Sarah Hill, who leads the joBerg2c women’s team race alongside Theresa Ralph, feels the highlight of today’s 97km stage, which started in Nottingham Road, was the singletrack sections.
“Today reminded me why I ride my bike. Thank you joBerg2c for finally rewarding me with so much singletrack.”
Hill added that the day started with a good fast road section to warm up the legs.
“We can all feel the long days so we were really grateful for a pleasant start.
“You could feel the tension build in the bunches as we approached the famous Gumtree climb. The bunches split right before Theresa and I found ourselves in the second chasing group.”
She said they decided to climb Gumtree at a 90% effort rather than all out.
“It was still a long day and we wanted to finish strong. A 2.5km climb with 400m elevation gain can really zap the legs on a 97km stage.”
Hill added that Harrison’s Pass gave her time to relax the shoulders and play on her bike, which was followed by the technical Rock ‘n Roll section which was an “exhilarating roller coaster”.
“I was smiling the whole way down.
“The long dirt section went quickly as we waited patiently for the next singletrack section. Our group went steady with my partner controlling the pace.
“Theresa kept her eye on me all day making sure I was in the front of the bunch by the top of the climbs so I could enjoy the descent that followed.
“The final descent Sappiness was absolutely breathtaking. I loved twisting and turning in between all the trees.”
Hill felt her form was coming back after yesterday’s “big dip”.
“I felt so terrible every kilometre on the bike, but today I was like a new human. My body is getting used to the intensity, as well as responding well to the steeper climbs and more technical terrain.
“Now we will take each day as it comes. We won’t know how our legs feel until the first major climb or break away. So instead of trying to plan too much ahead, we make sure we communicate a lot on the bike.”
Shaun-Nick Bester, who leads the men’s team race alongside Andrew Hill, said it was another good day out for them.
“I attacked on the first real steep climb, which was quite tough. I rode away on my own and no one was able to come with.
“As I crested the top I waited and Andrew caught up. Matthys [Beukes] and HB [Kruger] were with him, as well as Gerrie [Beukes] and Johan [Labuschagne].”
Bester said they rode together for about 10km until he and Hill broke away.
“We managed to win the team classification again and are feeling strong and confident that we can finish in first place overall.”
More results can be viewed below.
Stage six results
1. Andrew Hill & Shaun-Nick Bester (Darkhorse Wheels-Insured by TIB) 4:04:17
2. Luke Evans & Craig Uria (Sage Racing) 4:15:46
3. Julian Gavillet & Ecoffey Sylvain (Sylvains Team) 4:24:34
4. Gerrie Beukes & Johan Labuschagne (Cool Beans) 4:15:20
5. Darren Constantinou & Craig Kingham (Team Sage 2) 4:37:36
1. Sarah Hill & Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk) 4:38:15
2. Auralia Edwards & Gina Wills (Seattle Speed) 5:59:56
1. Michael Posthumus & Amy McDougall (dormakaba Mixed) 4:16:28
2. Ben Melt Swanepoel & Yolandi du Toit (Garmin) 4:53:19
3. Overney Corinne & Vincent Flueck (Ekibike-Dupasquier Sports) 5:17:07
4. Amy van Zuydam & Wessel Burger (FRIB – Mixed A) 5:17:30
5. Kirsty Searle & Des Searle (The Sixes) 5:33:04
1. Matthys Beukes 4:02:26
2. HB Kruger 4:10:55
3. Riaan Weideman 4:37:06
4. Deon van Vuuren 4:43:22
5. Kristof Sterckx 4:34:44
1. Sandra Hart 4:49:15
2. Monica Glover 5:26:54
3. Yvette Roberts 5:35:06
4. Caroline Francis 5:26:54
1. Andrew Hill & Shaun-Nick Bester (Darkhorse Wheels-Insured by TIB) 24:12:02
2. Luke Evans & Craig Uria (Sage Racing) 25:13:24
3. Julian Gavillet & Ecoffey Sylvain (Sylvains Team) 25:23:16
4. Gerrie Beukes & Johan Labuschagne (Cool Beans) 25:42:14
5. Darren Constantinou & Craig Kingham (Team Sage 2) 27:12:38
1. Sarah Hill & Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk) 26:48:08
2. Auralia Edwards & Gina Wills (Seattle Speed) 31:41:05
1. Michael Posthumus & Amy McDougall (dormakaba Mixed) 25:19:02
2. Ben Melt Swanepoel & Yolandi du Toit (Garmin) 28:04:59
3. Overney Corinne & Vincent Flueck (Ekibike-Dupasquier Sports) 29:03:09
4. Amy van Zuydam & Wessel Burger (FRIB – Mixed A) 29:53:55
5. Kirsty Searle & Des Searle (The Sixes) 30:55:26
1. Matthys Beukes 23:55:50
2. HB Kruger 25:07:53
3. Riaan Weideman 26:46:17
4. Deon van Vuuren 26:49:15
5. Kristof Sterckx 26:49:35
1. Sandra Hart 28:07:36
2. Monica Glover 29:38:27
3. Yvette Roberts 30:58:20
4. Caroline Francis 32:39:48