Cycling

Rowing champs on song in Epic

2013-03-19 21:28
Matthew Brittain and James Thompson (Photo supplied)
  Video

Buck hits Epic biker

2013-03-18 14:32

Watch Robert Mennen taken out by a duiker in the 2013 Cape Epic.

Cape Town - Olympic rowing champions Matthew Brittain and James Thompson of team PwC Rowers Ride for JAG have successfully completed stage two of their first Absa Cape Epic mountain bike race in a time of 5:47.21, 6.

With an overall time of 6:53.19, 7, Brittain and Thompson are placed 42nd in the men’s category and 54th overall at the end of stage two.

Brittain (25) and Thompson (26) won gold medals in the men's lightweight coxless four event at the 2012 London Olympics.

“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," said Thompson.

"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 said: “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.

“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 added 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.” 

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