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Stage 6 of the 2012 Absa Cape Epic

31 Mar 2012

It may be dramatic to describe Oak Valley Wine Estate as a quasi war zone last night but there were many hobbling riders miserable and cold and trying their best to recover from the trecherous day. The 2012 Absa Cape Epic has had a significant number of riders dropout but interestingly not the highest ever. 

But as the Grabouw valley started to light up this morning, there were many riders relieved to see the clear skies and the prospect of a warmer day. 

The SONGO camp had anticipated a fast stage driven by the Nedbank 360Life team who no doubt would be eager to claim back their time and podium position. The break took place early in the stage and the tempo was fast. But still yet another challeging stage with the riders having to tackle Groenlandberg climbing up two of it's faces. 

The strategy of the Team 36ONE-SONGO-SPECIALIZED on Stage 6 was to stay strong and consistent and not to take any big risks on the day. 

Christoph said he found the day hard, where his legs had taken strain from the previous stages riding, but also assured us he would have a good comeback in store for the last day. 

Burry later commented at the press conference I never got to this stage of the epic and feel as good as I do at the moment. I can’t wait to get to Lourensford tomorrow,”

True to the form of 36ONE-SONGO-SPECIALIZED, the guys were strong and rode consistently. Team 360Life had the hammer down from the get-go driving minutes into their stage win time.

At Spectator Point B they had a 5 minute lead, with Team 36ONE-SONGO-SPECIALIZED following the pace of 360Life team. From there home, our team rode at their pace, ended in 2nd position just 6 minutes behind the leaders.

Sadly Max Knox and Kohei Yamamoto battled with sidewall tear encountered going Groenlandberg. They dropped 15minutes leader and manage to change their backwheel at Spectator Point B and put foot to the pedal to finish in 10th position, maintaining the overall 10th position. 

Our Exxaro teams were flying through day with Sipho and Azukile finishing in the top 40th position. 

Tomorrow is a late stage and 65km journey to the finish and celebrations that awaited the riders in Lourensford.

Huge congratulations to everyone who has made it this far! Enjoy your celebratory ride home tomorrow.

All the pictures from today's stage are on our facebook page: