, we travelled for over 36 hours to get to the race start. Yesterday, one day before race start, we needed to get all organised and it turned out to be so stressful in the end. Indeed my race partner and I being two women had to get a lot of things in our bags and we had to leave quite a few clothes home because the bags that follow us day after day must weight more than 20 kilos each and we might have the record in the category weight of bags.
The problem was also that there was no way for us to get these bags down to the race start where they were collected to be transported the race finish of the day. It was only with the very nice help of some people who stayed in the same hotel as us that we managed to do that. Anyways, I can tell you that we were actually very happy that the race has actually started because it's better to be on the bike than having to get everything organised.
I realise that I haven't introduce you to my race partner. Her name is Fabienne Heinzmann. Fabienne is 31 and among the best marathon racers in Switzerland. She finished ninth no later than last Saturday at the first marathon World Cup. We haven't trained a lot together this last winter as our schedules didn't match but we have done quite a few training camps together with the national team and I knew that the two of us could form a very nice team and this first stage just proved it. We have a really good spirit and have shouted quite a few times as we are just happy to be here.
So how was the race for us today? Our legs quite suffered from all the travelling I must say. We finished third in the women's category and we are quite happy with this result but we hope that things will get better with the days. The first women were quite ahead from us and we haven't seen them. We know that they are two super South African road racers. That said, we really enjoyed the day and had a lot of fun especially in the bumpy downhills flying through with our full suspension bikes.
As we are in the middle of nowhere I need to leave you for today the connection is really not good and I hope that you will be able to read this today still. Tomorrow I will share a little bit more of our daily life within the Cape Epic camp.
Wish us good luck for tomorrow: 130 km 2,200m of uphill.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Sven Martin / Dirt Agency