Stage 4 2011

Team photo

Exxaro team with Jackee Downs from Deutsche Bank.

Team journal

Stage  4 results

Stage 4 marked another first for the Absa Cape Epic, being  the second time trial in one race. Christoph Sauser and his SA team mate Burry  Stander from Team 36ONE Songo Specialized are on a winning streak by again  finishing first in the trial ride. They completed today’s stage in a time of  1:10.01,1 and are now 7 minutes and 48 seconds in the lead. They were followed  by Team Mulivan Merida Biking (1:11.34,0) with the Wildwolf-Trek Pro Racing  team (1:12.08,0) in third place.

Exxaro  teams successfully completed the time trial, even after yesterday’s drama

Today the teams cycled in the gear from Deutsche Bank.

Late last night, when the riders received their seeding  information for the time trial, Wim was still listed as an individual participant.  However, this morning, the organisers allowed Willem to participate in the time  trial with Wim and agreed to resolve yesterday’s issue with regards to his chip  afterwards.

Today’s 32km route through the foothills of Brandwacht, took  riders along the unique semi-desert environment of the Karoo Botanical Garden  to the western side of Worcester on a rough dual track. The route data showed  only 800m of climbing, but over such a short distance, it really required hard  effort!  All teams finished in good time again. They spent the rest  of the day recharging for the tough remaining stages.

By close of day, Willem received confirmation that he was  officially back in the race and the online results were updated accordingly. As  if the last 24 hours were not eventful enough, a crack on his bicycle’s frame  needed to be repaired after hitting a rock today.

Here’s what some team mates had to say:

Wim: “We seriously need some rest. Although it was a short  day, the track was still a challenge – especially after four days in the  saddle. The mud was a bit problematic at some spots, but not too bad.

Willem: “All of us are relieved that yesterday’s problem was  resolved and that I’m officially back in the race.”

Mellis and Pieter: “As a team, we are taking good care of  each other, but our wives (Madelein and Judy) are on their way and will join  the team tomorrow. We are looking forward to this extra special support on the  weekend’s tough stages.”