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Windhoek Rest Day – Every Race Has It’s Kansas

Elephants

Elephants!

The mention of Kansas gives me a slightly sick feeling to this day. When I raced RAAM in 2006, Kansas was mentally the most difficult stretch. Unchanging terrain, seemingly a Hanna Barbara cartoon where the background just repeats behind the characters as they run across screen. It also had a 30+ mph cross wind that forced me to lean into the wind at precarious angle hoping at all times that I not become a kite. Top it off with thunderstorms and threatening tornadoes and I hope you’ll understand my prejudice.

Botswana is the Tour d’Afrique’s Kansas. Incredibly flat and long days in the saddle, however it keeps it interesting for the riders with a great number of charismatic mega fauna (thanks Dan).

The race consisted of group riding with a sprint at the end most days. On the longest day of the tour, all the racers worked together to try and better the course record for that day. I was lucky enough to pull into the finish but losing the sprint with Raffa in 5:41 for 207.8 KM to set a new best time. I think it is an unusual tour where all the riders work together as a team on a stage, but it was fun and a great break from what had become routine days on the bike.

Off the bike was different story, wildlife sightings and trips upped the headcount of interesting animals I’ve seen in the wild.

The section was completed by riding into Windhoek, Namibia and being greeted by “Team Alaric”, local rider Alaric Baritz’s family and friends. They than treated all the TDAers to a Braai (BBQ) that evening. Amazing hospitality to take on such a large group of ravenous cyclists.

Maybe Kansas isnt so bad after all.

Hippos

Hippos!

Ride in with Team Alaric In the Paper

Ride in with Team Alaric In the Paper

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