Ho ho off to work we go … Our riders are off to explore parts of the Kammanassie that have NEVER seen bicycles! After yesterday’s bad luck Erik Kleinhans is keeping his cards close to his chest. We are so proud of the spirit of our riders, embracing the cheers from excited Oudtshoorn lighties. Local flavour coming out to support the #RacewithSoul leaving Oudtshoon this morning.
Riders are faced with the chance of rain today – distant mountains shroud in cloud. Temperatures are warm so no threat of hypothermia #yay
We are 6km in, still under neutral conditions. Racing starts in seconds I am hoping for signal through the remote KapteinsKloof and Kammanassie, If you don’t hear from me, it’ll be because we’re hacking with 3G. The field have hit the gravel and Team SCOTT is setting the pace at 12km mark it’s all together with speeds of 40kph+. Overcast conditions are lekker.
Large front group at 13km mark. Speeds are now calmer. Up close and personal with our Olympian Philip Buys. With speeds slowing, and open roads, there is an opportunity for lower placed GC team to throw down the gauntlet. #letswaitandsee. At 24km riders climbing SpookBult, let’s hope ghosts don’t jump out from the bushes. Gradient shallow but enough to hurt. 1st and 2nd Women’s teams clinging to each other summiting Spook Bult at the 25 km mark. It’s now started raining properly! #isthisphonewaterproof ?!
Lead bunch has been reduced dramatically at the 26km mark. Waiting at WP1 for front bunch – about 30riders. Right turn into KapteinsKloof #thingsareabouttogetveryspicy. Speeds very high, struggling to stay ahead. Rain steady. Loose, sharp rocks everywhere. Riders must be careful, swollen rivers and blurred lines #theraceison.
At 34km mark riders on big climb now. Hello lactic acid! KapteinsKloof is magnificent. 44km: Wolhuter and Kleinhans + vets are 02:04 behind leaders. Buys/du Toit boyh have flat tyres. 44km Madi Madi: Team KMC and Team Jeep have 00:31 on Team Navworld – Squirtlube. Team SCOTT LCB 1 are 01:04 back.
So confirm: Team Jeep and Team KCM are leading 47km mark , gaps to come. No sign of Buys and Crisi brothers … Reports are that they’ve flatted . Leaders at 49km mark. 49km Madi Madi: Team KCM and Team Jeep have 00:55 lead on Team SCOTT LCB 2, and 01:55 on Team Navworld – Squirtlube. Words can’t do justice to the beauty here in the KapteinsKloof . Madi madi game reserve is wragtag pragtag ek sê.
52km in Team KCM and Team Jeep are still driving hard. Gap to Team SCOTT LCB 2 are reduced to 00:38. Team Navworld – Squirtlube are 02:24 behind. Been instructed to go around Kammanassie as its too wet for our Motorcycle. #gutted. We will go into it from De Rust end Water Point 2
55km: Team Jeep /Team KMC lead Heyns/Beukes by <1min; Team Navworld – Squirtlube 3rd 2min+ back. They’re heading into the Kammanassie firepit. WP2- Crisi brothers have chased back to group riding for 4th at 05:00 back, leading vets + Stu Rawlinson also there WP2. Team Sasol have a slender 00:47 gap on Team Ascendis in women’s race. Team SCOTT LCB 1 have come through Water Point 2 on their own, dayzzz behind leaders, a puncture costing them any chance of a result today. Piet and I have had to leapfrog Kammanassie, too wet for our Motorcycle, we will enter from De Rust end. Conditions wet and cold now. Gloomy in the Kammanassie. Hope Eskom has turned on the lights in the pain cave #loadsheddingwillbreakyouintwo Just got a report that Beukes / Heyns have caught & passed KMC and Jeep. No time gaps at this point.
We wait 15km from finish made it to the Kammanassie. Updates as soon as riders reach us. 11km to finish from this point. No sign of Jeep / KMC. Either lights have gone out or mechanical problems have hit Team Jeep and Team KMC. Still no sign of them 06:00 after Team SCOTT LCB 1. Slightly puzzled by this gap, now up to 12mins, and no sign of Team Jeep, Team KMC or Team Navworld – Squirtlube. #anyoneoutthere
On positive side, this may spice up the battle for GC positions, 2 through to 5? Because at this rate both Team SCOTT are smoking the okes, Buys and Du Toit have just snuck through in 2nd!!! Gap about 13mins at11km to go mark Buys saying rough descent has claimed Team Jeep and Team KMC. They’re 2nd on the road to De Rust. Also favours those who can (secretly) suffer the most. By now, Team SCOTT LCB 2 have won, Team SCOTT LCB 1 are 2nd with Team Navworld – Squirtlube in 3rd. At 5 to go mark Intrigued to see where the Crisi Brothers are, this is their first time in Africa And the Kammanassie AND they’re on hardtails #mamaMia
The Klein Karoo through everything at Team KMC but they never gave up!!! Loving the optimism from the Crisi Brothers … Punctures today, fight for the win tomorrow #Kammanassiekanon. Stu Rawlinson and Andrew Duvenage are relieved to be home after a tough day in the saddle #stillsmiling The Egg @Geralddekock interviewing Andrew Duvenag – they’ve lost 3rd GC position after double flatting Phillimon and Jan from Team Kleinkaroo Development ended up sprinting Luke and Clement from Diepsloot Academy after 96km!! #THATCLIMB. Team Sasol have lost over 19mins on today’s stage 3. And with that, the Pink Jersey too. Remarkably, Sasol Racing have surrendered their overall lead 2 Team Ascendis who now have a 07:51 lead in the Women’s race #Puncturesfordays
Images from the Cape Pioneer Trek’s infamous #KammanassieKanon captured by www.zooncronje.com