(編按：3月13日正式展開嘅南非Cape Epic，香港隊Team ANS Baby – R3 – Voice嘅隊長Derek Chung，喺出發前專誠為各位Fitz郁民寫咗一個「作戰攻略」，希望大家喺觀戰嘅同時，都可以了解更多呢項比賽。Derek 原稿為英文，由小編寫成中文撮要。)
Some say this is the hardest part of Cape Epic. The “early bird entries” are normally sold out in under a minute. If you are unsuccessful here you then need to go into the lottery.The lottery is generally oversubscribed with entrants from all around the world. If you don’t get a lottery space, then you can apply for the waiting list, which is how I got my entry this year.
As one of the hardest amateur mountain bike races, it requires a fair amount of training. I would factor on around 9 months of training, though if you ride and race mountain bikes regularly you should be able to get away with only 6 months of training.
Cape Epic is held in March. That means you will be training during winter. Getting up at 4:30am to do a 5 hour ride in the dark, wet and cold is when you find out whether you really want to do the Cape Epic or not.
Basically you want the best you can afford. More than 50% of riders at Cape Epic buy a new bike just for the race. 29” full suspension mountain bikes are the most popular. Components should also be high quality. Chains, tyres and brake pads should be new or almost new just before the event.
A professional bike fit will ensure that you obtain a position that is comfortable and also allows you pedal efficiently. I think of it as “free power”.
A similar approach should be taken with your apparel. Gloves, shorts and shoes are the most important and you should not skimp here. Teams are required to wear the same jersey each day so you should factor in the time design and manufacture your team jersey or order an off the shelf design. You will need at least four sets of kit.
You should factor in a minimum of 8-15 hours of training a week. The support of your family and colleagues in order to meet your training goals is very important.
If you can, then seek the help of a cycling coach, preferably one who has experience with mountain bike stage racing. At a minimum you should train with a heart rate monitor; power meters are also useful if you understand how to use it.
If you are time pressed, then you will be doing a lot of high intensity intervals during the week with a couple of long rides on the weekend.
Technical skills are also important – make sure you are comfortable with sketchy descents and rock gardens. Any experience you can get of gravel and farm roads is also useful.
A key factor of training is making sure that you understand nutrition and hydration. With long days on the bike for over a week, you will need to ensure that your body is getting all the energy it needs. It is not uncommon for stomach problems during these races. Knowing which foods that can cause an upset tummy is vital.
Although I have left this to last, this is the most important part of your Cape Epic preparation. Cape Epic can only be entered as a two person team, so finding the right teammate is important. You need to share the same goal for the event. If you just want to finish but your teammate wants to be finish in the top 100, then its unlikely you will both enjoy the event. Being able to communicate, understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses is also vital. Finally you need to get on as you will be riding together for hours and hours.
To successfully complete the Cape Epic requires a substantial investment of both time and money. However it can be done with proper planning and preparation.
If you have any questions, please leave them as comments below and I’ll try to answer them! Best of luck with getting an entry for the 2017 race!
每星期最少要有8-15小時嘅訓練，所以家人與同事嘅支持相當重要，此外搵個單車教練，亦可以大大改善你嘅技術。訓練嘅時候，最少要有心跳帶（Heart Rate Monitor），如果識用的話，功率計（Power Meter)都會幫到手。另外訓練其中最重要一環，就係了解自己飲食同補水上嘅需要，令比賽時更易適應。