Absa Cape Epic stars dominate world marathon championships

Tiago Jorge Ferreira Oliveira and Periklis Ilias lead the men during stage 6 of the 2016 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Boschendal in Stellenbosch, South Africa on the 19th March 2016. Photo by Dominic Barnardt/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Top Absa Cape Epic mountain bikers dominated the Marathon World Championships in Laissac, France, at the weekend.

The top three places and 9 of the top 12 were all bagged by riders with Absa Cape Epic pedigrees.
The winner and new world champion was Tiago Ferreira of Portugal, who finished fifth in the 2016 Absa Cape Epic.

Second and third on the 90km course were Topeak Ergon teammates Alban Lakata of Austria and the Czech Republic’s Kristian Hynek. Lakata – who has finished second, third, fourth and fifth at the Absa Cape Epic – finished just 19 seconds behind Ferreira. Hynek won the race in 2014.


Attached Image: Sportzpics..Ewald Sadie.. Cape Epic.jpeg
Team Topeak Ergon Racing’s Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek descends Spykers Hill on their way to a disappointing 9th place during the Prologue of the 2016 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held at Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville, South Africa on the 13th March 2016. Photo by Ewald Sadie/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS


The rugged course in the southern French town included a whopping 3 130m of vertical gain and claimed several victims. One of these was two-times Absa Cape Epic winner Jaroslav Kulhavy, who retired while in the lead bunch at 60km with a gash in the sidewall of his front tyre. It was his second puncture of the ride.


Attached Image: Sportzpics..Nick Muzik. Cape Epic.jpg
Sportzpics / Nick Muzik / Cape Epic


Similar problems befell three-times Cape Epic Women’s category winner Annika Langvad and she limped home in ninth place after wheel and chain complications. The women’s race was won by Swiss youngster Jolanda Neff while Epic veterans and former winners Sally Bigham of Britain and Ariane Kleinhans of Switzerland were second and fourth respectively.


Other names familiar to Epic fans in the men’s top 12 were fifth-placed Italian Samuel Porro (third at the Cape Epic this year), seventh-placed Austrian Daniel Geismayr (ninth at the Cape Epic), eighth-placed Jochen Kaess, 10th-placed Markus Kaufmann of Germany and then Swiss Lukas Fluckiger and Austrian Hermann Pernsteiner in eleventh and twelfth.