Stage 2 2011

Team photo

Exxaro team with Christo Fourie from PCC.

Team journal

Stage  2 results

Stage 2 once again belonged to the South  African/Swiss team of Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser (Team 36ONE Songo  Specialized). This is their third consecutive stage win on this year’s race.  They crossed the finish line in 4:32.43,4. Second and third place went to Team Multivan  Merida Biking (4:33.30,6) and Team Trek World Racing (4:34.07,2) respectively.

At the end of today’s Stage 2, a total  number of 52 teams have already dropped out of the race.

Exxaro  teams are still in the saddle

Today the teams cycled in PCC’s sponsored gear.

A 12km steady upward drag brought riders to a  6km climb on an ancient Voortrekker wagon trail – specially opened for the  race. At the top, riders already ascended almost 1 000m and many riders had to  do some walking. Then, with this stage’s major obstacle out of the way, the Witzenberg  Valley opened up ahead with the route looping clockwise.           The tracks were far from flat, but a short  section of single track compensated for the suffering of the first 50km. After  a 1,5km rise back to the top of the wagon trail, riders descended towards town  for a good night’s rest.

Again, all three Exxaro teams made today’s  cut-off time. Two of the teams (Wim and Willem, as well as Mellis and Pieter) finished together, while Dirk and  Adriaan crossed the finish line about an hour before their team mates.

The leading Exxaro team’s overall race time  currently stands at 17:34.44,1 vs the overall front riders’ time of 9:27.38,0.  Not too bad at all!

Willem commented on today’s stage as follows:  “To be honest … we suffered! It was extremely hot in the valley, with  temperatures reaching around 35ºC. But two of the teams stayed together on the  entire route and we pulled each other through. Bad weather is predicted for  tomorrow, but we’re ready for the challenge!”

Pieter … “finished”