The stage was won by Karl Platt and Urs Huber, Team Bulls,. Christoph Sauser and Jaroslav Kulhavy, Team Burry Stander – SONGO,lead by 2 minutes and 45 seconds when they took a wrong turn and lost some time, ultimately losing the stage win.
For Stage 3, the riders awoke to a beautiful, cool morning at the Saronsberg Wine Estate, where the surrounding mountains played host to a 94km eight figure course accompanied by 1 950m of climbing in vineyards and farmlands around what is popularly known as the Tulbagh basin. By now riders were used to starting with a climb. This 400 metre climb over 15 kilometres, with a short warm up, was rather gentle on the legs. This was followed by three kilometres of sweeping single track, finishing off with a section through poplar forest. This was a pleasant day with lots of ups and downs flowing single track sections. The day was more gentle, the soil was softer, the vegetation more lush and the hills shorter.
The second part of the figure eight was shorter, but included the same amount of climbing as the first one. Dr Evil and the route design team showed their true colours after water point 3: a 1,5 kilometre climb on a steep farm road, followed by a short descend and three more short but sharp climbs on rough surface, before it was finally(almost) all downhill and back to the fields of Saronsberg Wine Estate.
Comments from some team members
“After yesterday’s problems (I broke a chain), today’s route was . My partner and I rode well together and we will continue to stick together for the rest of the race. If we can continue like this, we will definitely make it to the end,” says Thomas Sokhalengane, Team Exxaro/Nedbank Capital Academy 1.
“I am very proud of what all the teams achieved so far. They ride very well and I can see that they are committed to do their very best and do everything they can to get good results. I am pacing the ladies development team to get through every stage day by day and believe that they will be the first female development team to complete this race. All the teams are riding real hard and I am confident that they all will get good results at the end for their hard work and effort,” says Justice Makhale, Exxaro MTB Academy team captain.
This stage did not end without any drama … Wim de Klerk, Exxaro’s finance director and one of the management support riders, had a serious crash on one of the last fast descends just before the last water point. He was medically cleared to continue racing but due to his serious injuries he did make the cut-off time. His partner finished with another support team though, and will be back in the field to complete the race as a solo rider.
Wim was taken to the medial race tent where he was treated and subsequently sent to a medical facility in Paarl to have some x-rays taken of his neck and right shoulder. The results showed that all is in order but he was kept overnight. All other support teams finished the stage.
|Prince and Phillimon lined up
with all the overall leaders
for the start of stage 3
Thokhozani Mahlangu who is
dedicating his Epic ride to
the late Burry Stander