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Homerun on Madolo’s Home Trails

19 Mar 2016

Sipho Madolo and Christoph Sauser had their best day of the 2016 Absa Cape Epic, and one of Madolo’s best days on a bike ever, as they blazed through their home trails to race to an astounding 16th place on Stage 6 around Stellenbosch on Saturday. The Investec songo Specialized pair managed a time of 3 hours 29 minutes and 4 seconds for the 74km stage, finishing just 13 minutes and 3 seconds off the stage winners Dolomiti Superbike.

 Scorched earth but not spiritsThe recently scorched slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain played host to Stage 6 of the 2016 Absa Cape Epic. Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS.

The stellar stage result sees them move up to 40th in the general classification standings. The result has also lifted Madolo’s spirits, as he raced to his limit under Sauser’s watchful eye today, and will provide him with positive memories from the riding side of the 2016 Epic.

 Going into the 2016 race Madolo knew that it would be a learning and growing experience; though he envisioned learning race craft from his mentor, and the Cape Epic’s most successful rider, Sauser. Sadly a stomach bug, which tends to flare-up at the Epic, laid Madolo’s racing aspirations low – but learn and grow he certainly did. Madolo was born in the small town of Willowvale, near Butterworth in the Eastern Cape and moved to Kayamandi in 2008. Like most of his peers in Kayamandi mountain biking was out of Madolo and his family’s financial reach. But through the songo.info programme not only has Madolo been exposed to mountain biking but he’s grasped the opportunity with both hands. Showing grit and determination, which he so valiantly displayed once again this week in fighting through illness, Madolo rode his way from a youngster in the songo.info programme to its most talented rider, onwards to representing South Africa at the 2014 Marathon World Championships and is now on the verge of completing his 5th Absa Cape Epic.

Thumbs up!Christoph Sauser indicating that today was the perfect day on the bike for the Investec songo Specialized team. Photo by Gary PerkinCape EpicSPORTZPICS.

 He is truly a remarkable young man and his impact on his peers in Kayamandi and the songo.info programme is clear to see. Every day of the 2016 Absa Cape Epic they have gathered at spectator points and at the stage finish to welcome their hero home. There is no doubt that Madolo’s example will inspire future mountain biking stars to emerge from the Kayamandi community, but more importantly he is inspiring his peers – the majority of whom will never be professional sports men or women – to follow their dreams and to dedicate themselves to actively pursuing them. In an upwardly mobile community Madolo is one of a new wave of role models; proving by his rise through adversity, leading up to the 2016 Absa Cape Epic and during his ride through adversity in the race, that the future for the youth of Kayamandi can be very bright indeed.

 Crossing the finish lineSipho Madolo and Christoph Sauser crossing the finish line at Boschendal Wine Estate in an impressive 16th position. Photo by Darryn Stow. 

 

You can follow Madolo and Sauser’s progress as they race toward the grand finale at Meerendal Wine Estate on Sunday by making use of the Cape Epic’s live tracking system, or on Twitter by following @songoinfo and @CapeEpic. The final stage of the Absa Cape Epic will also be broadcast live on SuperSport from 09:45 on SuperSport 6.

 

 

About Investec songo Specialized

Sipho Madolo and Christoph Sauser are riding the Absa Cape Epic as Investec songo Specialized. To find out more about the songo.info programme and the work they do uplifting the township youth of Kayamandi in Stellenbosch, though cycling and education, visit www.songo.info. For more information on Investec Asset Management and their corporate social responsibility programmes visit www.investecassetmanagement.com.

 

Madolo and Sauser’s custom Specialized S-Works Epic mountain bikes went on auction on Monday the 14th of March 2016, on www.songo.info. The bidding will be open until after the Epic concludes. All funds raised from their sale will be used to support the songo.info programme in Kayamandi. To find out more about the bikes click here.

 

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