Straight into Namibia
With only two weeks left of TDA2012 riders have left behind the long, straight and flat roads of Botswana and have turned back south, entering the final stretch to Cape Town.
Botswana provided several highlights including the privilege of experiencing elephants from their bicycles – something not many of people have done and an experience that will stay with many riders for years to come; and improving the record for the longest day on tour (207km) – this record now belongs to Raffael Schrof in a time of 5:41 though all the racers worked together to make this happen and Bryce Walsh crossed the finish line shortly after Raffael.
Crossing the border into Namibia the scenery stayed more or less the same until Windhoek but since then the tour has entered into spectacular scenery of wide open spaces, with roads that seem never-ending. Gone are the smooth, paved, straight roads of the Elephant Highway and after just one day of this, the last section of this year’s tour, the Diamond Coast has already proven that this race is not over until it’s over. Riders face more or less 1000km of hard-packed gravel and sand-blasting before they reach Cape Town and if today’s headwind is anything to go by it seems as though they’ll have to work hard to accomplish their final border crossing.
Nonetheless, spirits in camp are high and getting higher with some of the most beautiful scenery having been saved for last and everyone in camp now knowing more about each other than most of them know about their best friends. We’re all one big, happy family.
— Catharina Robbertze