After a gruelling stage in South Africa, local competitor Chester Foster partners up with Chris Perry of Saudi Arabia for the third leg of the Land Rover G4 Challenge in Australia this week.

After a gruelling stage in South Africa, local competitor Chester Foster partners up with Chris Perry of Saudi Arabia for the third leg of the Land Rover G4 Challenge in Australia this week.

The second stage highlighted the contrasting conditions of the race. After experiencing temperatures of –20 deg C in upstate New York during stage one, they were faced with 30 deg C heat in Cape Town. “It’s hard to believe that only two days ago we were skiing,” said UK’s Tim Pickering.

South Africa’s Foster was partnered with Jim Kuhn of Canada for the South African leg.

The competitors’ first task was to scale Lions Head. They then climbed on to mountain bikes and cycled back to the city centre. Kuhn fell off his mountain bike and cut his left elbow, left knee and right wrist.

This was followed by a tough kayaking course around Table Bay.

Kuhn decided to withdraw from the Challenge on the second day. The doctors felt that the risk of infection was simply too great for him to continue. A stand-in was provided from the support crew until Kitt Stringer (pictured), who had finished second in the International Selections, arrived to join the challenge.

Stringer then made a solid start to the competition and benefited from the advice of team-mate Foster. “It’s my third team-mate in a week,” Foster said, “so I’m used to building relationships.”

The teams crisscrossed the Western Cape, moving from places like Riviersonderend to Knysna for the Maximiser. This involved cycling for about 6 km, running for about 4 km across a rocky beach, before finishing with a steep, rocky scramble to the finish.

France’s Franck Salgues was first and had a commanding lead over Australia’s Guy Andrews. These two men have established themselves as the Challenge’s hard men. Both are exceptionally fit and combine this with a high level of mental toughness, which makes them difficult to beat in the physical contests.

“I didn’t sleep much last night,” admitted Salgues at the finish. “But the Maximiser was about fitness, which suited me. It felt good.”

Other competitors echoed his comments. Turkey’s Cuneyt Gazioglu described the event as “not too difficult.” “I have trained for this,” he said. “So the running was relatively easy and the mountain biking was OK.” A strong performance by his Italian team-mate, Alberta Chiappa, helped the pairing secure 4th place on the Maximiser.

The South African leg ended on Sunday. The top eight competitors are: Rudi Thoelen of Belgium, Franck Salgues of France, Perry, Erik den Oudendammer of Netherlands, Paul McCarthy of Ireland, Guy Andrews of Australia Tim Pickering of the UK and Inigo de Lara of Spain.

The competition continues this week in Australia’s Pilbara Region. The teams then move to Las Vegas and the Moab trail for the final stage of the Challenge, which ends on April 26.

Original article from Car