For the first time since the start of this year’s Absa Cape Epic, the Trek-Brentjens team of Bart Brentjens and Chris Jongewaard sprinted across the finish to secure their first stage win in a time of 03:31:09. They are in second position overall (25:23:17).
Christoph Sauser and Burry Stander (Songo.info), winners of four stages in this year’s event, finished in 2nd place (03:31:20) and are placed 6th overall (26:16:56).
Emil Lindgren and Andreas Kugler (Felt Factory 2) finished in third place in today’s Stage 3, also securing their 3rd podium finish since the start of the race. They are in 3rd position overall, having moved up one position from yesterday (25:36:57).
“It feels so good to win a stage in the Absa Cape Epic and the feeling is even greater when you’ve been working so hard to get there,” said Bart Brentjens. “I’m very excited that we made it. All the teams were so close together today and it was very tricky to break away. The Bulls also worked hard today as Stefan was pacing the entire time, obviously feeling very fit. Before we reached the single track section in Lebanon forest, we were all fighting very hard – everyone wanted to get their first. I’m not quite sure what happened to the Bulls. I just saw that their chain was broken but they were able to fix it really fast, so I don’t think they lost a lot of time. But catching up is the hard part.
“The fact that you win with a team mate makes a stage victory at the Epic even more special. It feels bigger than anything else because you share the joy. It was our goal to win a stage and when I arrived here I thought this was going to be a tough job with so many good teams in the field. The Absa Cape Epic has developed incredibly in the past few years. The competition today is so much tougher than when I won the race with Roel Paulissen in 2005.”
Absa Ladies Hanlie Booyens and Sharon Laws continued their 7-day winning streak by finishing first in their division in 04:42:30. They remain in the overall lead in their category (33:39:26). They were again followed by Robyn Adendorff and Sarah van Heerden (WSP – Jeep Girls) in a time of 05:13:50, placing them second overall as well (38:25:26). In third position, with their third podium finish, were Daniela Hartmann and Sarah Koch (2 Swiss Epic Girls) in a time of 05:16:34, placing them in 5th position overall (41:42:09). In third place overall is the Tread Magazine ladies team, Nolene Saunders and Sarah Wielopolska (39:29:16).
The final day of the taxing 2009 Absa Cape Epic took riders over 60km and 1760m climbing. They saw short, sharp climbs and then some longer and even steeper ones though Nuweberg. Soon the riders smelt home as they neared the bottom of Gamtoe Pass. As any Absa Cape Epic veteran will tell you, it is a compulsory portage section through this National Heritage site.
The Bulls Team of Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm walked away with top honours as overall winners of this year’s exciting Absa Cape Epic presented by adidas. With a four minute and 48 second lead time on Trek-Brentjens (placed second overall) at the start this morning, they crossed the finish line in 4th position today together with the Songo.info team of Christoph Sauser and Burry Stander. They were welcomed by hundreds of enthusiastic spectators who applauded the exhausted teams at the final finish line of this year’s event, hosted at the Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset-West.
The Bulls finished the last 8 days of the Magical and Untamed Mountain Bike Race of 685km in an overall time of 28 hours, 10 minutes and 14 seconds. In second place was the Trek Brentjens team of Bart Brentjens and Chris Jongewaard in 28:15:08 – only 4 minutes and 54 seconds behind the leaders. In third place were Emil Lindgren and Andreas Kugler (Felt Factory 2) in a time of 28:28:43.
The South African team of Kevin Evans and David George (MTN Energade) finished in 4th place (28:41:00) overall and won the Leader Jersey of Best African Team. Songo.info’s Christoph Sauser and Burry Stander, who set the pace for this year’s race and won 5 of the 7 stages as well as the prologue, finished in 6th place overall (29:08:41).
“Crossing the final finish line took a load off my mind. All the problems we had this year with Karl dislocating his shoulder twice, then riding in fear that it could happen again, and those small mechanical problems we had to face, all took its toll up to now. After all these obstacles, the joy is even greater. You can’t compare winning the Absa Cape Epic to anything else. It’s outstanding and for us the biggest and most important victory of all. It means the world to us,” said Stefan Sahm (Bulls Team).
First to cross the finish line in the Ladies was the Absa Ladies team of Hanlie Booyens and Sharon Laws. They won all of the stages as well as the prologue and completed the race in 37:18:20. They were followed by Robyn Adendorff and Sarah van Heerden (WSP – Jeep Girls) in an overall time of 42:19:45. In third place in an overall time of 43:41:39 were Nolene Saunders and Sarah Wielopolska of the Tread Magazine Ladies team.
The Adidas Big Tree team of Nico Pfitzenmaier and Alison Sydor won their category in an overall time of 32:13:10, having won 6 of the seven stages as well as the Prologue. In second place overall was the Wheeler – IXS Pro team Marcel Bartholet and Esther Süss in a time of 32:51:56. Paul Cordes and Yolande Speedy (IMC/ Momentum GT/ Activeworx) finished in third place overall (33:44:48) with Lukas Kubis and Ivonne Kraft (Haibike – VMT Afripex) in fourth (34:04:38).
Our leading Brits, Jonathan Stenson and Peter Turnbull (Gateway/Cycle Studio RT’s), finsihed in 61st position.
Live results and more at www.cape-epic.com