Saturday , 24 August 2019

ABSA CAPE EPIC STAGE 7: LOURENSFORD, MENNEN & HYNEK KINGS OF THE EPIC

It was a traditional final day, all culminating at Lourensford Wine Estate where a hero’s welcome awaited the tired riders. It was a short day with a late start, but definitely not a free ride to the finish! A few final hurdles challenged riders, like the climb up Nuweberg on forestry roads, with its steep and washed out descent. Once over the Hottentots Mountain Range, riders enjoyed the vistas over False Bay, all the way back to Cape Town where their journey began some odd 700km ago. A final steep single track climb and riders celebrated their homecoming as they entered the Lourensford Bowl. – By Chris Whitfield

Winners from each category from left to right: African, Masters, Ladies, Overall, Mixed, Grand Masters and Exxaro during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Warren Elsom/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Winners from each category from left to right: African, Masters, Ladies, Overall, Mixed, Grand Masters and Exxaro during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Warren Elsom/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

German Robert Mennen and his Czech teammate Kristian Hynek (Topeak-Ergon) coolly defended their lead during the seventh and final stage of the Absa Cape Epic to take overall honours in the prestigious mountain bike stage race for the first time.

A large and lively crowd gathered at the finish line at Lourensford Wine Estate, Somerset West, also witnessed Gert Heyns and Matthys Beukes (Scott factory Racing) become the first South Africans ever to win the closing stage – the most sought after stage in the event.

And adopted South African Ariane Kleinhans – Swiss but living in Stellenbosch – and her Danish teammate Annike Langvad were warmly cheered across the line as they won the women’s category by some distance.

Kristian Hynek and Robert Mennen of Topeak-Ergon Racing celebrate after winning the Absa Cape Epic during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014

Kristian Hynek and Robert Mennen of Topeak-Ergon Racing celebrate after winning the Absa Cape Epic during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014

 

Mennen and Hynek started the 67km stage from Elgin with a more than 10-minute lead and defended it comfortably – finishing in a group containing their main general classification rivals.

“I got some revenge for last year,” said Mennen afterwards in reference to the incident in the 2013 Absa Cape Epic when he hit a duiker that ran in front of his bicycle, was thrown over his handlebars and broke his collarbone.

“But I never thought I could win the biggest mountain bike stage race in the world …it feels incredible,” said Mennen, who has competed in the Cape Epic twice before.

Hynek was riding his first Epic and confessed to sleeping very little on Saturday night: “It was a big relief to cross the line after having problems on the earlier stages, but nothing went wrong today.”

With a little bit of help from their friends, Hynek and Mennen held on to the zebra-striped yellow leaders’ jersey from stage three. On earlier stages Hynek had twice been the beneficiary of sportsmanship by fellow professionals Centurion-Vaude – Germans Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess – when they handed over their wheels after he got punctures.

About 45km into Sunday’s stage a group of four riders – none in contention for overall laurels – broke away.

Cross country World Champion Nino Schurter of Switzerland and his South African teammate Philip Buys (Scott-Odlo) turned up the pace and their back-up team – locals Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns (Scott Factory Racing) – joined them. The chasing pack – led by former Epic winner Roel Paulissen of Belgium and Riccardo Chiarini of Italy (Torpado) – could not reel them in.

Absa Cape Epic 2014 Stage 7 Elgin to Somerset West

 

As the two teams approached the finish line on the grass at Lourensford, Buys and Schurter backed off, allowing the young South Africans to take the stage and make a piece of Epic history.

An emotional Beukes said the win in the prestigious final stage into Lourensford was “unbelievable … to do this with my two best friends (Heyns and Buys) and the world champion – who’s also become our friend – was very special”.

They and the Scott-Odlo team had got away from others on the portage down the old wagon trail alongside Sir Lowry’s Pass. “Once we realised we were going to win in front of our friends and family nothing could have stopped us … we could have gone on forever,” said Beukes.

Four-times winner Christoph Sauser of Switzerland had started the day with Czech partner Frantisek Rabon (Meerendal Songo Specialized) determined to make inroads into the overall lead of Hynek and Mennen, but had to settle for second overall after being unable to shake off the Topeak-Ergon team.

