Race Report    |    March 21

Stage one of the Cape Epic

Wow, what a day! The start saw us hit up a cobbled climb through a winery before a brief flat section and then yet more climbing, and more, and more…then we were in some awesome singletrack before a long steady climb up to Water Point 1. In between sucking up the pain in my legs as I clung to Shaun’s wheel, I was able to take in the scenery below as we wound our way up the valley. It was sensational and riding  in a bunch of guys from all over the world, a new experience for me.

From there it was a hairy tarmac descent and into Water Point 2 for the biggest climb of the day. This was a tough one. Shaun set a solid tempo on the front and I did my best to keep up. This was the hardest point of the race for me and I was begining to wonder what I was getting myself into!

But soon enough we were into some rocky double-track and I felt a little better again. It was a long stage though. At about the 110km mark, over 4 1/2 hours in, we hit a 7km section of rough railway track with sharp rocks and railway sleepers every half-metre. Our bikes bounced around as we grimaced our way through it and hoped it’d be over soon. It wasn’t, it dragged out like nothing else and was damn tough, seeing the smooth road after that hellish section was pure bliss.

So we got through that one and were able to enjoy a short downhill before the finish. What a massive day: 117km and a shade over 5hrs on the bike, bring on day 2!



Comments
  • mark wade says:

    my condelences to the williamson family on the loss of james ,
    i loved reading his blog and seeing the photos of his races

    http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=iol1269329511910B263
    “A top international mountain biker taking part in the Absa Cape Epic Mountain bike race died early on Tuesday.

    Australian James Williamson, the 26-year-old editor of the Australian Enduro mountain bike magazine, died in Ceres Private Hospital at 6.47am after his riding partner, 28-year-old Shaun Lewis, had been unable to rouse him.

    The race, a gruelling 722km event between Wellington through the countryside to Somerset West started on Sunday.”

  • Ismail Bagus says:

    I noticed that there was nothing about the tragic passing of Jame Williamson (article below), so I thought I’d post this.

    My deepest condolances to his family.

    Top mountain biker dies
    March 23 2010 at 09:37AM

    A top international mountain biker taking part in the Absa Cape Epic Mountain bike race died early on Tuesday.

    Australian James Williamson, the 26-year-old editor of the Australian Enduro mountain bike magazine, died in Ceres Private Hospital at 6.47am after his riding partner, 28-year-old Shaun Lewis, had been unable to rouse him.

    The race, a gruelling 722km event between Wellington through the countryside to Somerset West started on Sunday.

    This breaking news flash was supplied exclusively to iol.co.za by the news desk at our sister title, the Cape Argus.

  • Ky Lane says:

    Ride in peace Willo.

  • dpm says:

    You’ll be greatly missed. RIP.

  • Marina says:

    I want to express my sincere condolences to James’s family and friends on reports of his death on 22nd of March.

    I’m a South African living in Cape Town and I always love the Cape Epic’s tales of bravery and adventure. I am deeply saddened by this news.

  • Name says:

    Rest in Peace James

  • Kathryn says:

    Beautiful James… Will always think of you as being on mountain tops.

  • Leon Vorster says:

    My condolences to the family and friends of a wonderful exponent of the sport. From a S African supporter.

    Leon Vorster

    Rus in vrede ou grote!

  • Roelof says:

    RIP James and my condolences to your family, friends and riding partner. The Cape Epic family is mourning the loss of a great rider!

  • James Williamson’s death is a big blow to mountain biking worldwide!! I’ve been mountain biking only for a few years now and have followed the Cape Epic year after year. I have read numerous articles about James and was consistently impressed by his contribution to the sport. He will be sorely missed. My condolences to his family and friends!!! Ashley Francis, Cape Town, South Africa

  • Ramon says:

    Cruel to hear about James’ death. 26 years old and not waking up in the morning. Not what you expect at that age and that lifestyle.

