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The entire Tinkoff-Saxo is climbing Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, as a part of the team’s team building. Both staff and riders gathered at the base of the mountain and started the climb Saturday. We’ve now completed day three, the summit is in sight and we have reached Barranco Camp at 4000 meters after having climbed the Lava Tower at 4600 meters earlier today. We will reach the summitWednesday at noon.
Friday, all riders and staff members arrived safely and without major delays at the base of Kilimanjaro. Some had only two or three hours of sleep before we drove to the gates of Kilimanjaro National Park to start the climb. It was a beautiful and promising morning. Blue sky, sunshine and a clear view of Kilimanjaro but soon the clouds gathered. Just as we had lined up all our equipment a tropical rainstorm hit us and turned the park entry registration into chaos.
A group of young and hopeful Tanzanian riders, some of them from the local Arusha Cycling Club, had heard that Tinkoff-Saxo would come to Kilimanjaro. They had traveled all night to reach the gates, where Tinkoff-Saxo started the climb, to get a glimpse of Contador, Sagan, Kreuziger and all the Tinkoff-Saxo riders.
After a few hours the rain slowed down and with soaking wet clothes and equipment we started the climb. The riders maintained a fast pace keeping up with the local porters, while most of the staff set a more normal and moderate pace.
The bad weather is slowly turning this year’s team building into a survival camp instead. But the mood remains high and Tinkoff-Saxo has now reached Barranco Camp at 4000 meters after having climbed the Lava Tower at 4600 meters earlier today.