Sauser said he was disappointed not to win after “chasing the yellow every day … but that’s the Cape Epic, that’s how it is”. He and Rabon suffered several punctures and some technical problems during the race.

Overall Yellow Jersey holders Robert Mennen (far left) and Kristian Hynek (centre left) of Topeak-Ergon Racing celebrate as the cross the line to win the Absa Cape Epic as Frantisek Rabon (centre right) and Christoph Sauser (far right) of Meerendal Songo Specialized finish second overall during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Overall Yellow Jersey holders Robert Mennen (far left) and Kristian Hynek (centre left) of Topeak-Ergon Racing celebrate as the cross the line to win the Absa Cape Epic as Frantisek Rabon (centre right) and Christoph Sauser (far right) of Meerendal Songo Specialized finish second overall during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Rabon, competing in his first Cape Epic since switching to mountain biking from road racing, said he had been “to hell and back many times”. He had learnt that the racing was more intense than on the road – where you could rest in the peleton on a bad day.

There was some consolation for the Bulls team after losing race favourite Karl Platt to an injury when its back-up team – Germans Tim Boehme and Simon Stiebjahn (Bulls 2) – finished third overall.

Kleinhans and Langvad (RECM2) won the women’s category by more than 30 minutes, overturning a 24-minute deficit after stage one when they were plagued by punctures and mechanical problems.

They had ridden a conservative race Sunday to hold their lead, but still won the stage by 12 minutes.

Annika Langvad and Ariane Kleinhans of RECM2 celebrate after winning the Overall Womens Jersey during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Annika Langvad and Ariane Kleinhans of RECM2 celebrate after winning the Overall Womens Jersey during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Langvad said the finish at Lourensford was “amazing … overwhelming … surreal with this huge crowd”

Kleinhans thanked South Africans who had “adopted me as their daughter … their support made me very emotional”.

Esther Suss of Switzerland and Briton Sally Bigham (Meerendal) finished second and South African Theresa Ralph and Swede Jennie Stenerhag (Cape Brewing Company) were third.

Stunning views towards Strand during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Warren Elsom/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Stunning views towards Strand during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Warren Elsom/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Riders descend the Hottentot mountains via an old wagon trail during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Stellenbosch to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Kelvin Trautman/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Riders descend the Hottentot mountains via an old wagon trail during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Stellenbosch to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Kelvin Trautman/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Nino Schurter leads the bunch during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Nino Schurter leads the bunch during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Matthys Beukes of Team SCOTT factory racing is the first rider to portage the ox-wagon track section during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Matthys Beukes of Team SCOTT factory racing is the first rider to portage the ox-wagon track section during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Yellow Jersey wearers Robert Mennen and Kristian Hynek of Topeak-Ergon Racing lead the chasing group during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Yellow Jersey wearers Robert Mennen and Kristian Hynek of Topeak-Ergon Racing lead the chasing group during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Team Torpado Racing during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Team Torpado Racing during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Christoph Sauser gives team mate Frantisek Rabon of Meerendal Songo Specialized a helping hand during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Christoph Sauser gives team mate Frantisek Rabon of Meerendal Songo Specialized a helping hand during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

David Vos walks his bike on the compulsory portage during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Stellenbosch to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Kelvin Trautman/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

David Vos walks his bike on the compulsory portage during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Stellenbosch to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Kelvin Trautman/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Ariane Klienhans and Annika Langvad of Team RECM 2 on their way to victory during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Stellenbosch to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Kelvin Trautman/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Ariane Klienhans and Annika Langvad of Team RECM 2 on their way to victory during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Stellenbosch to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Kelvin Trautman/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Joel Stransky descends fast during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Stellenbosch to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Kelvin Trautman/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Joel Stransky descends fast during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Stellenbosch to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Kelvin Trautman/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

LOURENSFORD Philip Buys & Nino Schurter of SCOTT-Odlo lead Matthys Beukes & Gert Heyns of SCOTT Factory Racing during the final stage during the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

