The calm before the storm

540km out of 630km and 14,850m out of 16,650m (climbing) done – not a bad week so far. The MERIDA FACTORY TEAM of José Antonio Hermida and Joaquim 'Purito' Rodríguez managed to extend their lead once again, while not pushing for today’s stage win. After more than 500km of hard racing in their legs, the team decided to use the penultimate stage of the ABSA Cape Epic to recover and be in perfect shape for the final stage into Val de Vie Estate tomorrow. 

‘It was a nicer stage today. Some amazing trails and constant up and down. We used today as a kind of ‘transition stage’, to regain some strength and to reduce the likelihood of any issues even further. The plan of the day was to manage the gap, but luckily we still managed to extend this slightly, giving us a good cushion to go into the final day. As in previous days, our ONE-TWENTY was in its element giving us lots of control and comfort on the descents while adding extra traction on the demanding and often rocky climbs. In places, the course felt like a ‘light enduro’, and you could almost feel the ONE-TWENTY smiling when we threw this into the burms. It was a great ride all in and our ‘trail bike’ made it that extra bit more enjoyable’, José commented after the team crossed the finish line.  

Despite ‘taking it easy’ the team managed to extend the lead in the Masters category from 59min to 1:06hour and even climbed up in the overall standing by another spot, now lying in 26th position. 
For details of the ONE-TWENTY 9000 which their race bike is based on, including full specification, features and geometries, please click here.   

For more details on the ONE-TWENTY range, which consists of two full carbon bikes, one carbon/aluminium bike and six aluminium models, please have a look here.