Matthew Brittain (25) and James Thompson (26) won gold medals in the Men's lightweight coxless four event at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Says Thompson: “Bikes have always been a passion for both of us. We’ve always asked whether you can do the Cape Epic on rowing toning, and after the games we sort of got the opportunity through Kevin Vermaak and then obviously through PwC. They gave us this opportunity to come ride it and now we’re just seeing if it’s possible. We’ve managed to but it’s pretty real out there. It’s not easy, I’ll tell you that for sure - we’re used to much shorter training. So to do the long stuff is a lot harder, a very different environment for us but we really enjoyed it.”

Commenting on his health in this race Brittain says: “I got better and better through the day, but still not perfect, still really queasy. Every time I eat something or go hard then there’s a bit of nausea. I think I got a bit of a fever or something. Feeling pretty cold and hot the whole ride, but I’m going to shower and see the doctor and see what they have to say about that.”

Says Brittain, “Everyone knows the Epic is hard but I don’t think people realise how hard. It’s day in, day out hard and we’ve only done two days so far. I think by the end of the week everyone is going to be pretty tired. The terrain is tough and the distances are long, and its relentless, it doesn’t stop. But it’s awesome, we really enjoyed it. I think I can tick it off my bucket list.”

Thompson adds that they are riding for the JAG foundation. “We’re looking to raise funds through their give and gain website that can be used to educate and develop children in need, using the platform of sport. Sport has taught me so much and so I understand the value they can add to these kids’ lives.”

Adventure enthusiasts not participating in the Absa Cape Epic are invited to enter the Liqui Fruit Cape Times Vineyard Races, which consist of the Vineyard Ride and Vineyard Run. The races promise participants breathtaking scenery and spectacular terrain. The Vineyard Run offers a fun run (6km) and a trail run (15km) and the Vineyard Ride offers a 26km and 51km race. Interested riders can register online at www.vineyard-races.co.za. Closing date for entries is 1 March or when entries sell out.

Visit www.cape-epic.com for more details and to see where the riders are online during the race.

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