LOURENSFORD Philip Buys & Nino Schurter of SCOTT-Odlo lead Matthys Beukes & Gert Heyns of SCOTT Factory Racing during the final stage during the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

LOURENSFORD riders cross Vergelegen Estate during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

LOURENSFORD riders cross Vergelegen Estate during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

LOURENSFORD riders portage down the historical Gamtouw Pass above Somerset West during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

LOURENSFORD riders portage down the historical Gamtouw Pass above Somerset West during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

(L to R) Nino Schurter, Gert Heyns, Matthys Beukes, Philip Buys cross the finidh line after the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

(L to R) Nino Schurter, Gert Heyns, Matthys Beukes, Philip Buys cross the finidh line after the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Abraao Azevedo (left) and Bart Brentjens of team BETCH.nl Superior Meerendal win the masters category of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Abraao Azevedo (left) and Bart Brentjens of team BETCH.nl Superior Meerendal win the masters category of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Joel Stransky and Stephan Terblanche on the finish line of  final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Joel Stransky and Stephan Terblanche on the finish line of final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Riders reconcile with their families during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Riders reconcile with their families during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Bettina Uhlig in tears after the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Bettina Uhlig in tears after the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

A marriage proposal on the finish line of the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Stellenbosch to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Kelvin Trautman/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

A marriage proposal on the finish line of the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Stellenbosch to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Kelvin Trautman/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Ladies winners Ariane  Kleinhans and Annika Langvad during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Warren Elsom/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Ladies winners Ariane Kleinhans and Annika Langvad during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Warren Elsom/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Kristian Hynek of Team Topeak Ergon celebrates with the crowds as he crosses the finishline during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Kristian Hynek of Team Topeak Ergon celebrates with the crowds as he crosses the finishline during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Robert Mennen of Team Topeak Ergon kisses his bicycle after crossign the finishline during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Robert Mennen of Team Topeak Ergon kisses his bicycle after crossign the finishline during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Robert Mennen and Kristian Hynek of team Topeak Ergon are sprayed with Champaign after winning the 2014 ABSA Cape Epic after finishing the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Robert Mennen and Kristian Hynek of team Topeak Ergon are sprayed with Champaign after winning the 2014 ABSA Cape Epic after finishing the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Robert Mennen of Topeak-Ergon Racing celebrates after winning the Absa Cape Epic  during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Robert Mennen of Topeak-Ergon Racing celebrates after winning the Absa Cape Epic during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Race winners Kristian Hynek and Robert Mennen of Topeak-Ergon Racing during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014 Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Race winners Kristian Hynek and Robert Mennen of Topeak-Ergon Racing during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, South Africa on the 30 March 2014
Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Absa Cape Epic 2014 Stage 7 Elgin to Somerset West

 

CATEGORY SUMMARIES

Men’s Category

Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns of SCOTT Factory Racing won the final stage of this year’s Absa Cape Epic in 3:00.02,3 in a sprint finish with Swiss/South African duo Nino Schurter and Philip Buys (SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing) in 3:00.02.6. Roel Paulissen and Riccardo Chiarini of Torpado Factory finished in third in 3:02.24,2. Buys also finished in second place with Beukes in the final stage last year, and Schurter in third.

Robert Mennen and Kristian Hynek of Topeak-Ergon Racing were overall winners of the world’s foremost mountain bike stage race, after finishing in an overall time of 30:31.59,2. In second place overall were a disappointed Christoph Sauser, bidding for his fifth win, and František Raboň of Meerendal Songo Specialized in 30:42.22,4. Team Bulls 2 of Tim Boehme and Simon Stiebjahn were ecstatic with their third place overall in 30:45.25,2. Mennen and Hynek won with a lead time of 10 minutes, 23,2 seconds.

Sasol Women’s Category

Swiss/Danish duo Ariane Kleinhans and Annika Langvad (RECM 2) dominated this year’s race and won their category in an overall time of 34:54.53,7 with a lead time of 37 minutes and 44 seconds. They also won the final stage in 3:32.59,0. In second place overall were the Meerendal team of Esther Süss and Sally Bigham in 35:32.38,1, who also finished in second place in the final stage (3:45.06,6). In third place overall were Jennie Stenerhag and Theresa Ralph of Cape Brewing Company in 37:35.38. Milena Landtwing and Hielke Elferink (Meerendal Wheeler) finished in third place today in 3:48.31,9, but placed fourth overall in 38:13.15,5. It was also their first podium this year.

