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Myriam Saugy
Photo ©: Eric J.Aldag
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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 ( 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.

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Switzerland, February 13, 2007

Winter motivation

Winter preparation
Photo ©: Myriam Saugy
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Switzerland in winter: for the ones who like to play in the snow that's one of the place to be!

Switzerland winter 2006-07 is still a paradise, but for skiers, not for bikers! Can you believe that on January 10th, I was riding my race bike for over three hours until my feet got cold and numb. The outside temperature was 15°C. This had never happened to me before in January. Usually I fight against the cold and last two hours max unless I am on my cross country skis.

This winter is different and not only because the snow doesn't want to show up. I got a quite serious injury last summer, which kept me away from my bikes for over two months; secondly I am training for the Cape Epic which be held in South Africa at the end of March. Therefore, I not only feel the need to ride, but I have top motivation. I have to ride in order to be ready for that week-long event.

My preparation has been quite good so far. Actually that's not true it has been more than that; it has been excellent. For the first time of my life, I am sticking to a training plan. Not that I never had one before, but that I never had the time to follow it to the letter as we would say in French. Some of you are very organised and able to manage double or triple objectives really well at the same time. I am not that kind; I tend to run in all directions at the same time. However, I am learning with the help of my trainer Virgile Lecoultre and my mental coach Geneviève Ruiz to stay on track and look at one single objective at a time.

It remains really hard for me to set priorities, especially at the moment, since I have university exams to write in two weeks from now. Every morning, I was getting up wondering what I should do- study or train? I came to the conclusion that the two are not opposite, but complementary. When my mind gets tired from studying, off I go training, and when I come back from training, I am all ready for another study session. Until that has worked quite well, but I am afraid that I will have to spend more time on my books in the coming days.

I will let you know how it went later on. In the meantime, if some of you have pieces of advice on how to reconcile studies with high performance on the bike, please let me know.

Myriam Saugy (personal website) (team website)