Nikki Harris on life before the Cape Argus race

By Nikki Harris | Saturday, March 7, 2009 9.00am

Nikki Harris was a late arrival to the HotChillee Challenge Team, and has great experience racing for Great Britain. She now races full time over in Belgium and is one of the leading British female cyclists on the international circuit.

Hi, I’m Nikki Harris and I’m part of the HotChilliee team out here in lovely Cape Town

I turned up at Heathrow airport on Monday afternoon to meet three of the others in the team - Alice, Tanja and Liz.  The flight literally flew by and after a few films and a sleep later, I was in South Africa!  

Emma met us at the airport and within about 20 minutes we were at our hotel in the centre of Cape Town

On the way the scenery was great.  It is such a beautiful place and I couldn’t wait to get my shorts and jersey on and go for a spin with the rest of the team along the coast. The team met at 2pm for a quick catch up and to be given our kit, it looks really good on, and it’s very noticeable on the bike! 

We got changed, had a few photos and rode down along down the beach for a coffee.

The weather was very warm with clear blue skies, and I heard it’s going to get even warmer over the next few days. This is certainly different from the cold in Belgium I’ve been experiencing all winter. As we rode along the coast and entered Camp’s Bay we looked out to the sea and I spotted a whale. It was an amazing sight, which was totally unexpected, a real treat on the first day, and I am hoping to see much more wildlife. 

I am currently sat with Emma and Alice eating a lovely salad in the sun. This morning we’ve been out for a few hours on the bike, we had an early start leaving at 6.30am, we had a sit by the beach afterwards with a late breakfast, it really can’t get any better than that!  

The ride we did went up Chapman’s Peak, as we rode up we could feel the wind getting stronger, by the time we got to the top it was really bad and we were being blown over everywhere. 

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We had photos at the top and had to hold on to each other just to stop us from being taken down. It was an amazing view at the top but we didn’t really want to stay up there for so long, the sea looks very tempting but I didn’t fancy being blown into it from that far up! 

Really looking forward to the race on Sunday, everyone is very motivated and the atmosphere within the whole team is great.

Watch our interview with Nikki Harris:

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