The Legendary Blue Nile Gorge
The Blue Nile Gorgeâ€”a bone rattling decent of 1700m followed by a leg throbbing 1700m climb. This stage has it all: tight switchbacks, brutal climbing, loose gravel, dust, unfinished tarmac, potholes, quick children, and zipping traffic.
In keeping with TDAâ€™s grueling nature, the Blue Nile Gorge is a time trial. The stopwatch begins at the bottom of the gorge and continues through the 22km climb to camp. Despite his recent sickness, Jos Kaal took first place with a time of 1:36. Bernd took second place, trailing by only two minutes. Deb Corbiel won the womanâ€™s racing class with a time of 2:45. In the adventure class, Natalia pedaled in at 2:32 for the women. For the men, Josh Martyn won with a time of two hours even.
As riders catch sight of the finish flag and roll into camp, there is a visible sigh of relief. Collapsing in the shade, they sip Cokes and soup before lying down, knees pointing to the sky. After gathering enough energy, they congratulate each other and hark back to the particularly harrowing parts of the climb.
Tonightâ€™s camp will be quiet.