Old Mutual joBerg2c goes long on day 3

Old Mutual joBerg2c goes long on day 3

Pic by Em Gatland

Day 3 of the Old Mutual joBerg2c is the dromedary camel day of the event.

The stage comes with lots of flat district roads (and lots of pedalling on even ground) with the hump of Mount Paul appearing just before the finish at Sterkfontein Dam.

Overall winners on the 125km stage from Reitz to Sterkfontein Dam were Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes for PYGA Euro Steel (4:29:28). Just half-a-minute behind were flying Dutchmen Gerben Mos and Bram Rood (KMC Fruit to Go, 4:30:06). NAD Pro MTB’s Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck fell behind on the stage and finished third (4:30:43).

In the Lanham-Love Mixed Category, Darren and Candice Lill (dormakaba) were first home again in a time of 4:45:27. Johan Labuschagne and Catherine Williamson (The Bicycle Company Mitas) followed shortly thereafter (4:46:47) with the Team Garmin riders of Yolandie du Toit and Ben Melt Swanepoel riders filling the final spot on the mixed category podium with a time of 5:09:14.

Pic: Em Gatland

Pic: Em Gatland

The Mixing Bowl

Darren Lill says he owes the stage win to Reitz’s famous mielie brood, “It must have been that! The aim was actually to take today fairly conservatively – it was a long day with a long way to race still. Because we had a bit of a gap from yesterday we didn’t have as much pressure today.  At about the 80km Amy (Beth McDougall – Lanham-Love Valencia) had a problem with her saddle so we just kept the same speed and didn’t want to over commit with there being a lot of racing still to come.”

Candice Lill reflected on the day as being long and challenging, but with positives. She described the route as flat and endless, “There is lot of open road with lots of hard sections of single track in between spots where you had to fight, so it was a good balance.”

She added that now is not the time to get complacent as things can change quickly at the joBerg2c. At this point last year, the Lills were sitting in the race doldrums, yet they clawed their way back to win the event.

Although Williamson and Labuschagne finished in second spot for the mixed category on day 3, she felt a little worse for wear at the finish line – again, the non stop pedalling taking its toll on the riders.

I’m absolutely broken and I’m really glad that this is the end of the flatter terrain with all the pedalling. To be honest though, I don’t think there is an opportunity to make up for lost time because I’m not climbing as well as the other two girls, and that’s where I’m dropping off a bit,” said Williamson. However, tomorrow she will enjoy a

Pic: Em Gatland

wonderful descent as the race heads off the escarpment and into KwaZulu-Natal.

Tomorrow the racing will test the leaders’ technical skills as day 4 takes the joBerg2c off the escarpment and into KwaZulu-Natal. Highlights include Great Wall My China, the descent down Bezuidenhout’s Pass, and the final 20km of single track heaven into the finish at Emseni.

 

 

Watch today’s highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZujOje3

Riders made their way from a chilly start in Reitz to Sterkfontein Dam. The day was challenging with lots of pedaling along the flat 125km long stretch. The route also came with a sting in the tail where riders faced off with Mount Paul – a tough climb with a welcomed descent. Winners of the day were PYGA Euro Steel with a time of 4:29:28.