Topeak-Ergon's Robert Mennen and Kristian Hynek won the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race this past weekend after eight days of competition in South Africa. For both riders, winning the Cape Epic was a dream come true.
Mennen, 28, and Hynek, 33, spent four days racing in the leaders' jerseys before clinching the overall title as first-time winners on Sunday.
"I can't believe that Kristian and I came here, and won this thing!" Mennen said after the race. "The Cape Epic was right at the top of my 'must win' list. This is the biggest win of my career!"
Hynek was also overjoyed at the result. "This means as much to me as my European 2012 Champion's Title, which shows precisely how important a result they think it is."
The winning result would not have been possible without the fair play principles exercised by Jochen Kaess and Markus Kaufmann of the Centurion Vaude team. Kaess and Kaufmann twice helped the Topeak Ergon team - giving wheels twice sacrificing their own ambitions in order to allow Hynek and Mennen to chase theirs.
"Without their help, it is unlikely that we would be stood here," said Mennen in tribute to the Centurion-Vaude team.
Alban Lakata was originally supposed to be on the Topeak Ergon team, but he had to sit out due to injury after tearing his Achilles tendon in a skiing accident. In his absence Hynek and Mennen paired up.