‘Farmer’ Glen Haw made the decision to cancel the treacherous descent into the Umkomaas Valley early on Friday morning, and for the first time in the race’s 13- year history a stage was neutralized.
Riders were informed they had to complete the shortened route in order to be able to compete for positions on Saturday’s final stage to the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. With a large amount of tar road riding on the cards, riders were able to take a leisurely ride to the second overnight stop at Jolivet just outside Highflats.
The trying weather continued through Friday with temperatures just creeping over 10 degrees along with a driving wind and persistent rain. The conditions made for some testing times with riders caked in mud from their forays off the tar.
Despite the testing conditions, riders took the elements in their stride as they sniffed a shot at making up for the neutral stage on their Saturday charge to the ocean.
The sprint to the Indian Ocean on Saturday is going to be an exciting shootout with conditions and times suggesting that the racing could be tight. PYGA Euro Steel’s Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes hold a 44-second lead over NAD Pro MTB’s Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell with Team BCX’s Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger a further nine seconds behind in third place.
In the women’s showdown, the dark-horse pair of Valencia Ladies’ Sam Sanders and Amy Mcdougall are in an unexpected pole position with a one minute 47 second advantage over defending champions dormakaba’s Candice Lill and Vera Adrian.
In third and hoping to make up for a poor opening stage is the Ascendis Health pairing of Mariska Strauss and Robyn de Groot. But they are just over ten minutes behind the leaders and unlikely to have enough time to improve their position on the fast 82km stage between Jolivet and the finish line on Saturday.
Friday saw the conclusion of the Adventure event as riders made their way from Jolivet to Scottburgh. The conditions were just as trying for the field in that event as they tackled the route to the finish.
Saturday's final stage of the Race takes riders from Jolivet to Scottburgh to conclude the 2017 KAP sani2c.
For more information on KAPsani2c: Info@KAPsani2c.co.za or www.sani2c.co.za
1.PYGA Euro Steel (Philip Buys/Matthys Beukes) 02:47.56
2.NAD Pro MTB (Gawie Combrinck/Nico Bell) 02:48.40
3.Team BCX (Waylon Woolcock/HB Kruger) 02:48.49
4.Ryder RED E Spot Africa (Matthew Beers/Tim Hammond) 02:49.55
5.Team TIB (Andrew Hill/Julian Jessop) 02:51.43
6.Ballito Bicycling Company (Pieter Seyffert/Andrew Johnson) 02:57.04
7.Home Ice Cream (Matthew Stamatis/Thomas Jessop) 02:58.58
8.William Simpson (Derrin Smith/Michael Posthumus) 02:59.25
9.Urban Fitness Outdoor (Jonathan Cloete/Nicholas Porteous) 02:59.48
10.think 360 (Leeroy Emslie/Jason Davies) 03:00.26
11.KAPRestonic 13 (Craig Uria/Andrew Duvenhage) 03:00.31
12.Bells Cycling (Declan Sidey/JP Jung) 03:02.38
13.Business Print (Andrew Cairns/Fanie Venter) 03:05.28
14.Revolution Cycles (Brenan Anderson/David Cooke) 03:07.00
15.Lge Midas/Slender Wonder (Igna de Villiers/Paul Theron) 03:07.10
1.Valencia Ladies (Samantha Sanders/Amy Mcdougall) 03:07.38
2.dormakaba (Candice Lill/Vera Adrian) 03:08.46
3.Team Ascendis Health (Robyn de Groot/Mariska Strauss) 03:18.10
4.Galileo Risk Velocity (Carmen Buchacher/Theresa Ralph) 03:20.20
5.KAP Safipol 1 (Anli Smith/Tamaryn Kietzmann) 03:55.32
1.Private Client Holdings (James Reid/Mari Rabie) 03:14.06
2.Omnico Team (Sanet Coetzee/Dana Coetzee) 03:20.53
3.Cycle Nation-Bring it On (Tijl van de Winkel/Joanna van de Winkel) 03:26.39
4.Coach Pupil (Wesley Parker-Dennison/Candice Parker-Dennison) 03:29.54
5.Bell Equipment (Darryn Purtell/Hayley Smith) 03:31.10