    James, Rest in Peace. Hope God will grant you a bike you’ve always wanted.

  • Pat & Grace says:

    James, we just found out the saddest news this morning… really just can’t believe it.

    When we met you at the Greek restaurant a week before you were heading to the Cape Epic, we thought “Wow, what a great guy… we’ll have to get to catch up with him when he returns and get to know him”.

    We are both in shock right now.

    You made such an impression on us. We were so eager to cultivate a friendship. We are left wanting.

    I can’t imagine what your family, friends and colleagues must be feeling right now, when we (who’ve only known you but a few hours) are feeling this huge sense of loss.

    May your spirit ride on.

  • Tim says:

    RIP Willo.
    We’ll miss you.

    Tim.

  • With my mind a mess it is never easy to comprehend such news or to try and articulate such overwhelming emotion. But, what I would like to say is thank you. Thank you for the days in the sun together, thank you for the laughs, the infectious cycling passion that would radiate from your every word, thank you for your honesty, your trust and for your support when faced with mountains seemingly impossible to climb. Thank you for being there for me on and off the bike, thank you for listening, thank you for inspiring, thank you for understanding. Thank you for being part of my life. It was, and always will be, an honour to call you my friend.

    We’ll ‘keep smackin’ it’ for you Willo. Forever.

    God bless.

  • Timmah says:

    RIP James. You’ll be missed bud….

  • Brad says:

    Dear Family, Our condolences from the cycling fraternity. We are saddened by the loss of James.
    http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/ex-world-champ-james-williamson-dies-at-cape-epic-25478

  • AGT says:

    May he rest in peace

  • John Boucher says:

    RIP James…. You will be sorely missed! :-(

  • Thank-you for the joy you have given so many of us.

  • Gus says:

    James … I knew you only for your articles, your love of mountainbiking and your incredible results.
    I heard the sad news this evening while out on the trails and couldn’t believe it. I had literally just received the latest Enduro in the mail and your most recent articles were fresh in my mind.
    Too soon James, too soon.
    Rest In Peace. No doubt you will be missed.

  • Jon H says:

    Condolences to the family and friends. So sorry to hear the news, with symapthy and well wishes, Jon H.

  • Gerard says:

    Respect from Poland [*]

  • KonradD.G says:

    [*] [*] Rest In Peace

  • Darren says:

    Ride on James.

    You were a champion rider, but an even better person

  • Chris says:

    Rest In Peace James. You will be sorely missed. Chris, UK

  • James says:

    RIP Willow, you’ll be missed.
    My thoughts are with your family and friends.
    j

  • Jim says:

    It was with awful shock to wake up and read of the loss of one of the nicest, most humble and friendly Guys in the MTB industry. A passionate and brilliant rider who set a great example on and off the trails.
    Condolences to Family and Friends.
    Now riding Heaven’s singletrack.
    Vale James

  • You will be sadly missed.
    We had chatted at many events and bicycle shows over the years. You were always happy to chat and say hello.

    My family and I have just returned home from the Mont 24hr and I was both happy and sad to take part in the memorial ride at 12pm to celebrate your life and your contributions to this great sport. Willo you will be missed and not ever forgotten. Not in the Hearne household anyway.

    RIP Jimmie

  • Indi Boer says:

    Dear James,

    What a tragical loss that you left us. At least we know you lived a full life and you did what you loved most, riding bike and writing articles. If is a heaven, you must be there and hopefully there are sweet-sweet single tracks up there to doddying those clouds.
    Your “early departure” left an enormous empty space in the mtb community and in our heart.

  • Tanya says:

    Ride in peace James – you were clearly a free spirit and may this remain with you and all those who loved you.
    Tanya

  • Dave says:

    Ride in peace willo

  • D.Garland says:

    I met you in Canberra a few years ago, you impressed me then and continued to do so. Not just a MTB rider but a great Australian Ambassador. R.I.P Willo, you will be sadly missed.