It was described by the organizers as the toughest Argus ever (in 32 years of the race's history), as it was held in the midst of gale force winds. 50km to 70 km an hour winds meant that the riders had to stand and pedal downhill. No rest for the weary.
My father said that many riders gave up on the first stretch out of town when the wind hit full in the face. He availed himself of one of the 300 physical therapists stationed around the course, when his legs cramped. He said that when she was on his second leg her mother called her on her cell so she massaged him with one hand and talked to her mom with the other. Only in Africa.
The professionals who led the race said it was the hardest race they had ridden.
Announcements at the start warned each group of 600 starting out to watch out as they rode underneath the Civic Centre, a notorious wind tunnel. Every starting group had at least one cyclist blown off their bike at this pointMy dad started cycling for exercise when he was told that hiking and running were no longer an option because of his bad knees, and that he would be a candidate for knee replacements. He still has his knees.
When I called Cape Town to check whether he was still alive my mom said he was out. Doing what, I asked. Walking the dogs, she said.
Couldn't Matt Damon have done that for him?