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The Epic week has come and gone and life has settled back to what some would call "normal". Post-Epic blues are apparently a real thing; many the Epic finisher has been diagnosed after reporting symptoms such as waking up at 5am with the sound of bagpipes ringing in their ears, watermelon cravings mid-way through the day as well as levels of anxiety mounting at around 4pm at the thought of shower queues and approaching massage appointments...
For David and Tsepo, the 2015 Cape Epic was everything they had hoped for and more! Their hard-work and months of training payed off. Finishing the Epic is, in itself, an incredible achievement, but doing it with big smiles on their faces is something to truly be proud of.
It was not all sunshine and roses, however. Some of the highlights of the week included Tsepo, in his usual calm and unemotional voice, chirping at the finish line of stage 2 that "Today, Chef was like he is in the kitchen..." For anyone who has worked in David's kitchen, observed David in a kitchen or been within a close proximity of David in a kitchen would understand that Stage 2 was a day filled with elevated levels of instructions, some unsavoury language and what some may consider "heat in the kitchen." But, as always Tsepo took David's "cheffing" in his stride and conquered the Stage.
On another particularly long day, lightweight Tsepo (weighing in at a mere 60kg) flew up a particularly tough climb ahead of his more senior partner. Tsepo, patiently waiting for David at the bottom of the descent after the tough climb, failed to notice David pedalling past him. (It remains a mystery how this was at all possible; the orange shorts and lumo attire was not missed by anyone else!) David missed Tsepo too and the pair spent the next hour "chasing" each other. After an hour without teammate in sight, the pair were finally reunited at a waterpoint thanks to fellow riders passing messages about the Team's whereabouts. Needless to say, Team Food Cycle was penalised with an hour added to their time and a drop in their seeding for the following day's start. That's the Epic for you, challenges around every corner.
Speaking of challenges, possibly the greatest obstacle for both David and Tsepo during the Epic week was each day's after-ride rub-down. The facial expressions and squeeming by our boys could well be likened to those of someone acting as guinea-pig to new torture methods.... Both David and Tsepo served as entertainment to the Team Meerendal camp each evening as they braved the half hour excruciating discomfort and adopted the nick-names "cupcake" with grace.
The loosening of muscles was, however, completely necessary and assisted our boys in the secret contest between them and Absa's Gugu Zulu and his partner Lawrence who, like Tsepo, is also a graduate from the Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy. Each day saw the two teams bantering about seeding positions and who had crossed the finish line first. In the end, the four crossed the final line together at Meerendal, and what a wonderful finish to a week that truly embedded the boys of Diepsloot as part of the Epic furniture going forward in the years to come.
Being part of the Team Meerendal camp was truly such a treat for our team. Great friendships were made and the comfort of the luxury trailers were appreciated every single night. Our greatest thanks to each and every member of the team as well as the guys working behind the scenes to ensure that the entire team was looked after throughout the week.
As the week went on, the pair proved to be a truly exceptional match. On David's tough days, Tsepo kept him going and on Tsepo's, David kept the spirits high. A partnership of team-work and "give-and-take" can not be overemphasised in an event such as the Epic. With the awareness raised for the Food Cycle initiative during this year's Epic we are very excited for the year's of participation in this incredibe event that are sure to come. As Food Cycle grows from strength to strength we remember why we do what we do and hope to see many more representatives of this great cause at the Absa Cape Epic's to come.
To David and Tsepo- Congratulations! We can't begin to describe the extent of inspiration you are to so many. Your tenacity and determination to finish the ride, and finish it well, resulted in Food Cycle's goals gaining more exposure. Thank you for your hard work and the passion with which you wear Food Cycle's name.