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Stage 4 of the 2012 Absa Cape Epic

29 Mar 2012

As we reach the end of our summer season in the Cape it is also the pinnacle of the dusty season and add to that a strong wind out in the karoo-type landscape and you're bound to have dust in eyes, ears, mouth - everywhere. You could not help feeling just a little sorry for riders as they came through the waterpoints covered in dust. Except for our Burry Stander there were many serious faces out on the course as the riders battled the challenges that came their way. The gauntlet was thrown down by Dr Evil, the challenge was on. And to think the riders thought the 105km would be a welcome reprieve from the previous day's long haul of 147km, not a chance. I heard riders say they thought the day was almost as tough as the previous day with many challenges trying to ride up technical climbs or navigate down serious rocky descents. The sand seemed to get to many a rider and then the wind which build momentum almost every 20mins until it was howling by 10.30am.

But the comment from Christoph was "hey this is the Cape Epic, this is what you have got to expect!". I am always amazed at how strong, consistent and focused these two riders always are, they always seem to have "their eye on the ball". Kevin Evans and David George had a good day too and always seemed strong and close to Christoph and Burry. The Merida team of Andreas Kugler and Hannes Genze battled through the day and crossed the line working to their maximum to hold on to their 3rd place, just 26seconds behind the 360Life team who know move up into 2nd place overall.

Unfortunatley Max Knox and Kohei Yamamoto had a little bad luck with punctures today, a total of 5 between the 2 of them. It seems like the grueling epic day was challenging on the mind for the 1st time Epic rider Kohei Yamamoto. Luckily with his Epic veteran partner, the cool and calm Max Knox was on hand to offer his support.

Nic and Carl of had a tough day too with Nic battling a 2nd day of tummy issues and Carl, also a Epic novice, just getting his head around the epic challenges.

Our young Exxaro teams also battled through a tough day. They looked exhausted at the end of the day and I am convinced they're shedding kilograms by the day!

Everyone is in need of good rest and recovery today to be strong and ready for the trip to the last race village in Grabouw, Oak Valley.

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