Indomitable Christoph Sauser and Jaroslav Kulhavy of Burry Stander – SONGO won Stage 6 of this year’s Absa Cape Epic. This is their fourth stage win this year and Sauser’s 30th stage win in the history of the event. They finished in 4:30.17,0 (overall 27:13.26,0). The Bulls Karl Platt and Urs Huber finished in second place again in 4:32.54,9 (overall 27:19.47,2). They were followed by the Bulls 2 team of Thomas Dietsch and Tim Boehme in third place in 4:35:44,4 (overall 27:39.27,7) with South Africa’s Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes of SCOTT Factory Racing in fourth place (4:36.42,4; overall 28:25.21,9).
THIRD STAGE WIN FOR SAUSER AND KULHAVY OF BURRY STANDER – SONGO
BULLS PLATT AND HUBER IN SECOND PLACE OVERALL
The fifth day was like a bonus day – short, sweet and, most importantly, great fun! Riders already had a taste of the Bain’s MTB Trails at Welvanpas on the day before. It was a fantastic purpose-built network of single-track, perched between the Wellington vineyards and the slopes of Bain’s Kloof. The relatively short distance of 75 kilometers offered more single-track than any previous Absa Cape Epic stage, featuring some amazing cross-country terrain and lots of twisting ups and downs – all in all an extra enjoyable day to re-energise body and mind. To avoid any congestion on the trails, the start groups were staggered over 1,5 hours.
Stage 4 started with cool temperatures in the morning. It was a fast stage with lots of single-track. There was an early breakaway by Rene Haselbacher and Wolfgang Krenn of ASRIN RH77 and they stayed in the lead until the Telkom Hot Spot. After the Hot Spot, Sauser and Kulhavy took the lead and powered on, increasing the gap over the course of the stage.
Teams Multivan Merida, Bulls and Bulls 2 missed a route marker. After following what they thought was the correct route, their path intersected stage 5’s route, which was already marked, and they then continued to follow stage 5’s route markers, and thought that this was today’s course.
European stars Team Bulls claimed a maiden victory at the 3rd Nashua Grape Escape after dominating the field for most of the three-day stage race. Tim Böhme took home the gold medal, with teammate Urs Huber claiming second place. Third place went to up-and-coming local star James Reid of Team Trek/Privateer.
Defending champion Christoph Sauser took first place on a challenging Stage 3, beating Phil Buys by eight seconds. It wasn’t enough to make up for a disappointing run of bad luck after he gave up the lead a few hundred meters from the finish on Stage 1 when he took a wrong turn, and then experiencing technical problems on Stage 2.
Olympic gold medalist Jaroslav Kulhavÿ (28) of Czechoslovakia, will team up with defending champion Christoph Sauser (36) of Switzerland, in this year’s Absa Cape Epic. The event, which takes place from 17 to 24 March 2013, will once again take 1 200 riders through some of the Western Cape’s most unspoilt territory. The race will kick-off with the prologue at Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville and end 698km later at its traditional Lourensford Wine Estate finish.
Europe’s top mountain bikers will be out for revenge at the UCI sanctioned MTN Sabie ultra-marathon on Saturday (23 February).
Last year’s race turned out to be an unofficial test between the top riders from South Africa and some of Europe’s best riders.
The local riders eventually dominated, with Kevin Evans taking the win. Max Knox finished second and David George was third.
There will be no easing into 2013 for South Africa’s top mountain bike marathon racers. The Attakwas Extreme Challenge in Oudtshoorn is regarded by most as the toughest single-day marathon race in the country and on Saturday, the seventh edition will guarantee another brutal season-opening test.
It’s unlikely any of the Attakwas Extreme Challenge entrants will have felt comfortable resting on Christmas Day. Indeed, most probably trained. The formidable 121km route, which incorporates the unforgiving dry, stony Karoo terrain, will include just under 3000 metres of climbing, with around two thirds of that in the final half of the race.
Leading mountain biking duo Christoph Sauser and Burry Stander will be back in the saddle this time at the 2012 Contego Wines2Whales MTB Race powered by Maserati.
Starting at the picturesque Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West) this coming Friday (09 November 2012) riders will need to complete a sum total of 209km in the saddle before finally crossing the finish line near Onrus Caravan Park on Sunday (11 November 2012).