Emotional end for finishers
It was an emotional day for the 2011 Absa Cape Epic participants who crossed the final finish line at the prestigious Lourensford Wine Estate. Just under 90% of those who started their journey last Sunday (27 March 2011) enjoyed the ultimate reward of receiving the highly sought after finisher t-shirt.
Jonathan Vogel from South Africa (team 110%) says that he didn’t know what to feel. “I want to cry, I want to smile, I want to jump and I want a beer. And I want to hug my partner.”
Australian Toni van Heerden of team Where’s Marley? says the Absa Cape Epic was amazing and really tough. “What a cool experience, it was so nice to be here. In terms of the route, all the descents were highlights.”
Masixole Matini from South Africa, riding as team VisionK, ended his Cape Epic journey with the words: “I’m so tired, it was hard. The single track and downhill was cool. I'll do the event again, I like it!”
Brazilian Vinicius Silva of team GibaVini took part in his first Absa Cape Epic this year. “I feel so proud of myself. I can’t believe I did it!” His riding partner Brazilian Gilberto added: “I'm exhausted, but very happy that I finished. It was beyond hard and much more than I expected. I’m a very strong man now!”
South African Lood Rabie of team Lyngrove says he is very grateful and the entire experience was wonderful. “At the moment, the adrenaline is still pumping, but I think once that’s gone I’ll be able to rest. I can’t explain my gratitude for making it to the end.” His team mate Chris Rabie added: “It was my fifth Absa Cape Epic. I had a great partner and he helped me all the way, which is what the event is all about – teamwork.”
Aswin Endeman of the Netherlands (team BASF – Horticoop – Abyssinian Lions) says that it was great to finish, but “I’ll never do it again. This was my first and my last. It’s too tough.”
Blind cyclist and motivational speaker Hein Wager stated that he was speechless and that in a weird way it was the best eight days of his life. His partner Gerrie Olivier says he can’t stop thanking everyone involved. “We got lots of help from spectators. Everyone was willing to help and support us. I have never been so tired in my life, but I’ve never been happier in my life either. It feels absolutely fantastic! It is probably the biggest achievement in my life. ”
Ashley Cook (also from South Africa) of team Grumpy says that she feels every bit of pain that someone should feel after completing 707km over 8 days. “And next week, I’m taking part in the Ironman!”
Carmen Muller of team Petal Powah says it was “bearable and I’m very happy and tired”, while Clinton Halsey from team WTF says “I’m broken and elated. I’m very happy”. Hugh Shakeshaft of team Lambs Tail says he was very relieved that it’s over as he was feeling ill.
Francois Swart (from RSA) of team Ecotech Converge Bigtree was also very emotional at the end. “I’m so tired and happy to see my family again. I’m very emotional right now, it was a tough ride.”
Andre Ross of team Absa Capital CYCO had the final word: “It's been awesome. I only started training six months ago. I weighed 130kg and nobody thought I could do it. But I had an awesome partner and I believed in myself. And, I believed in God. And we got through it! It was transformational for me.”