With Montague Pass conquered Stage 2 sees riders heading into the dry, rugged semi-arid Karoo #MontaguMettle. The mercury is set to hit 30 degrees in Oudtshoorn today, riders will have to stay hydrated to avoid those dreaded cramps. George pulling out all the stops for our riders’ 86km journey to Oudtshoorn with an absolute peach of a day #highfives. Pitstop 5km Neutral zone through George. Racing will start in Witfontein Plantation. We’ll meet up with leaders there.
And we’re off, 86km to Oudtshoorn for Stage 2 of the #RacewithSoul. #MontaguMettle will be scorching over the pass. And the race is on Phillip Buys is setting the early pace, bunch will resemble piece of string shorty. Your lead bunch heading to Montague pass. Ben-Melt Swannepoel is chasing to make contact.
Fast, windy descent to base of pass means we have to hustle. Riders will be a ton faster than us. Leading bunch 2 kilometers up the climb are as follow: Both SCOTT LCB teams, the Crisi Brothers, Team Jeep, Team Asrin and Team KMC. Speed nauseating.
15km in leaders are pushing the pace. Crisi brothers and Team Jeep hanging ball. Cool and fresh in the shade, fiery hot in the field. The battle to the Top of Montague pass: Du Toit and Buys (SCOTT LCB 1) ahead with 00:20 lead with Team SCOTT LCB 2, the Crisi Brothers and Team Jeep. Team KCM are 01:21 behind. As solo men’s leader summits there is no sign of Wolhuter and Kleinhans over 3 minutes back. Vets leaders Doug Brown and Robert Sim summit Montague pass in good spirits.
70km to go. Leading mixed, Kobus and Fienie Bernard, also through the pass. It’s now Piet and my turn to open the taps, we have to chase down the leaders who are by now 10 or so clicks down the road. Clear skies over Montague pass, sweet conditions for our riders.
30km in your and our leading ladies Team Sasol are 01:49 ahead of Team Ascendis. It’s going to be a long hot dusty day for Team Ascendis, they’re tough as nails so will no doubt battle it out. Beautiful scenery greeting riders as they enter the Klein Karoo 33km in. Leading ladies and first and second mixed teams are sitting pretty in a big group. Sasol racing have over 02:00 lead now.
Reports saying Team Asrin have 01:30 on both Scott teams+Crisi brothers. At 40 km, we are chasing to catch up to Women’s Team Sasol who has a commanding 03:11 lead over Team Ascendis. The Lion is roaring! And Chris Wolhuter is answering the call. The duo has a chasing bunch of 5 teams at the 55km mark. Chasers are splintering. These boys have a 01:47 deficit to make up at 54km mark. Team KMC are bleeding to keep contact, they’re at 02:05 off Team Asrin. Super bumpy roads, bouncing round like a ping pong ball #holdingonfordearlife.
28km to Oudtshoorn Team KMC are seconds behind the chasing group of Crisi brothers and Team Jeep. At 68km disaster has struck for Team Asrin! Just shows that you never know in mountain biking… Anything can happen. Tomorrow these boys will try again. Team KMC have lost touch. They’re 01:25 off leaders, 4th on the road with 12 km to go. My take: Italians couldn’t match Team SCOTT LCB 1’s attack. Beukes and Heyns sitting their wheel as teammates race for stage honours. Funny thing is I saw Philip Buys pushing Gert Heyns on Montague pass. And now they’re riding for the win!!! #gertcanbleedthroughhiseyeballs.
The long road into Oudtshoorn is a killer. Lactic acid for days and Team SCOTT LCB 1 are all but certain of a stage win. The Crisi Brothers put in a great fight today finishing second on the stage maintaining their 2nd on GC. At this point in time Provisional GC for Men’s teams after Stage 2: Gert Heyns and Marrhys Beukes maintain their lead, Cathrine Williamson and Esther Suss maintain their lead in the women’s race, comfortably winning stage 2.
Arno du Toit (left) and Philip Buys of SCOTT Factory Racing LCB 1 celebrate winning Stage 2 of the Cape Pioneer Trek from George to Oudtshoorn, South Africa, on Tuesday. Photo credit: Zoon Cronje/Nikon.