Stander and Sauser win Epic stage 2

The South African/Swiss team of Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser (36ONE Songo Specialized) again proved their world-class stature by winning Stage 2 of this year’s Absa Cape Epic.

This is their third consecutive win, having also taken top honours in both the Prologue and Stage 1.

With an overall time of 9 hours, 27 Minutes and 38 seconds, the 36ONE Songo Specialized team will wear the yellow leader jersey for Stage 3 tomorrow.

They were followed by Hannes Genze and Jochen Käss of Multivan Merida Biking in 4:33.30,6 (overall 9:33.56,3) with their second podium finish for this event and placed second overall.

Hannes Genze and Jochen Käss

In third place with their first podium finish this year were Lukas and Mathias Flückiger of Trek World Racing in 4:34.07,2 (overall time 9:48.42,1). In fourth place was the Bulls team of Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm in (4:34.23,6; overall time 9:35.01,6), placing them in third position overall. Nicolas Vermeulen and Kevin van Hoovels (team Versluys-Evenza) finished in fifth place today in 4:40.18,0 (overall time 9:49.53,2)

Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm

The 36ONE Songo Specialized team of Sauser and Stander lead the Multivan Merida Biking team of Hannes Genze and Jochen Käss by 6 minutes and 18 seconds and it is their 12th stage win in the Absa Cape Epic since they participated for the first time.

Stander said: “Today’s stage was hard. We followed a similar tactic to yesterday and tried to stay in front. Towards the end there were some steep climbs, but Susi (Christoph Sauser) was really strong and I just had to follow his wheel and on the flat stretch power to the end.”

Sauser added: “I was feeling super strong today and had a good day in the saddle. We were riding together – about 8 of us – for most of the day but we broke away near the end. It was really nice to win another stage, but we’ll only celebrate tomorrow if we manage to win the stage again. The whole thing can blow up again. I‘ve never been as strong as this year – I also had a coach this year which was good for me. It’s good to get some advice, even at 35, and do more power workouts. I definitely have more strength in my legs.”

Mannie Heymans and Adrien Niyonshuti (team Garmin adidas MTN) are the leaders in the African Jersey in 10:05.25,5, followed by Paul Cordes and Charles Keey (MTN/Qhubeka) in 10:17.39,3. In third place are Brandon Stewart and Shan Wilson (Toyota DCM) in 10:19.55,1.

Heymans said: “We‘re out here to defend the African leader jersey and very happy that we managed to extend our lead. Our objective for the rest of the race is to defend it. Adrien and I didn’t do much training together and he’s not a guy with lots of words, but every day just gets better and better. We’re getting stronger as the Absa Cape Epic progresses. I had a big heart for Adrien at the beginning of the race and as we go along, my heart is getting bigger. It’s a dream come true to ride with him. He’s been through so much – I really admire him. It’s a pity about Kevin and David, but we’ll wear the African Leader jersey with pride.”

Eva Lechner and Nathalie Schneitter (team Colnago Arreghini Südtirol) won the Ladies Category for the third day in a row in a time of 5:56.23,0 (overall time 12:27.59,7), ahead of Sally Bigham and Karien Van Jaarsveld (team USN) in a time of 6:01.49,6 (overall 12:41.38,7). Naomi Hansen and Jodie Willett of adidas finished in third place in 6:07.58,4 (overall time 13:26.15,4). Lechner and Schneitter lead by 13 minutes and 39 seconds.

In the Master’s Category the Juwi team (Carsten Bresser and Udo Boelts) won the stage for the third consecutive day in 4:59.31,2 (overall time 10:30.14,2). They were again followed by Robert Sim and Doug Brown of the Robert Daniel team in 5:10.34,3 (overall time 10:57.08,8) with the Nandos team of Adrian Enthoven and Gerrie Beukes in third place in 5:23.08,6 (overall time 11:17.19,1). The Juwi team lead by 26 minutes and 55 seconds.

The Wheeler – BIXS team, Bärti Bucher and Esther Süss, won the Mixed category for the third day in a row in 5:23.08,0 (overall time 11:16.09,6), followed by Erik Kleinhans and Ariane Lüthi in 5:42.13,3 (overall time 11:49.47,0). The Swiss team of Daniel Annaheim and Renata Bucher (Baumat / again finished in third place in 5:50.20,3 (overall time 12:13.29,2).

Tomorrow’s Stage 3 is between Saronsberg/Tulbagh and Worcester. (125km, 1900m of climbing)