Gert Heyns and Matthys Beukes’s stirring win on the seventh and final stage of the Absa Cape Epic also ensured that they became the first all-African team to complete the 2014 edition of the eight-day event. – By Chris Whitfield
The Scott Factory Racing pair had been wearing the red Absa African jersey – for the best performing team from the continent – since Thursday and Sunday’s result put them into sixth place overall, two positions and 22 minutes ahead of closest rivals Erik Kleinhans and Nico Bell (RECM).
Philip Buys, racing with cross-country world champion Nino Schurter from Switzerland, was the best-placed South African in fifth overall.
Best all-South African team on the women’s event was Sasol Racing’s Yolande de Villiers and Ischen Stopforth, sixth overall, but Theresa Ralph managed to get on to the podium in third place with her Swedish partner Jennie Stenerhag.
Shan Wilson and Adrian Enthoven (Definitive Bikes) were the fastest South Africans in the masters category, but had to settle for second overall, 19 minutes behind Dutchman Bart Brentjens and Brazilian Abraao Azevedo (BETCH.nl Superior Meerendal).
Nic White and Zimbabwean Warren Squires were third in the category, but more than two hours back.
Andrew Mclean, riding with Austrian Heinz Zoerweg (Cycle Lab Toyota), finished an incredible 15th overall to secure the grandmasters title ahead of Doug Brown and Switzerland’s Barti Bucher (Meerendal Songo Specialized 4), who were nearly an hour behind. Eben Esbach and Corrie Muller (Absa) were third.
The mixed category was won by Mauritius’s Lincoln Yannick and Aurelie Halbwachs (Synergy), but South Africa’s Nizaam Essa and his Austrian teammate Christina Kollman (Asrin) were squeezed off the podium and finished fifth.
Source: Purple Pine PR