Day 111, stage 85, 153km
Start, Caltex Camp, Betta
Finish, Konkiep Lapa Camp
Today was longer than yesterday and yesterday was a bitch. Today was also a bitch. But I took better care of myself. More fluids. I stopped at 30km and had an ORS sachet. There was a Tour vehicle at 56km. I stopped, filled my bottles and had another ORS sachet. Lunch was at 79km. I had a long stop, ate and drank as much as I could and had another ORS sachet. The road was bad. The wind was bad. The distance was long – just under a century. I didn’t set any speed records but I moved at a better pace than the day before and felt better at the end.
Not much else happened today. We cycled. We ate. We went to bed. It was survival mode. We were hunkered down. I was probably the toughest week psychologically on Tour in four months. We knew we were near the end. As of today there were only 10 days left to the finish in Cape Town. And it seemed lie they were trying to break us with long, tough off road days. There would be no gentle cruise to the finish line. When we set out this morning I almost felt like a soldier being asked to climb out of the trenches into no man’s land. Would I get back in one piece? It was tough. We wanted to finish and to finish well. But they kept throwing bigger and bigger obstacles in our way. It was brutal.