Monday, April 4, 2011

2011 Absa Cape Epic Stage 7 - Oak Valley in the Elgin Valley - Lourensford Wine Estate 68km

Summary:

Sauser and Stander secure overall victory

Lukas and Mathias Flückiger win the final stage

Seventh stage win secures win for Juwi team in masters category


It's the same every year - the last day of the Absa Cape Epic might be short but it is never easy. Old Viljoens Pass and Nuweberg reminded the remaining 1 064 riders that it wasn't over just yet. Dr Evil had warned riders of a final few surprises before a traditional finish at Lourensford Wine Estate. There they were reunited with their loved ones - a life's task accomplished and an experience they'll never forget. This year's route took riders through some of the most breathtaking scenery thanks to Cape Nature Conservation.




Gary and Don achieved the following results:
Stage Time
:
4:17.53,9
Overall Time
:
45:50.29,9


Oak valley estate has been wonderful. The mountains towering above the race village are surreal, it looks like middle earth form Lord of the Rings. Last night was great sampling some of the local wines and visiting. We have met great people from around the world and have been in the company of some of cycling's royalty for 7 days. The last stage to Lourensford estate is very exciting, everyone wants to finish a tough week of racing. We are all in the starting gates, ready to go, and they tell us to look up, out of the sky comes the Red Bull stunt plane, dive bombing towards us. This guy put on a unbelievable show right above our heads. Only in Africa would you see a show like that directly above the crowd. If this guy had have passed out or lost an engine he would have killed us all. The gun goes,,,,, and off we go, only 65kms to the finish. Gary and I had a strong ride with no crashes and passed many riders. The finish was fantastic, 15000 people, live concert and great food. It was great to be done the race. I am happy that Gary decided to carry on after that very rough day that took him out. He only missed 100kms of the race, but received the full experience of the Cape Epic adventure by choosing to carry on. The Red Bull plane showed up again and put on another crazy show overhead...... WILD. It was great to get to enjoy the day with our family, Gary and Joleen, myself, Kim daughter Lisa, inlaws Marnie and Charlie. They all made our race experience that much sweeter buy sharing it with us. We return home April 6 and i am looking forward to spring. It's a first for me to go from fall into spring. Africa and it's people have been wonderful. Please visit if you ever get the chance.... It's EPIC. I would like to thanks Syngenta for their sponsorship over the years. This race brings to a conclusion my quest to race the big 4 mt bike stage races. We have raised money for Canadian diabetes association and have experinced countries a prairie boy could only dream of. It has been a wonderful experience. I would also like to thank my family on the farm for allowing me the time to persue my racing dreams.

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