March 2017

The sun wasn’t going to go down on Epic 2017 that easily. At 85km, the final stage from Oak Valley in Elgin to the luxurious manicured lawns of Val de Vie in Paarl might have looked like a trot. But there was 1 350m of climbing, including the grunt over that winding Franschhoek Pass. And yes, the sun was out again making conditions hot, dry and thirst-inducing.

Four days into the Cape Epic, and it was time for some Porra Power. Jacques Wentzel and Braam Gericke, the two winemaker-riders from Black Elephant Vintners and Wildekrans Estate respectively, finished Stage Three to the scent of baked duck and white wine from the volcanic islands of the Azores.

It’s after Stage Two, and Braam Gericke says he’s looking like I lizard. “One of those koggelmanders stretched out in a swimming pool, beer in hand,” he says. Tired, a bit of pain in the muscles, but all fine and happy to be into the business stage of this year’s Cape Epic. It is the second Epic Braam is riding in partnership with Jacques Wentzel.