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Madolo Fighting His Way Back to Health on Stage 3

16 Mar 2016

Stage 3 was the first moving day of the 2016 Absa Cape Epic as the race village moved from Saronsberg Wine Estate to the CPUT Campus in Wellington. The mammoth 103km journey included 2 150 meters of climbing and took Sipho Madolo and Christoph Sauser 5 hours 35 minutes and 43 seconds to complete.


The result on the stage sees them move up to 63rd in the general classification standings after slipping outside of the top 100 yesterday when Madolo suffered through the stage with a stomach bug.


Madolo’s bullish talk on Tuesday night after a nightmare Stage 2 was backed up by a steadily improving day on the bike today. His legs might still not be where he expected them to be, but he was no longer suffering from the effects of the stomach bug which forced him to the brink of withdrawing the day before. It might not have been a good day on the bike by his own high standards but it was a better day and that augurs well for the cross country style stage around Walvanpas tomorrow.

 A better day in the saddle for SiphoA happier and healthier Sipho Madolo hot on his mentor Christoph Sauser’s wheel. Photo by Ewald Sadie/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS.


The lesson Sauser imparted on Madolo on Stage 2, now that his young protégé was healthy enough to focus on topics beyond survival, was one of technical zone and water point management. Sauser calls the technique CEF. Which stands for Calm, Efficient, Fast. If you’ve witnessed professional mountain bikers coming through a water point or tech zone you’ll know that it’s a recipe for disaster especially when they’re racing in a group. Sauser’s tactics involve knowing what you need, planning the order in which you need to obtain them and then moving in a calm efficient manner to do so. It’s essential in Sauser’s books to be fast but not frantic because that’s when mistakes happen; like not putting a bottle in a bottle cage properly, getting tangled up with an rival, or not repairing a technical problem properly while all the tools and spares to do so are on hand.


The water points and tech zones are points of high stress in the race and a calculated CEF stop at a water point can be the deciding factor on a stage, much like a well-executed Formula 1 pit stop.


On Stage 4 Madolo and Sauser hope to continue their climb up the general classification standings as they take on the 73km route which includes 1 850 meters of climbing. You can follow their progress on Stage 4, by making use of the Cape Epic’s live tracking system, or on Twitter by following @songoinfo and @CapeEpic.

Susi leading the pace line 

Christoph Sauser leading Galo Tamayo and Daniel Estenan Roura Burbano of Specialized Ecu-Templavid along with Sipho Madolo  during Stage 3 of the Absa Cape Epic. Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS. 


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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