Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rebecca Rusch in South Africa for the Cape Epic 9-Day mtb race.

Rebecca in red, on the left in South Africa for the Cape Epic 9-Day MTB Stage Competition Inbox X

(Hello Friends & Fans of Rebecca,
The following is a note from Reba recapping what she has been up to over the winter and also offering a pre-race write-up on the major MTB competition she is set to begin this weekend in South Africa. Enjoy the read and the pictures (at the end of this email).

Hello out there. It has been a long while since I’ve written, and a ton of experiences have presented themselves this winter. I’ve posted some new blogs on my web site with stories about my photo shoot with 5 World Champions and the Tour of California. There is also a posting about my surprise status as a world champion in another sport! To read more about these, click on .

Just to get you up to speed...10 days ago, I left the snow in Ketchum and 35 hours later
landed in Capetown, South Africa. I’ve had a week and a half of amazing days mountain bike training and tire testing with the Specialized team. We have three current World Champ athletes here, plus team mechanics, tire designers, our team manager/comic relief and soigneur. There are 6 different accents and cultures represented in our group of 8 people. You can also read about the tire testing experience and check out pictures on the blog page.

However, our relaxing schedule and comfy bed and breakfast lifestyle is about to be turned upside down. In a couple of days we embark on a 9-day mountain bike stage race across the western cape of South Africa. The race is called the Cape Epic and is 966 km of riding with 18,500 meters of elevation gain. For you Americans, that’s around 600 miles and 60,000 ft. Each day starts and finishes in totally different places, and the race support crew will move along ahead of the riders. It is a two person team format, and I am racing with former 24-Hour World Champion, Cristina Begy. Cristina’s done this race twice along with a host of other multi-day bike races. She and I have never raced together or against each other before, but I know her race resume well. We were connected by a mutual friend and so far it seems to be a great match up. She has more cycling experience than I do, but we get along wonderfully. After just a couple days of hanging out, I already have a good feeling about our partnership.

This race is just four years old, but has quickly become the premiere stage race for elite level cyclists. The team entries fill up the 600 team limit in just days. Many of the pro cyclists have been using this race as a great early season training vehicle. The roster is full of Olympians, World Champions, National Champions from various countries and legends in the sport. There are 1200 riders registered and the top end of the field will be extremely competitive. In addition to the fast pace, the heat and the technical terrain, rumors of hippo and other wild animal spottings are also common in past race reports.

We will try to get out some update during the competition, but you can also follow the race on the official website . This site also has a link to where you can watch video coverage of the race each day.

If I have time, energy and internet access after each stage, I will be posting some daily reports and photos on VeloNews at

Enjoy the show and send me thoughts of tall glasses of iced tea!

No comments: