The Men’s category of Stage 5 of this year’s Absa Cape Epic was again won in a sprint finish by the unbeatable South African–Swiss duo of Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser (Team 36ONE-Songo-Specialized), in a time of 5:06.45,3 (overall 25:26.48,7). This is their fifth stage win in this year’s event.
With only 1 second apart, the Bulls 2 team of Thomas Dietsch and Tim Boehme finished in second place in a time of 5:06.46,0 (overall 25:54.56,0). In third place again today were Hannes Genze and Andreas Kugler of Multivan Merida Biking in a time of 5:07.49,1 (overall 25:53.20,7). Alban Lakata and Robert Mennen of Topeak Ergon Racing finished fourth (5:07.54,2, overall 25:56.12,4) with South Africa’s 360Life team of Kevin Evans and David George in fifth place in 5:14.25,9 (overall 25:59.30,5).
Stander and Sauser (Team 36ONE-Songo-Specialized) remain in the lead in this category by 26 minutes and 32 seconds. Hannes Genze and Andreas Kugler of Multivan Merida Biking moved up one position to second place overall, with the Bulls 2 team of Thomas Dietsch and Tim Boehme in third place, 1 minutes and 35 seconds behind them. Alban Lakata and Robert Mennen of Topeak Ergon Racing are now placed fourth overall, with Kevin Evans and David George of 360Life in fifth place overall.
For the third day in a row, the Absa African leader jersey was won by Kevin Evans and David George of 360Life.
Christoph Sauser of Team 36ONE-Songo-Specialized says: “Today was very challenging. The rain stopped and then it started again. It’s never ever been this wet at the Absa Cape Epic before. The backmarkers are going to struggle a lot in these conditions. We rode for the stage win today and extra time in the GC (General Classification) is a bonus. Tomorrow is going to be very daunting with the climbs and the conditions.” Adds Burry Stander: “I prefer the heat! I took my rain jacket off with 35km to go when the sun came out. Big mistake! Soon I got so cold and was struggling. When Christoph upped the pace, I wasn’t too impressed and had some choice words for him in my mind! I was starting to feel better though and only the Bulls stayed with us. It was nice to ride with them because they pushed us.”
Wheels4Life finished in third place, retains lead
The Ladies category was won by Karien van Jaarsveld and Jane Nüssli of MTN Qhubeka in a time of 6:15.11,4 (overall 31:57.24,2), ahead of Biogen Britehouse team Theresa Ralph and Nina Gässler in a time of 6:40.52,8 (overall 31:23.03,1). Sally Bigham and Esther Süss of Wheels4Life finished in third place today in a time of 6:43.10,8 (overall 30:44.14,3).
Bigham and Süss (Wheels4Life) lead the Biogen Britehouse team Theresa Ralph and Nina Gässler by 38 minutes and 49 seconds. MTN Qhubeka’s Karien van Jaarsveld and Jane Nüssli remain in third place overall.
Says Karien van Jaarsveld of MTN Qhubeka: “Today was nice after yesterday’s very low point. It all came together for us. I think we just made our GC place safer today. We won’t stop racing until Lourensford Wine Estate. The last few kilometres were so cold because of all the downhills. I got hungry!” Adds team mate Jane Nüssli: “Winning the stage was perfect. It all worked out great because this is my kind of weather. We’ll just keep on racing, whatever the outcome.”
Says Esther Süss of Wheels4Life: “We were all very cold and we had mechanical problems when Sally’s shifter broke before the first water point. I barely managed to finish today. I don’t know how I did it.”