36ONE Songo Specialized dominating ABSA Cape Epic

South African Burry Stander and team mate Christoph Sauser continued to dominate this year’s Absa Cape Epic by winning the 5th stage of this year’s Absa Cape Epic in a time of 5:19.30,7.

They were followed by the Flückiger brothers, Lukas and Mathias, of Trek World Racing in a time of 5:19.41,2, with the Multivan Merida team, Hannes Genze and Jochen Käss, in third place with 5;19.51,1.

Sauser and Stander now lead overall by 8 minutes and 8 seconds with an overall time of 21:03.45,6.

In second position overall are Hannes Genze and Jochen Käss of Multivan Merida Biking in 21:11,54,4, followed by the Bulls team of Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm in 21:19.04,4. In fourth place overall are the Versluys-Evenza team of Nicolas Vermeulen and Kevin van Hoovels (21:39.22,6). They have moved up from fifth place overall yesterday. Andreas Kugler and Markus Kaufmann of the Multivan Merida Biking 2 team are now in fifth position overall (21:54.36,0).

The difference in time between the leaders and last year’s winners, Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm is 15 minute and 18 seconds.

Stander said: “Today was a long stage, but for most of the way we could take it easy. The first 100km we rode in a big group into Groenlandberg with both Multivan Merida and Trek World Racing riding with us. We broke away in the last 2,5 km. Every day we get closer to the finish. We still have a long day tomorrow and the next day is the final stage. If we can finish tomorrow without any mechanicals and with our lead intact, we have a good chance of winning. But as always we’ll wait for the finish line to be sure. We’ve lost this race too many times to take it for granted.”

His team mate Sauser added: “The Milka-Trek 2 team of Pietersma and Vastaranta were in front for most of the day, but we knew we’d say hello to them again. It was just a matter of time until we caught up with them. We pretty much know tomorrow’s route and feel quite confident. Our legs are good, but something could still happen-this is the Cape Epic.”

Mannie Heymans and Adrien Niyonshuti (team Garmin adidas MTN) maintain their lead in the African Jersey with an overall time of 22;21.04,1, followed by Brandon Stewart and Shan Wilson (Toyota DCM) in 23:09.59,6. They have moved up to second position overall. Paul Cordes and Charles Keey (MTN/Qhubeka) are now in third position in 23:29.03,7. Heymans and Niyonshuti are in 9th position overall, steadily moving up one position with each stage for the last two days.

The Attix5 Ladies, Hannele Steyn and Leana de Jager won today’s stage in a time of 6:28.32,2 (3rd overall; 30:08.51,0).

They were followed by Sally Bigham and Karien Van Jaarsveld (team USN) in a time of 6:31.29,1 (1st overall 27:33.47,8), with Australians Niki Fisher and Jenni King in third place in 6:42.15,4 (overall 30:35.06,2). Hanlie Booyens and Ischen Stopforth of team Absa aBreast again finished in fourth (6:45.17,9; 2nd overall 28:13.20,3). Bigham and Van Jaarsveld lead by 40 minutes and 28 seconds.

Robert Sim and Doug Brown of the Robert Daniel team won stage 5 of the Master’s Category in 5:40.41,7 (overall 23:50.48,8), followed by the Juwi team (Carsten Bresser and Udo Boelts) in 5:40.43,2 (overall 23:04.31,4). In third place were the Nandos team of Adrian Enthoven and Gerrie Beukes in a time of 5:53.00,1 (overall 24:27.53,2). Sim and Brown are still in second place overall in this category and the Juwi team lead by 46 minutes and 18 seconds.

The Wheeler – BIXS team, Bärti Bucher and Esther Süss won the Mixed category for the 6th day in a row in 5:59.12,4 (overall 24:51.59,5).

They were again followed by Erik Kleinhans and Ariane Lüthi (of Contego Giant Sludge) in 6:05.32,7 (overall 25:40.51,9). Ivonne Kraft and Peter Vesel of Raedisch Race achieved their second podium finish in third place in 6:18.32,6 and are also placed third overall (27:34.34,8).

The Wheeler – Bixs team lead this category by 48 minutes and 52 seconds.

Tomorrow’s Stage 6 is in Oak Valley, spanning 128km, with 2 700m of climbing.