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American endurance racers head to South Africa
Veteran endurance mountain bike athletes Cheryl Sornson and Selene Yeager are teaming up to compete in the open women's category in the upcoming Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race from March 27 to April 3 in South Africa. Both Team CF riders are newcomers to the event.
"I've always been intrigued by the Cape Epic. Our team manager was interested in having us do some high profile stage races this year; so I tossed my hat in the ring and we got in," said Yeager to Cyclingnews.
The two will form the only all-women's team from the United States competing in this year's event. Sornson and Yeager hope build on a successful 2010 season in which Sornson placed second overall in the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Race Series and first in the Michaux Endurance Series. Yeager won the Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic, placed second in the USA Cycling MTB National Ultra Endurance Series and won the Mid-Atlantic Super Series endurance series.
"We'd like to ride strong, represent Team CF and the US well, win a stage or two and totally soak in the experience," said Yeager to Cyclingnews of the duo's ambitions for their first Cape Epic.
"We're both very optimistic. Cheryl is going to use the race as a launching point for the NUE series. And I hope it will translate into a great springboard for the Trans-Sylvania Epic and then the Breck Epic."
Sornson and Yeager trained for the Cape Epic this winter in their home state of Pennsylvania, which proved quite challenging due to extreme weather conditions. They will likely face very hot conditions upon arrival in South Africa.
"You can only control your controllables, you know? We live in Pennsylvania. It's not hot in the winter. Getting outside on the bikes was priority one. So we trained through the winter, not missing a single workout," said Yeager of the duo's preparation.
"Neither of us did much work on the trainer. I got a chance to do the Vuelta Puerto Rico at the end of January, where the temps were in the 90s (degrees Fahrenheit), and it wasn't a problem making the transition, so I'm feeling positive. We're both pretty adaptable ladies."