Monday, March 28, 2011

Cape Epic Stage 1 [INTRO + PICS]

Stage 1: Saronsberg in Tulbagh - Saronsberg in Tulbagh

Stage 1's distance is a shade under 90km, which may sound short but is not to be underestimated! The flat roads out of town leave few clues as to what is to come. Very soon the short(ish) but incredibly steep, rough and loose climbs appear, and on the treacherous descents, volleyball-sized rocks and sand patches pock the little-used dual tracks.

While the pros make short work of it, the first 50km may take backmarkers over 5 hours. The stage's last climb on some rough roads brings riders to the top of one of most precariously difficult downhills they've seen at the Absa Cape Epic. With large rocks, deep ruts and a sheer drop on the left, be sure to take it slow.

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