Hyslop completes maiden stage race

HARARE - Zimbabwean mountain bike ace Stacey Hyslop held her nerves to finish a commendable eighth place in her maiden stage race with Norwegian counterpart Marianne
Bergli in Brazil over the weekend.
The seven-day ultramarathon that ran from Arraial d’Ajuda, Porto Seguro and Guaratinga from October 21-27 featured over 540 athletes drawn from more than 20 countries.
Overall Hyslop and Bergli finished eighth in UCI women’s team overall out of 16 UCI ladies teams.

“Very happy with the result we achieved especially taking into account that it was my first ultramarathon stage race and one of the toughest in the world,” Hyslop told the Daily News from Brazil.

“This was one of the toughest races I have ever done, especially because it’s over 7 days. On a one day race, you prepare, you get up in the morning, you race and it’s over. This was a complete different story. You race, you have to recover, clean bikes, make sure everything is working and then get ready to race again.

“It is emotionally and mentally draining as well as being physically demanding.”

The Stellenbosch University student who is eyeing a place at the 2020 Olympics scheduled for Tokyo, Japan said she was anxious getting into the seven-day race for the first time.

“Leading up to the race I was extremely nervous, especially coming from a cross country mountain biking back round. My main concern was that I had never raced for seven days and never raced more than 90km so I had no clue how I was going to conquer the challenge,” she added.

“I just had to take it day by day. All I had heard was that the Brazil ride requires great respect of the race and of one’s self to get through. I loved the way this race challenged me and pushed my limits, I have set new limits that I never knew were possible and pushed myself way out of my comfort zone. We did gain some points that will be very valuable towards my cross country racing.

“With regards to keeping the body going for seven days, nutrition, sleep and recovery are the most important components. I was lucky to have Hammer Nutrition South Africa on board to help me take care of my nutrition.

“They have an amazing range of supplements which when combined correctly got me through the seven days feeling strong at the end.”

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