Saturday , 24 August 2019

ABSA CAPE EPIC STAGE 5 WRAP: ELGIN

 

AN act of sportsmanship on Friday’s hot, rugged and mountainous stage five of the Absa Cape Epic may have decided the destination of the race. – By Chris Whitfield

The stage was won by Roel Paulissen of Belgium and Italian partner Riccardo Chiarini (Torpado) in a thrilling finish, but they have virtually no chance of getting into the yellow jersey by the finish on Sunday and a lot of the focus was on the overall battle behind them.

Roel Paulissen and Riccardo Chiarini of Torpado Factory celebrate as they cross the line to win the 5th stage during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Roel Paulissen and Riccardo Chiarini of Torpado Factory celebrate as they cross the line to win the 5th stage during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Disaster struck for overall leaders Robert Mennen of Germany and Kristian Hynek of the Czech Republic (Topeak-Ergon) about 40km into the 115km stage when the latter simultaneously punctured both his front and back tyres.

“I don’t know whether it was a sharp rock or piece of glass, but I got a double flat on a section of singletrack,” said Hynek.

They had been following directly behind Germans Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess (Centurion Vaude), who were out of the race for the yellow jersey after Tuesday’s stage two when Kaufmann’s frame broke.

“I screamed at them to help,” said Hynek. The Germans, friends of Mennen, stopped and fortunately Kaufmann’s wheels and gearing were compatible with Hynek’s bike and he took them off his bike handed them over.

“That was an amazing sporting gesture and I owe them big time now,” said Hynek.

The Centurian Vaude Team assist the Yellow Jersey holders Topeak-Ergon Racing Team after they got a flat tyre during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

The Centurian Vaude Team assist the Yellow Jersey holders Topeak-Ergon Racing Team after they got a flat tyre during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Meanwhile, second-placed overall team Christoph Sauser, of Switzerland, and Czech Frantizek Rabon (Meerendal Songo Specialized) surged ahead and began to make inroads into the Topeak-Ergon team’s nearly 12-minute overall cushion.

They passed through the first water point at 44km more than four minutes ahead of Hynek and Mennen, but then Sauser’s run of bad luck this year struck again. Riding down a grassy section of downhill he slashed his tyre on a hidden rock.

The cut in Sauser’s tubeless tyre was too big for sealant to stop the leaking and he had to put a tube into it.

By the time they finished third in the 115km stage from Greyton to Elgin, Sauser and Rabon were only two minutes ahead of Hynek and Mennen – the latter finishing fifth but still enjoying an overall lead of nine minutes and 48 seconds, which might prove decisive with only two more days of racing left.

Frantisek Rabon and Christoph Sauser of Meerendal Songo Specialized finish 3rd during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Frantisek Rabon and Christoph Sauser of Meerendal Songo Specialized finish 3rd during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Hynek felt that with only two stages left their lead should be enough to secure the win if they did not have mechanical issues, punctures or crashes: “But many things can happen … 10 minutes may not be enough.”

Sauser said later that he has had three punctures and a crash this year – more than in the past three years in spite of using the same frame, rims and tyres as last year. He still believed a win was possible: “If you think you will lose then you will lose.”

“There are still two days to go and anything can happen,” said Rabon.

Meanwhile, Former overall winner Paulissen was celebrating after winning the stage with Chiarini.

Nino Schurter and Philip Buys of SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing racing for second place during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Nino Schurter and Philip Buys of SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing racing for second place during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Philip Buys and cross country world champion Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo) finished only six seconds behind them after a dramatic chase into the overnight stop at Elgin.

Paulissen won the Epic in 2005 and 2008, and said it was a great feeling to be back on the podium.

They had passed South African Buys and Swiss Schurter on a big climb up the notorious Groelandberg near the end but feared that the talented combination would catch them on the descent to the finish.

“Near the end there was a little ramp and they were 50 metres behind us. I said to Riccardo ‘this is everything or nothing’ and we managed to stay ahead … it was a big victory for both of us,” said Paulissen. Torpado now lie fourth overall but are 19 minutes behind the leaders.

Buys and Schurter are fifth overall, another 11 minutes back.

One of the notable performances on the day was the fourth finish by former Superbike legend Ben Bostrom of America, riding with Costa Rican Paolo Cesar Montoya (Meerendal Songo Specialized 2)  in his first Cape Epic. “I thought we might be top ten today (they are lying 16th overall), but top five! I am so happy and lucky to be here.”

The day also saw another top rider having to withdraw. This time it was Dutchman Rudi van Houts, partner of Spaniard Jose Hermida (Multivan Merida). Van Houts crashed on Thursday and started Friday but soon pulled out.

Ariane Kleinhans (front) and Annika Langvad (rear) winning the Sasol hotspot during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Ariane Kleinhans (front) and Annika Langvad (rear) winning the Sasol hotspot during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

In the women’s category Swiss Ariane Kleinhans and Dane Annike Langvad (RECM 2) won the stage by a significant 14 minutes, taking their overall lead over Swiss Esther Suss and Briton Sally Bigham (Meerendal) to more than 15 minutes. This represents a dramatic turnaround after the RECM pairing were nearly 24 minutes behind after Monday’s stage one when they suffered from a series of punctures and technical problems.

