This past Saturday, 10 September 2011, on a beautiful sunny day, set in the highest country in the world, the Tasol Race to the Sun started at the Likileng State Secondary school in Butha Buthe.
A total of 37 cyclists form Top South African cycling teams as well as International teams, which included Tasol Solar, Bonitas, MTN Quebecka, Cyclelab Super cycling, ASG and Team UCI from Eritrea started the race at an altitude of 1673m in Butha Buthe.
The race split up soon with 6 riders going out infront.The teams that was represented was ASG, Bonitas, Tasol Solar and UCI Africa team, the group worked together until 2 of the UCI Africa members decided to go out in front on one of the steep climbs 5km before the gruelling Moteng pass. The two riders were caught on the pass and passed by Jacques van Rensburg on his way to the top of the first climb. The bunch was split dramatically over the first climb which meant that riders were to ride their own pace to get to the finish line. They then descended reaching speeds of about 100km/h, up and down towards Oxbow lodge, then just over the Malibamatso river climbing the even more gruelling Mahlasela pass started since it starts at 2500m altitude and finishes at 3267. David Maree caught one of the UCI riders which secured his second place.
Time gaps were as big as 10minutes in the top ten. First over the line on day 1 was Jacques van Rensburg from Team MTB Quebecha in a very quick time and a lot quicker than expected by the setup crew of the finish line and the timekeeping officials in 2:34.22, followed very shortly by David Maree from Team Tasol Solar in 2:37.08 and then Meron Russom Alem from UCI Team from Eritrea in third. The total ascent of the day was 2500m vertical climbing, total descent of 900m.