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Stage 1 of the 2012 Absa Cape Epic

26 Mar 2012

The low lying mist held the promise of a cool day of riding but, as with any start of the Absa Cape Epic, the cool mist soon lifted and blistering heat ensued as riders tackled the grueling course and brutal temperatures. It was an exciting day of racing watching all the action unfold from checkpoint to checkpoint and receiving race updates from around the course.

The word was that the start was just mean; straight up followed by straight down again. The climbs were steep and tough going on cold legs. As the race endured there were bike issues and punctures throughout the field. We were grateful that our team made it through smoothly.  At CheckPoint 2 we heard Susi calling to wait for Kevin Evans but sadly they were just faced with a day fraught with technical problems. At CheckPoint 3 we saw Susi and Burry with a clear lead, we couldn't have been more excited! But as Christoph later said "we didn't have to attack today, it was the course that attacked us".

It was fantastic to see the team dynamics between Max Knox and Yamamoto Kohei supporting Christoph and Burry and holding their positions and finishing 12th.

Sipho Madolo and Azukile Simayile dominated the Exxaro field once again and finished in 6.16, in 82 position in the mens category.

Thando Klass and Sivuyile Kepelele were not far behind finishing in 6.57 and 136 position in the mens category.

We are extremely proud of all their achievements.

Nic Lamond and Carl Pasio encountered technical issues just 8km into the race with Carl damaging his back rim. Thankfully Nic the ever Mtb-Macgyver managed to make a plan and they were able to get themselves back into the race riding all the way from 180th position to finish in 40th position, ranked 32 overall in the mens category.

Tomorrow's riding is through some of the most scenic landscapes in the Cape as the race heads towards the beautiful village of McGregor and the surrounding farms and nature reserve before making their way back to Roberston. May it be good sleep tonight and a great day of racing for everyone.

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