With his team mates riding strongly back home in the National MTB Series, South African Team RECM rider, James Reid, racked up his third consecutive stage win, but today’s victory was far from easy after he broke a spoke on the first descent of the stage.
Team TIB Insurance rider, Andrew Hill (RSA), tried to take advantage of Reid’s misfortune, but a wandering goat put a stop to what might have been. Hill’s collision ended with a broken front wheel and an early retirement, leaving Kevin Evans (RSA) and his compatriot Max Knox (RSA) to battle it out for second place – there is currently only 1 second separating them in the overall classification of this UCI classified stage race.
Previous Cape Epic winner, Catherine Williamson (GBR), followed yesterday’s stunning performance with another stage win. She now leads the Open Female Category by a staggering 14 minutes 31 seconds, ahead of Hungarian Champion Eszter Dosa (HUN).
Although disappointed with today’s result, Andrew Hill, has found the Trans Hajar Mountain Bike Stage Race a fantastic adventure,
“It’s been an amazing experience – the stage racing calendar in South Africa is really saturated and I think around the world guys are really upping their game in terms of what they can offer. The Trans Hajar in Oman has given us everything and more – the vistas, the terrain, the rocks, the dust, the thorn trees and the goats! It has been a brilliant experience.”
Open Male Classification – top ten results (Day 3)
1. James Reid (RSA) 02:34.39
2. Kevin Evans (RSA) 02:39.58
3. Max Knox (RSA) 02:39.59
4. Lucian Logigan (ROM) 02:40.45
5. Tudor Oprea (ROM) 02:41.17
6. Renay Groustra (RSA) 02:48.11
7. Craig Boyes (RSA) 02:54.56
8. Matthew Page (GBR) 03:09.18
9. Jan Pyott (SUI) 03:09.53
10. Marcel Kamm (SUI) 03:14.04
Open Female Classification – top three results (Day 3)
1. Catherine Williamson (GBR) 03:10.46
2. Hannele Steyn (RSA) 03:22.48
3. Eszter Dosa (HUN) 03:25.13
Today riders took on the hardest climb of the race with an ascent of 750m in temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius. Once they had completed the mountain assault it was straight downhill on a specially designed and particularly technical single-track section of hard rock, before a flat section through the plantations and abandoned villages of Al Hamra guided them towards a final 410m climb and quick descent to the finish line and Race Village.
Now with an overall lead of 7 minutes 8 seconds James Reid will be looking to build on this gap as the international field of pro and amateur riders takes on the penultimate stage tomorrow with steep gradient climbs of 10% – 20%.