Cape Epic: Stage 6 - Bike Magic

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Cape Epic: Stage 6

Greyton to Hermanus: 116km, 2,005m of climbing

Hermanus/ SA – Stage 6 of the Absa Cape Epic from Greyton to the famous whale watching town of Hermanus saw some of the best singletrack riding of the race so far. The riders had to work for the good bits, though. The spectacular views over Hermanus and the Walker Bay were reached via one of the hardest climbs in the whole race – steep, long, with a constantly-changing surface of sand, gravel and loose rocks. The riders had a few minutes to enjoy the view before tackling a fast, technical doubletrack.

The leaders, Team Specialized, had their work cut out in Stage 6. Early in the stage Silvio Bundi tore the derailleur off his bike: “In the first downhill a small stick got caught between my spokes of my wheel. Fortunately we were able to fix it, but it cost us about seven minutes. When we got back onto our bikes we knew we would have to ride very hard to close the gap. At the second watering point we had already narrowed the lead by three minutes and eventually we caught up with the front bunch before we reached the third water point.”

Just to make things harder, the leading teams then started to attack one another on the final climb, only about twenty minutes after Specialized’s big effort to rejoin them. Marc Bassingthwaite and Arno Viljoen (Team GT Mr Price) were first to go, with Team Stevens rider Christian Heule following them but dropping his team mate Johannes Sickmueller. Towards the finish Stevens had regrouped and made it across the line first, topping the day’s podium for the first time.

“It was really hard today, like almost every stage,” Christian Heule said. “I am very impressed by the amateurs that participate in this race. We are pros; it is our job to ride our bikes. And we have five to six more hours time to regenerate. It is really cruel, by the time we have showered, have had our massage and go to eat some of these guys are still coming in. I admire their dedication and passion.”

Yesterday’s 100+ km breakaway by Brandon Stewart and Shan Wilson clearly took its toll – the Stage 5 winners could only manage 14th in Stage 6, with Wilson was reported as “feeling miserable”. South African Mixed team Anke Erlank and Fourie Kotze won their category by over six minutes, despite a big crash early in the stage that involved both riders plus Mixed rivals Anna and Jork Scheiderbauer. The two teams worked together to make up the time before Erlank and Kotze broke away for the win. The Scheiderbauers retain their overall lead.

Stage 6 results

  1. Stevens Racing: Johannes Sickmueller (GER) and Christian Heule (SUI) – 04:16:28
  2. Specialized: Christophe Sauser (SUI) and Silvio Bundi (SUI) – 04:16:28
  3. adidas Raleigh: Kevin Evans (RSA) and Mannie Heymans (NAM) – 04:17:39
  1. adidas-Fiat-Rotwild: Sabine Grona (GER) and Kerstin Brachtendorf (GER) – 05:37:54
  2. Mountainbike Revue: Elisabeth Hager (AUT) and Sandra Lettner (AUT) – 05:48:24
  3. Go Fast Girls: Barbara Kreisle (USA) and Christina Begy (USA) – 07:43:32
  1. Absa Business Banking Services: Linus van Onselen (RSA) and Geddan Ruddock (RSA) – 04:37:04
  2. dennis mccann: Ergee du Toit (RSA) and Corrie Muller (RSA) – 04:42:51
  3. Marsilio Projects: Tony Conlon (RSA) and Lieb Loots (RSA) – 04:54:15
  1. adidas/ W E Cycles / Bianchi : Fourie Kotze (RSA) and Anke Erlank (RSA) – 04:38:09
  2. GHOST International: Jorg Scheiderbauer (GER) and Anna Baylis-Scheiderbauer (GER) – 04:44:15
  3. Dolores Maechler (SUI) and Severin Rupp (SUI) – 04:47:08

Overall standings after Stage 5

  1. Sauser/ Bundi – 26:23:40
  2. Sickmueller/ Heule – 26:36:49
  3. Platt/ Bresser – 26:39:01
  1. Grona/ Brachtendorf – 34:34:44
  2. Hager/ Lettner – 35:30:01
  3. Kreisle/ Begy – 39:38:26
  1. van Onselen/ Ruddock – 29:01:54
  2. Du Toit/ Muller – 29:53:44
  3. Conlon/ Loots – 30:38:49
  1. Baylis-Scheiderbauer/ Scheiderbauer – 29:22:23
  2. Erlank/ Kotze – 30:04:37
  3. Meachler/ Rupp – 30:17:59


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