This tour has become an annual event for Neil and I, or maybe a better description is a 4-day escape from our two toddlers! The Panorama Tour is the only road cycle tour where you have to ride in pairs to complete the 4-day race. There are categories for men, women, mixed, masters and grand masters.
Little did I know that Neil’s ambitions for our second tour were a little more competitive than mine. Last year we were renamed the mullet tandem – I was party in the back and Neil was all serious in the front. No such luxury this year!
We started the first day with a gentle 110km ride from the Casterbridge Centre in White River to the Sudwala Caves and back. On the way out, the rolling hills suited our tandem and we managed to sneak away from the front of the bunch to claim the first hotspot of the tour! Thanks to the sponsors, PPS, for the great power packs as our prizes. We suffered for our efforts on the way back and managed to claim second tandem overall.
According to the race organizers, the shorter 80km day two was the “flattest” the Low veld can offer – from White River to Nelspruit and back. We agreed and we managed to take our first orange leader’s jerseys for the race!
Day three started in the rain. It was the queen stage, from White River, to Sabie, over Long Tom Pass and back to White River. The 113km and total ascent of 2055m was not much appreciated on the tandem but there were a few great downhill sections where we clocked over 85km/h! Thankfully we stayed with the tandem in second place and managed to keep our orange jerseys.
The final day was Neil’s favourite, the time trial! I knew I was going to die on the 38km course to Sabie and back to White River. It became even more apparent how true this was when we got to the top of some of the climbs and Neil still made me do 20 more big pedal strokes to get our momentum up! It was worth the effort as we kept our orange jerseys which was a wonderful way to end my favourite race of the year. Thanks to Kent for the extra cycle training in March and April to get me ready to keep up with my speedy husband!