Masters Category

Bart Brentjens and Abraao Azevedo (BETCH.nl Superior Meerendal) reigned supreme in the Masters category and won the final stage (3:28.24,9) as well as the overall in a time of 33:53.04,1. South Africans Shan Wilson and Adrian Enthoven of Definitive Bikes finished second overall in 34:12.28,9, with Absa Masters Warren Squires and Nic White in third place overall in 36:34.01,3. Brentjens and Azevedo won by 19 minutes, 24,8 seconds.

Says Brentjens of BETCH.nl Superior Meerendal: “We got stronger everyday and to finish this way is amazing. It’s a great end to a great Epic.” His teammate Azevedo adds: “Riding with Bart was a great experience and very special. I enjoyed being part of the Epic and the team. I enjoyed every day.”

Grand Masters

The South African and Austrian duo, Andrew Mclean and Heinz Zoerweg of Cycle Lab Toyota won the Grand Masters overall in a time of 33:56.37,5. They won the Prologue as well as six stages of this year’s race. They were followed by Bärti Bucher and Doug Brown of Meerendal Songo Specialized 4 in an overall time of 34:56.24,2 with Absa Grand Masters Eben Espach and Corrie Muller in third place overall in 36:41.34,6.  Bärti Bucher and Doug Brown of Meerendal Songo Specialized 4 won their first stage in this year’s race in 3:33.36,4. Mclean and Zoerweg won this category by 59 minutes, 46,7 seconds.

Says Mclean of Cycle Lab Toyota: “It’s all about the jersey. We ended up winning almost all the stages, but in the end all that we wanted was the jersey. It was a great experience riding with someone I didn’t really know before the time. We worked so well together despite that. I had a good time with Heinz.”

Mixed Category

Yannick Lincoln and Aurelie Halbwachs of Synergy won the Mixed category overall in a time of 37:07.20,1. They were followed by Gal Tsachor and Idit Shub of Trek Israel in 39:03.36,6 with Tom Janas and Bettina Uhlig of Sportograf.com – BQ Cycling in third place in 39:42.31,3. They (Sportograf.com – BQ Cycling) also won today’s stage in 3:41.28,9. Synergy beat their closest rivals by 1 hour, 56 minutes and 16,5 seconds.

Says Lincoln of Synergy: “I’ve never experienced the Epic like this. It’s the biggest victory ever. I can’t believe it. We never expected it.” Halbwachs adds: “In 2009 I ended 24th and now I won! It’s not something I really have words for.”

Absa African Jersey

The fastest all-African team was Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns of SCOTT Factory Racing in an overall time of 31:42.52,4. In second place were Erik Kleinhans and Nico Bell of RECM in 32:05.11,5 with RED-E Blend’s Andrew Hill and Charles Keey in third place in 32:59.37,3.

Exxaro Jersey

Siphosenkosi Madolo and Azukile Simayile of team Meerendal Songo Specialized 16 won the Exxaro special jersey in an overall time of 35:40.05,9. They also won the final stage in 3:31.08,9 and finished in 30th  overall (GC).

Comments Madolo: “This is what we wanted. We came to win and to actually finish first and take the Exxaro jersey home, is what we hoped for and dreamt about. I can’t stop smiling right now!”

YouTube (www.youtube.com/absacapeepic).

Source: Purple Pine PR

ABSA CAPE EPIC STAGE 7: LOURENSFORD, MENNEN & HYNEK KINGS OF THE EPIC Reviewed by on . It was a traditional final day, all culminating at Lourensford Wine Estate where a hero’s welcome awaited the tired riders. It was a short day with a late start It was a traditional final day, all culminating at Lourensford Wine Estate where a hero’s welcome awaited the tired riders. It was a short day with a late start Rating: 0

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