“A day that will definitely be stored in the memory bank for a very long time... it wasn’t just the beautiful scenery, the harsh conditions and route which tested both physical and mental strength but rather the power of the human spirit that stood out for me. The ability to come together as individuals and work together as a team to lift one another up and push our boundaries is what makes this such an exceptional race. All I can say is WHAT A TEAM; WHAT A DAY; WHAT AN ‘UNBELIEVABLE’ EXPERIENCE!!!” – Matt Budden
21st November, the Embark crew headed to Swellendam to conquer the 202km team cycle race. We took 4 full teams of 10 riders (normally 12 but with the Covid limitations the teams were reduced to 10 this year). This years tough conditions caused one of our teams to be cut off at the 110km mark. The other 3 teams pushed through the wind and heat that Swellendam beamed down on us. Definitely one of the most memorable race as yet. The PPA Double Century finish line welcomed 29 Embark riders, with 2 teams receiving the extra ,well deserved, Charles Milner Medal.
The positive vibes did not stop after the race as the Embark after party kicked off with a dip in the pool and an ice cold cooly. After the awards AKA ‘fines’ meeting, we ate and danced until we exhausted the batteries in the speakers!
Every year the DC weekend is one to remember. We train and prepare more newbies and 1st timers than experienced riders and this makes it more than important to be a team on the day and help each other to cross the line. Embark finished with a third of the finishing mixed teams!
Here are a few testimony’s from our athletes:
Richard Steward- “ Cycling up the Tradouw pass the team gees was so high, with a few songs being sung and Peter videoing us and interviewing us on his GoPro. That set the tone for the team and carried us through for what was a tough day ahead, but one that was richly rewarded with drinks in the pool afterwards.”
Leigh Charlton- “To quote our good friend Roy Gordon... “in our sport DC is one of the few opportunities we have to do something as a team. So go out there, enjoy yourselves, work for each other, and be nice to one another.” And that’s exactly what we did! Thanks to the Embark Mambas for being the best TEAM possible and for pushing me when I needed it most! Highlights were 202km of beautiful scenery, the tailwind after Robertson, meeting new teammates and the amazing all-round team support (esp helping me up all those climbs)!”
Chandre Du Toit- “DC2020 has been one of the toughest but also most rewarding experiences of my life.The weekend is all about comradeship, forming new friendships and shaking your (very sore) booty afterwards.”
Clara Machado- “My highlight was the scenery and the gees of the team. Knowing we were in it together no matter what! And having an awesome supporter waiting for us in the support zone with everything a tired, hot and hungry cyclist needs to keep going!”