Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm (Bulls 1) sprinted to victory on stage two of the Absa Cape Epic stage race in South Africa, beating Hannes Genze and Andreas Kugler (Multivan Merida Biking) by less than half-a-second.
Platt and Sahm clocked 4:21.13,4 (overall 10:19.15,7) on the 119km stage to Robertson, with Genze and Kugler crossing the line in 4:21.13,8 (overall 10:20.34,4), while overall leaders Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser of Team 36ONE-Songo-Specialized, were less than two seconds behind in 4:21.15,0 (overall 10:06.29,7).
“It was a great day for us. We didn’t even speak close to the finish. It was as if we knew telepathically what the other wanted to do,” said Sahm after his five Cape Epic stage victory. “Our timing was perfect, our legs felt better and we’re getting into a rhythm now. We’re very motivated, but it’s still a long way to go..
Platt, who now boasts 12 stage wins in the race, added: “I can’t describe the feeling. It’s unbelievable to win a stage again after not winning in 2010 or 2011. We waited for two years, but did it – and Lady Luck was on our side today. Today wasn’t that tough, but we had to be patient as we were always riding in a big group. Stefan did exactly what I was thinking – he attacked. We did it! Our legs are back and we’re really happy – it’s a relief to win a stage again.”
Stander, who with team-mate Sauser won the proglogue and stage one, said: “We were a group of 40 riders in the beginning. It was quite dangerous and tense for the first 40km with riders fighting for position. On a climb the group was cut down to 10 teams. From then on we just kept making sure that we eat and drink enough when preparing for tomorrow’s monster stage. It’s always special to be on the podium. Well done to the other teams – they wanted the win badly and it keeps the race exciting.”
Sally Bigham and Esther Süss claim hat-trick of stage wins
Meanwhile, Sally Bigham and Esther Süss of Wheels4Life continue to dominate the women’s category, winning for the third day in a row in a time of 4:54.27,2 (overall 11:43.58,8), ahead of Karien van Jaarsveld and Jane Nüssli of MTN Qhubeka Ladies in 5:03.57,3 (overall 12:28.31,7). Ivonne Kraft and Elisabeth Brandau of notebooksbilliger.de finished in third place in 5:08.52,2 (overall 12:30.12,8).
Van Jaarsveld said: “I had a stomach bug before the race and am still recovering from that. It was a fast race today and we put the girls under pressure to test everyone. We’re feeling good and hope to be on the podium tomorrow. It’s a big day and we’ll consolidate and take it conservatively over the next few days.”
Photos by Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS