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John Borstelmann's scorecard

Cape Epic (8-day stage race)

Sunday 17th October, 2021

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 72g

    Carb per hour
  • 960mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 827ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 1,160mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 17.53mg/kg

    Caffeine per bodyweight
  • How John hit those numbers

    500ml x PH 1500 (Tablet)
    500ml x Plain water
    500ml x Black coffee
    250ml x Orange juice
    1 x Slice of toast
    1.5 x Eggs
    1 x Slice of tomato
    0.5 x Cup of yogurt
    0.5 x Cup of granola
    1 x Bran muffin
    1 x Energy gel (25g carb)
    2.25L x PH 1000 (Drink Mix)
    2L x PH 1000 (Tablets)
    1 x PF 30 Gel
    1 x Energy gel with caffeine (24g carb, 72mg caffeine)
    1 x Energy gel with caffeine (22g carb, 40mg caffeine)
    300ml x Cola
    2 x Energy gel (25g carb)
    1 x Energy gel (27g carb)
    2 x Energy bar (21g carb)
    1 x Energy bar (40g carb)

    How John's hydration and fueling went...

      • After a great season of gravel riding including winning the Gravel World Champs in August John decided to switch things up and take part in the massive multi stage mountain bike race Cape Epic
      • The Cape Epic is an 8-day race consisting of a prologue and 7 stages ranging from 70-100km. John raced with his teammate Todd and raced in conditions ranging from 7℃/45°F to 33℃/91°F over the week
      • John kindly tracked what he ate and drank each day (a fair task over 8 days!) so that we could analyse not just his overall numbers but also compare his carb, sodium and fluid intake across the different days
      • He used a similar hydration and fuelling strategy each day using PH 1000, a variety of energy gels and bars and some solid foods, which enabled him to hit very decent numbers


      • On average John drank ~827ml/hr (29oz/hr) of fluid. Considering the very hot temperatures reached in many of the stages, John would have been losing more fluid (higher sweat rate) so drinking a high volume of fluid will have replaced a good amount of his high losses
      • John consumed over 900mg sodium per hour every stage and in relation to the fluid he took on board this meant the relative sodium concentration of his intake was ~1,160mg/L on average. Considering John has a sweat sodium concentration of ~1,310mg/L this will have replaced a good proportion of his losses over the race
      • It is especially important to stay on top of sodium and fluid losses during multistage events to reduce and avoid a large deficit being accumulated over the days that will hinder performance
      • John didn’t suffer any cramping and was happy with his hydration strategy, rating it a 10 out of 10, even on days where it was pushing towards 40℃/104°F. However, he also mentioned he was never pushing his limit because he was having to pace his teammate


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • John prepared for each stage by consuming a solid carb-rich breakfast usually made up of toast, eggs, granola and yogurt. Alongside this he always had an energy gel or banana (~30g carb) in the last 30 minutes before the start, as our Quick Carb Calculator would recommend, to top off his fuel stores
      • John managed impressive carb numbers, hitting ~72g/hr over the whole 34 hours and 19 minutes that he was riding. For each individual stage we would recommend between 60 and 90g of carb per hour so for John to reach this level and sustain it over the 8 days (while experiencing no GI issues) is great to see
      • We have seen in previous races that John aims for 80g/hr and he was able to hit the high 70’s and 80 throughout. His highest carb intake was on day 5 where he consumed ~82g/hr
      • John used a range of products and foods to reach these numbers which is ideal for avoid flavour fatigue over such a long event. He also chose to move towards more solid foods as the week went on and included some sandwiches (and even carrot cake!) on the last day
      • In terms of caffeine, John took on small doses everyday mainly in the form of caffeinated energy gels. On day 4, John consumed 3.08mg per kilogram of bodyweight reaching the recommended dose of between 3-6mg/kg for endurance performance. In future multi-stage events, John may benefit from reaching the recommended caffeine dose on the last few days to keep his perceived energy levels high


      • John enjoyed his first ever mountain bike race. Due to his race partner suffering some health issues and being less fit than him he was held back especially after day 3 but John still was happy with the race saying ‘I was happy to gain a lot of MTB skills and explore an incredibly beautiful region with amazing trails’
      • In future multistage events it will be interesting to see if John can sustain such a high intake while racing 100% each day

    Key info

    John Borstelmann

    Sweat sodium concentration
    Sweat sodium classification
    * determined by a PH Advanced Sweat Test


    Overall Time
    Normalised power (Bike)

    Event information

    Mountain bike
    Cape Epic (8-day stage race)
    Cape Town, South Africa
    17th October, 2021
    Total Distance
    611.0km / 379.7mi
    Total Elevation
    14,900m / 48,885ft

    Race conditions

    Weather Conditions
    Very Hot
    No Rain
    Min Temp
    7°C / 45°F
    Max Temp
    33°C / 91°F
    Avg Temp
    26°C / 79°F

    Athlete feedback

    Hydration rating
    I never felt like I was dehydrated or depleted, even on the day it pushed towards 40℃/104°F
    Energy levels
    Toilet stops
    Once or twice every stage
    GI comfort
    No cramping

    John's Thoughts

     The first three days went very well for us, so I was very satisfied, especially since it was my first MTB race.

    John's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake2,46332,93528,4001,3321,160
    Per hour7296082739

    Data Confidence







    There is an adequate level of accuracy in the data collected and the numbers reported. The athlete manages to recall what they ate and drank including most specifics (brands flavours quantities plausible estimations of volumes). However there are estimations made within the data which affect the overall confidence level in the data reported.

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