Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

On a day where he had made up his mind to abandon the race before being talked out of it by his riding partner Sauser results and times mean little to Madolo. But if he is to recover overnight his hopes of a good general classification finish are now surely dashed as their Stage 2 time of 5 hours 46 minutes and 37 seconds was only good enough for 107th on the stage. The pairing now find themselves 65th overall.

Times and positions mean nothing compared to health though and readers are sure to be able to sympathise with Madolo’s plight. While beset with cramps, fatigue and worse the last thing one feels like doing is exercise. To then ride a mountain bike for 93km over some of the most technical terrain in this, arguably, the most technical Epic yet takes serious mental fortitude.

Ewald Sadie/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

It would however not have been possible without the assistance of Sauser. Madolo had been unable to hold down any food and was running out of energy when he started to contemplate withdrawing from the race. He battled on until he felt he could go no further before voicing his desire to withdraw to Sauser. One doesn’t finish 10 Absa Cape Epics without battling through a fair share of adversity though. Sauser rallied Madolo’s spirits and kept encouraging him throughout the remainder of the day until they crossed the finish line at Saronsberg Wine Estate.

Mark Sampson/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

It does not get any easier for Madolo from here on out, not only does he have to recover from the exertions of riding the world’s toughest stage race but now he has to battle off a stomach bug as he seeks to finish the race. Stage 3 is another massive stage traversing 103km of hard riding including the infamous rocky trails of Zuurvlakte. But he says: “I’m still looking forward to tomorrow. I feel like I will get better and I am still positive. You can just take every day as it comes.”

It also helps that aside from having Sauser at his side on the trail he’ll have the support of the team who have rallied around him after Stage 2 and will be rooting for him at the spectator points on Stage 3.

Dominic Barnardt/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

You can follow Madolo and Sauser’s progress on Stage 3, by making use of the Cape Epic’s live tracking system, or on Twitter by following @songoinfo and @CapeEpic.