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ABSA Cape Epic 2011: Stage 5 - Despite a crash at the end of the race, today’s marathon was well suited to the duo of the BMC Mountainbike Racing Team!

1. April 2011

Elgin, Afrique du Sud

This fifth stage was the most frightening of all the races, but in the end it didn’t really live up to its threat… Not even for the staffs of each team, who traveled from Worcester to Elgin this morning in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, despite some 100 km separating the two cities.

At 143 km long, with 2,350 m of ascents, the longest stage of Cape Epic 2011 has been much talked about these past few days. However, at the finish line in the early afternoon some of the racers were rowing back on the arguments of “weight” which had been put forward until the day before, while others confirmed that they had truly suffered. For the former, it was probably the cool temperature of the morning that allowed them to “overcome” the day’s obstacles fairly easily. For the latter, it’s certainly due to the 4 stages that they can already feel in their legs…

After a difficult first climb, Alexandre Moos was able to handle the rest of the stage well and reach the finish in a very good time, along with Balz Weber, despite a fall during the last descent. Fortunately for the Miége rider, the fall should be only minor (bruises and scratches on the left thigh), but we will know more about it tomorrow morning.

Our two protégés reached the finish in 5:26:34, in 8th position, 7:04 behind the winning duo, Sauser – Stander, who recorded a 5th win out of a possible 6. Impressive ! In the general rankings, BMC progressed by one place, moving up to 8th.

Tomorrow the 6th stage will get underway: a loop of 128 km, with 2700 m of ascents and descents, making it the most uneven stage of the 2011 race. That’s something that certainly pleases Balz Weber: “The ups and downs of this stage will separate the wheat from the chaff. For some people, it’s always possible to keep up on the flat stretches and return on the descents, but if the climbs are prolonged, it’s then that you really know who is fit and who is not.” But in this region close to the Indian ocean, there will also be sandy stretches, which will also complicate things. Crowning the stage, the last climb will pass through the first biosphere reserve, established by UNESCO in South Africa: the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. This natural park is also known as the Cape Floristic Region, where more than 1,650 types of plants are increasing rapidly in number. Here you can find, among others, the South African Cape leopard, an endangered species, which an ABSA Cape Epic supported project is trying to protect… ‘Till tomorrow, then…

From Elgin, South Africa, for the BMC Mountainbike Racing Team, Ugo Dessimoz.

All information about the route, results and rankings can be found at www.cape-epic.com

 

This fifth stage was the most frightening of all the races, but in the end it didn't really live up to its threat... Not even for the staffs of each team, who traveled from Worcester to Elgin this morning in two shakes of a lamb's tail, despite some 100 km separating the two cities.


At 143 km long, with 2,350 m of ascents, the longest stage of Cape Epic 2011 has been much talked about these past few days. However, at the finish line in the early afternoon some of the racers were rowing back on the arguments of "weight" which had been put forward until the day before, while others confirmed that they had truly suffered. For the former, it was probably the cool temperature of the morning that allowed them to "overcome" the day's obstacles fairly easily. For the latter, it's certainly due to the 4 stages that they can already feel in their legs...
After a difficult first climb, Alexandre Moos was able to handle the rest of the stage well and reach the finish in a very good time, along with Balz Weber, despite a fall during the last descent. Fortunately for the Miége rider, the fall should be only minor (bruises and scratches on the left thigh), but we will know more about it tomorrow morning.

Our two protégés reached the finish in 5:26:34, in 8th position, 7:04 behind the winning duo, Sauser - Stander, who recorded a 5th win out of a possible 6. Impressive ! In the general rankings, BMC progressed by one place, moving up to 8th.


Tomorrow the 6th stage will get underway: a loop of 128 km, with 2700 m of ascents and descents, making it the most uneven stage of the 2011 race. That's something that certainly pleases Balz Weber: "The ups and downs of this stage will separate the wheat from the chaff. For some people, it's always possible to keep up on the flat stretches and return on the descents, but if the climbs are prolonged, it's then that you really know who is fit and who is not." But in this region close to the Indian ocean, there will also be sandy stretches, which will also complicate things. Crowning the stage, the last climb will pass through the first biosphere reserve, established by UNESCO in South Africa: the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. This natural park is also known as the Cape Floristic Region, where more than 1,650 types of plants are increasing rapidly in number. Here you can find, among others, the South African Cape leopard, an endangered species, which an ABSA Cape Epic supported project is trying to protect... ‘Till tomorrow, then...


Text: Ugo Dessimoz, translated from French.


All information about the route, results and rankings can be found at www.cape-epic.com