The ‘DC’ is a 202km team time trial that starts in Swellendam and rides the most glorious 202km before returning to Swellies. Teams can have a max of 12 riders (minimum 6 to start), and if you finish with all 12 riders you get the coveted Charles Milner medal for comradery, and this is our objective.
Training with Embark doesn't always feel like training because so much fun (and coffee) is had along the way. We were split into two teams for DC and we got to know our teammates quite well in the few months leading up to race day - all of this makes for a fun all-day race day and weekend away!
The weather Gods behaved this year (this wasn't the case last year as the race was cancelled due to excessive rainfall). Saturday's weather was epic for a long day out on the bike. The course is a good mixture of long easy flats and tough climbs. Luckily the biggest climbs are at the beginning of the race when the legs are relatively fresh. The climbs at the end of the race are very much a mental game and a team effort. The Double Century is a well-organised race. The food stations were very well stocked, the toilets clean and the marshals were very helpful. It also helps that the goodie bags were great! As a team, we had decided that we would simply go out and enjoy the race as a team which is exactly what we did. It was a great day out!
Crossing that finish line with our entire team was a great moment for the team. Our only aim in the second half of the race was to beat the other Embark team (we're competitive at heart so this was inevitable) which we managed to do - oh victory is sweet! The real party begins after both medals are placed over your head and you've rolled down to the showground fields for some drinks and food with all the other finishers. Everyone has a smile on their face (along with some sweat) and is ready to enjoy the second part of the race; the afterparty/braai! Suddenly we had energy again at about 6 pm when the festivities began! Thanks to Foodlovers braai packs we had dinner sorted so the only thing we had to think about was what fines we wanted to dish out to our teammates!
The DC is a highlight on the race calendar for Embark, so if you are interested in being part of a team in 2023, get in touch with us, get training with us, and clear pace in your medal cabinet for the double medal!