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There was reason to be happy for Balz Weber (l) and Alex Moos (r): 4th in stage 4
There was reason to be happy for Balz Weber (l) and Alex Moos (r): 4th in stage 4

ABSA Cape Epic: Fantastique 4ème place au contre-la-montre pour le BMC Mountainbike Racing Team

31. March 2011

Worcester, South Africa

Stage 4 consisted of a time trial on a loop of 32 km, with 800 m of ascents, around the town of Worcester, situated in the hills of Brandwatch. The BMC duo of Moos and Weber ended up in a fantastic 4th position, only 5.7 seconds behind the podium, leaving several top-notch teams in their wake.

After two tough days for our riders, they managed to recover particularly well that night. With the arrival of rain last night, which cooled the heavy atmosphere that prevailed during yesterday's stage, a good night's sleep with a lie-in the next day due to a staggered start restored Alex and Balz's strength. What's more, the tremendous ambience that reigned in the arrival area here in Worcester, was certainly balm to the spirit of all the participants in this race to end all races. In Worcester, the "MTB sauce" has been abundant and well received!

Because of his experience of the route, Alex was in the lead for 90% of the course, allowing Balz to benefit from his knowledge in the time trial. Knowing when to yield, how to pace yourself and give yourself a boost, as well as positioning yourself in the wind are undeniable assets for posting a good time.

Balz Weber told us: "I was happy to have a short day today - I knew it would definitely be difficult, but it wouldn't be as long as the other stages. After the difficult day yesterday, finishing in 13th place, I knew that it would be possible for us to get a good result. We caught up with our first competitors, who had started one minute before, after only a few kilometers. Then, when we caught up with others, we knew that we would do well, which encouraged us even more. We were so delighted when we discovered that we were 4th in the stage, even though we had missed out on a place on the podium by only 5.7 seconds..."

Alexandre Moos sums up the day like this: "This short stage suited us well. We had the common sense not to "burn out" our legs by going out to the see the course this morning. Our tactics were simple: go off at a steady pace, attack at the right places, and slow right down to avoid the traps and returning to the back. It was also very important for me to watch over my partner to check that he didn't get overworked, by coordinating our efforts well through good communication."

Team BMC finished this lap in 1:12:13, 1:12 behind the leaders Sauser - Stander, who grabbed their 4th win of the Cape Epic 2011. This fantastic result allows the BMC team to climb to 9th place in the general ranking with a time of 16:52:44, 1:11:30 behind the Sauser - Stander duo, who always come out ahead.

Tomorrow, the 5th stage will take place over 143 km, making it the longest stage of the ABSA Cape Epic 2011. It will take us from Worcester to Oak Valley, near Elgin/Grabouw. There will also be 2,350 m of ascents to "swallow", with three great obstacles to overcome. They will need to know how to pace themselves, not to mention collaborate with other teams. What's more, the trailer will also have to travel around 100 km, towards Elgin...

Texte: Ugo Dessimoz, translated from French