“I am smiling because of the singletrack near the finish. Not only because it was fun, but finally we got some shade. It was so hot today,” said Langvad. “After today we are feeling more comfortable in the lead and feeling confident. We had no problems.”

 Kleinhans added: “I actually was afraid of this stage, because Sally and Esther love long hard climbs like we had today. They are good climbers.”

The front bunch of riders during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

The front bunch of riders during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

The lead bunch rides into the sunrise during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

The lead bunch rides into the sunrise during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

The lead group during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

The lead group during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Nino Schurter (front) and Phillip Buys (rear) during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Nino Schurter (front) and Phillip Buys (rear) during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Abraao Azevedo (R) and Bart Brentjens (L) during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Abraao Azevedo (R) and Bart Brentjens (L) during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Matthew Brittain leads a bunch of riders during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Matthew Brittain leads a bunch of riders during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

The lead bunch rides into the sunrise during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

The lead bunch rides into the sunrise during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Andrew Mclean of tem Cycle Lab Toyota tries to keep ahead of the leading ladies seen in orange during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Andrew Mclean of tem Cycle Lab Toyota tries to keep ahead of the leading ladies seen in orange during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Ariane Kleinhans (front) and Annika Langvad of Team RECM2 pass the leading Grandmasters team Cycle Lab Toyota on the rusty gate climb during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Ariane Kleinhans (front) and Annika Langvad of Team RECM2 pass the leading Grandmasters team Cycle Lab Toyota on the rusty gate climb during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Kristian Hynek of team Topeak-Ergon Racing summits a climb during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Kristian Hynek of team Topeak-Ergon Racing summits a climb during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Dion Froneman of Liqui-Fruit iCan 4 pops a wheelie during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Dion Froneman of Liqui-Fruit iCan 4 pops a wheelie during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

OAK VALLEY - during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

OAK VALLEY – during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

OAK VALLEY - the lead bunch climb toward Rusty Bridge during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

OAK VALLEY – the lead bunch climb toward Rusty Bridge during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

OAK VALLEY - overall leaders Robert Mennen & Kristian Hynek of Topeak Ergon Racing during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

OAK VALLEY – overall leaders Robert Mennen & Kristian Hynek of Topeak Ergon Racing during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

OAK VALLEY - Riders head along the route during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

OAK VALLEY – Riders head along the route during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Richard Glen Haw (Left) and Waleed Baker (Right) of Pitstop lead a bunch during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Richard Glen Haw (Left) and Waleed Baker (Right) of Pitstop lead a bunch during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Urs Huber of Team Bulls in the outcast jersey after his partner Karl Platt pulled out of the race with a knee injury during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Urs Huber of Team Bulls in the outcast jersey after his partner Karl Platt pulled out of the race with a knee injury during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

A team of outcasts are held back at waterpoint 2 during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

A team of outcasts are held back at waterpoint 2 during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Absa supporters encourage Felix Prinz and his partner during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Absa supporters encourage Felix Prinz and his partner during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Riders make their way through the winding single track through the mountains during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Riders make their way through the winding single track through the mountains during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Riders make their way past the an Opra Singer at the Oakley activation during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Riders make their way past the an Opra Singer at the Oakley activation during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

OAK VALLEY - Bart Brentjens & Abraao Azevedo of BETCH.nl Superior Meerendal pass Medusa, Queen of the Mountain, a performance art piece by Oakley during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

OAK VALLEY – Bart Brentjens & Abraao Azevedo of BETCH.nl Superior Meerendal pass Medusa, Queen of the Mountain, a performance art piece by Oakley during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Absa Cape Epic 2014 Stage 5 Greyton to Elgin

 

Theo Blignaut cools down during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014 Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Theo Blignaut cools down during stage 5 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 28 March 2014
Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Stage 6: Elgin (85km, 1800m of climbing)

Riders still in the race will definitely have earned the rewards of Stage 6. Although there will be 1800m of total climbing, riders will mostly remember the amazing single track descents that will be dotted along the route. The first section will be a cruise through vineyards, apple orchards and fynbos and just before water point 1 at Houw Hoek Inn riders will enjoy a first sampling of the great single track still to come. After a steady climb on forestry roads, the next highlight will await, a fast, gradually descending dual track dropping deep into the Elgin Valley. The climb out will soon be rewarded with the sweeping purpose built mountain bike tracks of Lebanon. And just when riders will think it can’t get any better, the trails at Paul Cluver await, smooth and perfectly carved, with spectacular bridges. There will still be some climbing to be done to get back to Oak Valley, but that too will be instantly rewarded with some final exhilarating trails that will ensure riders finish with huge smiles on their faces (after what has unanimously been voted by the trial ride teams as the most fun stage of 2014).

The eight-stage race finishes at Lourensford Wine Estate on Sunday.

 

Source: Purple Pine PR

ABSA CAPE EPIC STAGE 5 WRAP: ELGIN Reviewed by on .   AN act of sportsmanship on Friday’s hot, rugged and mountainous stage five of the Absa Cape Epic may have decided the destination of the race. - By Chris Whit   AN act of sportsmanship on Friday’s hot, rugged and mountainous stage five of the Absa Cape Epic may have decided the destination of the race. - By Chris Whit Rating: 0

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