The Tour of Good Hope is a 5 day cycle stage race. It starts in Stellenbosch and cyclists complete a total of 522kms, with a 6168m ascent over the 5 days.
Our MTD athlete, Neil Timm, finished 2nd overall and we are all very proud of his accomplishment! Well done Neil!
We also had a few other crazy athletes take part, one of them being Paula Armstrong (yes, the irony of her surname has not been missed, and will come up a few times in our story). This 'race report' has been written through Whatsapp messages, sent from Paula to various groups and people, to account for each day.
The Tour of Good Hope, through Whatsapp eyes of Paula Armstrong:
'The are Pinarellos EVERYWHERE! My Argon does not look as impressive anymore'
'I am going to bleed money this week'
'i have totally made back my race fee just from the race pack-I got new Rudy Sunglasses!..and a hoodie, and tyres, and high 5, and and and'
'this is going to be the raddest race'
'there are only 64 women out of 2000 riders - WHAT am i doing here?'
'this ratio is, however, in my favour' (Calling all the single ladies! Who needs Tinder?! Apparently cycles races is the place to be)
'i have 5 cable ties - anyone know what to do with them?'
'i also have a massive number plate - i shall wear it like a shark fin and the Roadies will hail me as their Queen'
Race Day 1:
'1 hour 45 mins early for the start, but i did manage to get all 5 cable ties sorted. My bike looks like a Christmas Cracker'
'first incline, legs were in agony, convinced i was starting with flu, fought through the first km. my power was 250 Watts - DOWNHILL'.....'had a check...brake was on....what a champ'
'I am so bad at life. Maybe i am actually an epic good cyclist, but I have no talent at doing life, i can't actually function well enough to be as good as I actually am'
'I have 4 university degrees...a PHD included...but at life, i am the blond stereotype'
Race Day 2:
38km Time Trial. (She finished 9th out of 34 ladies in her Age Group - maybe she is right, she can cycle but....)
Sean Hidden asked if she was selected to have a wee test...response 'the Armstrong name was not missed by anyone!'
'i managed to cable tie the spoke of my front wheel to the fork'.....'race official saw this...she just shook her head and had a 'Ja/Nee' to give me. I gave a - i don't do this often - right back at her' (our question is whether she is referring to cycling or cable tying stuff)
'so i can't walk...minor problem for the next 3 days?'
'lesson of the day: a 37km TT is not the same as a 20min TT. Adjust speed accordingly'
Race Day 3:
'coach: Do I have a little run off the bike or can I give that a skip today'
'I am having a ball'..........'I am not at all ready for what is going to happen to me today'
'i am the argus cyclist amongst these 2000 riders'
'so i dropped my bike on the ground next to my car. The conversation with the group next to me just stopped dead'.....'4 degrees. 0 life skills'
'so nervous'........'this is such an awesome event!'
'my cleats are sticking. I may never be able to get off my bike again'
'140km ending on the top of the pass. 30km cycle to get back home. i can't explain right now how dead i am'
'ok. I've eaten. That was Rad!'
'my surname came out at around 70km today. i got abuse until 110kms - rad'
'fail of the day - i missed my start. there was no one in the chute'
Race Day 4:
'I cannot believe I have to cycle again today'....'I have managed to get to my start on time though. Improvements'
It was the asked why and how did she miss her start the day before:
'I was Whatsapping my people - you guys!'.....'i am writing an article about this week' (Sorry Armstrong - beat you to it - We win')
'I have a very significant race number. 701 is the race number for the first ever SA Pro to register as an international pro cyclists'
'with a surname like armstrong..there are expectations. i hope no one finds out my surname today.'
'the individual that held up registration has a cast on his arm. high 5 karma. I'm going to high 5 that guy in the face'
'I am definitely an endurance athlete. i'm getting stronger as the days pass'
'I am even hitting average speed requirements which i usually disregard because i think they, and you, are unrealistic and absurd' (that was to her coach...Claire)
Race Day 5:
'I'm so relieved this is over today'....'This was so rad'
'i tried to stay with the lead bunch..I lasted 20kms...it finished me'
Price: 'its like you forget you are only a pretend Armstrong'
'Today i got asked if i was a track cyclist - is that because of my quads? I then slowed down to let him pass and clear that idea out of his head'
Godfrey: 'Was he at least hot?'
'no. i would have sprinted with him if he was'
This hilarious athlete then finished off her week with an extra day of 110kms doing the Argus..All we have to ask her is...Do you need to borrow some Bum Cream?