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Madolo Conquers the Queen Stage

18 Mar 2016

The Queen Stage of the 2016 Absa Cape Epic challenged the Investec songo Specialized pairing of Sipho Madolo and Christoph Sauser along with their rivals in the world’s toughest stage race to an arduous 93km journey, including a mammoth 2 500 meters of climbing, today. It took Madolo and Sauser just 4 hours 42 minutes and 35 seconds to complete the stage, a time which secured them 29th position on the day.


After two stages with finishes in the twenties Madolo is back where we felt he should be leading into the race. Though he targeted a top twenty general classification placing heading into the Epic he knew that a top thirty would be a more realistic goal. He’s unlikely to reach that goal though, as the top fifty of the 2016 Absa Cape Epic is exceptionally competitive and despite finishing well up the field on Stage 5 the Investec songo Specialized team only moved up four general classification places to 49th overall.

 Sipho setting the pace on a tough day for himA throwback to earlier in the week, on Stage 3, when Sipho Madolo was feeling less than well but he pulled through. Photo by Mark Sampson/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS.

Completing the Queen Stage is a major psychological step towards completing the Epic. Though there are still two difficult stages remaining, the back of the beast has now been broken and Madolo can now start to dream of putting his feet up in Meerendal on Sunday. Sauser won’t be letting his protégé’s attention drift from the task at hand though. The trails of Stellenbosch have suffered under the heat of the recent Simonsberg fire and despite the great efforts which have been made to ensure that the trails are in great condition for the Epic the lack of surrounding vegetation means the riders are in for another dusty and dangerous two days.

 Moody, dramatic scenesThe Absa Cape Epic at its moody best on Stage 5 between Wellengton and Boschendal. Photo by Ewald Sadie/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS.


Ahead of Madolo and Sauser the race leaders will be looking to ride conservatively while the contenders roll their dice for the final time. How Sauser will council Madolo to approach the final two stages remains to be seen. Will he and Madolo look to attack and gain a few more places and provide their fans with reason to cheer on the trails of Stellenbosch or will he take a more cautious approach? Though officially retired Sauser is too wilily a campaigner to give his game plan away, so fans of Madolo and Sauser are advised to come out and line the trails on Saturday and Sunday as the 2016 Absa Cape Epic wraps up.  


On Stage 6 Madolo and Sauser will be riding their home trails around Stellenbosch. Though there are a few new surprises in store on the Simonsberg Conservancy trails the majority of the singletracks will be familiar to the Investec songo Specialized team and they’ll look to use that to their advantage. The punchy 74km route does include a significant 2 100 meters of climbing though so it’ll be anything but easy.


You can follow Madolo and Sauser’s progress on Stage 6, by making use of the Cape Epic’s live tracking system, or on Twitter by following @songoinfo and @CapeEpic. The Absa Cape Epic will also be live streaming from the route on Stage 6 and you can watch the action unfold live on from 09:00.



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 programme and the work they do uplifting the township youth of Kayamandi in Stellenbosch, though cycling and education, visit For more information on Investec Asset Management and their corporate social responsibility programmes visit


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


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