The temperature during stage 2 was ideal and not as hot as during stage 1. It was less sandy and a fast rolling stage with exciting racing. The course was particularly rugged and there were two major casualties in the pro-field – the first being the yellow zebra leader jersey and the second José Hermida picking up a five-inch nail. He had to repair it to get him to the next tech zone for a wheel change. This cost the team over 11 minutes at the end of the day. Riding at the front were Karl Platt and Urs Huber as well as Jaroslav Kulhavy and Christoph Sauser, until Kulhavy broke his chain. They lost a few minutes repairing the chain and in the process broke the chain tool. With a bit of improvisation, they managed to get it back together again, but lost 9 minutes in the process.
The Epic started in earnest today. As history shows, stage 1 of the Epic is usually a beast, and this year was no different. It was the toughest 96km I have ever had on a bike. People often exaggerate these kinds of statements, but honestly, it was brutal.
I have no issue with sand on a beach, really I dont, but I have a massive beef with it when I have to try ride through it. Today I think that I would have preferred to ride my bike up and down Camps Bay beach for 6 hours, at least there would have be some scantly clad ladies to numb the pain.
Wow, what a vibe. Today’s prologue was tough but amazing with 700m elevation gain over 23 kilometers. The crowds lining the course were fantastic and we tried our hardest to rise to the occasion.Awesome singletrack and having the legendary Bart Brentjens steaming past me is what stands out in my mind.
Top South African rider Brandon Stewart (31) will participate in this year’s Absa Cape for the 10th time, partnering with Neil MacDonald as team FedGroup-Itec. Stewart won the Absa African Leader jersey in both 2007 and 2012, as well as finished in the top 5 in 2005, having partnered with Gerrie Beukes, Shan Wilson, Max Knox and Jacques Rossouw in the past. He was the South African Cross-country Champion in 2008 and a TransAlp stage winner in 2007.
PROST AND DI PASQUA RETURN FOR THEIR 2ND ABSA CAPE EPIC
World famous former Formula One champion Alain Prost (58) and well-known international ski champion Sebastien Di Pasqua (36), return for their second Absa Cape Epic. Together with 1 198 riders they will take on the challenging 698km and 15 650m of climbing in the untamed African mountain bike race. This year’s race, which takes place from 17 to 24 March, will kick-off with a prologue at Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville and finish eight days later at the traditional Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West.
Winner of the Master’s category in the 2010 Absa Cape Epic, Shan Wilson (46), will participate in this year’s Absa Cape for the 10th time. Wilson has an impressive stage win history finishing first in seven of the eight stages in 2010 (first place overall in the Master’s category) and taking first place in the Prologue and stages three to seven (second place overall in the Master’s category) in 2009.
DRIEPOOT TOYOTA FIRST AMPUTEES TEAM TO COMPETE IN ABSA CAPE EPIC
Reuben Van Niekerk (28) will be teaming up with Dane Wilson (30) for this year’s Absa Cape Epic as team Driepoot Toyota. The legendary mountain bike stage race, which takes place from 17 to 24 March 2013, will take 1 200 riders over 698km with 15 650m of climbing through from Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West.
Van Niekerk, a motoring journalist by profession, says that he took part in the Absa Cape Epic Volunteer Programme in 2012 in order to be able to participate in this year’s event. He received sponsorship from Toyota, which made it all possible for him.
Previous winner of the Absa Cape Epic in the Ladies category, Sharon Laws, had to withdraw from the 10th edition of the race yesterday after a serious fall in the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour. Her partner, Hanlie Booyens, will now be riding with Ischen Stopforth as team Pragma Volcan Ladies.
Says Booyens: “Yesterday was a very challenging day for us all. To see a great friend in agony and heartbroken is never easy. Sharon had a horrible crash nearing the finish line of the Argus. She was out there having a brilliant ride, breaking away on Suikerbossie. She was in front, riding aggressively and unfortunately this meant she was the first in line when one of the guys went down, sending her rocketing over him and crashing badly.