TransCape 2016 Day 4 – The Day of Milk and Honey …. and horse-flies

There was this fairy-tale that today was going to be an easy day, but you know how rumours go. Down the tube, that’s how.

You can believe the MTB Fairies as much as you want when your legs are blunt and your muscles screaming with fatigue … They whisper those two magic words in you ear before you got to bed: ‘Rest Day’. And you want to believe.

And you do, because this is flippen #Day4 dawning, and your body feels the hammering from the 360kays you’ve tonked up so far, and you ignore the fact that 107km and nearly 2000m of altitude gain is never going to come easy.

Don’t worry, because there are three major ascents that will soon give you a reality-check flat-hand upside the face. Add to this a steep and gritty track – littered with the occasional dozen or so death cookies – and the day soon goes from rosy to red-lining.

The new route section from GVB is a stunning piece of single-track, but it needs to still tamp down, and it is hard graft indeed when you already have 3hrs (and 3 days!) of no-holds-barred pain-gain in your quads.

And the horse flies are like wicked, winged Terminator mini-beasts, swooping in from all directions to get their pint of blood. They penetrate a layer or two of clothing with impunity – even at full-tilt descending when you cannot dare swat at them – and when you do, you have to hold them down and crush their heads with a rock to kill them. I still loved the ride, but that’s easy to say when you’re fresh onto the bike.

Billy Stelling grabbed another solo stage win, building further on his buffer over Women’s Solo Category leader Esther Suss. For more info on this amazing race, check

Click here to view the pics