After a mammoth Stage 2, this is pretty much a day of ‘mind over matter’, with around 70km-plus of gavel and stone linking you from the sublime Rooiberglodge all the way to the town of Riversdale.
That sounds pretty do-able if you’re an MTB god and Stage Racers do it every day, but hell, with 140km in your legs from yesterday – and 1500m of ascent in the mix – it definitely makes for a harsh grind.
Assorted calf-crusher climbs and proper Klein Karoo terrain added exhilaration to this stage, especially the gravel-grinder undulations through the never-ending Badlands on the approach to Garcia Pass. At least the tarmac is a missile-chute all the way home, where cold beers and luxury accommodation awaits in this quaint little town.
Respect to all the riders who keep chasing Pieter Seyffert and Travis Walker of TEAM ASG Ellesworth Racing, and the ever-green Hannele Steyn and her pocket rocket partner, Catherine Williamson.
Click here to view the pics (Contributors: Jacques Marais and John Asg)