Mennen and Hynek win Cape Epic stage 2

Kleinhans and Langvad take women's stage

The weather took a devastating toll on Cape Epic competitors for the second day in a row on Tuesday, with stage winner Robert Mennen of Germany describing it as "survival of the fittest".

Mennen and his Czech partner Kristian Hynek (Team Topeak-Ergon) took stage 2 in 4:12:17, but four-time Cape Epic winner Karl Platt of Germany and his Swiss teammate Urs Huber (Team Bulls) overcame a crash and the weather to snatch the yellow leaders' jersey by finishing second.

Platt's great rival Christoph Sauser, also bidding for a fifth win and riding this year with Czech partner Frantisek Rabon, fell back by nearly 12 minutes on the day after a broken part in his brakes started binding on the rear wheel.

But the biggest losers on the stage were overnight yellow jersey holders Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess (Centurion Vaude), both of Germany, when the latter's frame broke. They had to make running repairs using a spare tube and cable ties, eventually finishing one hour and 50 minutes behind the winners in 112th position - and out of contention for the podium when the race finishes at Lourensford wine estate on Sunday.

Riders awoke Tuesday morning to a heavy downpour and rode for about half of the 103km stage - a loop which started and ended in Robertson - in rain. The thick and gritty mud ground into chains and brake pads, giving rise to several mechanical problems.

Riders finished the stage coated in mud and with red-rimmed eyes. "There was so much mud you had to take your glasses off after 10km," said Hynek.

Platt and Huber finished a little more than two minutes behind Mennen and Hynek, enough to give the Bulls a lead of one minute and nine seconds in the general classification over the Topeak-Ergon pairing.

Platt said he had a "stupid crash" soon after the start. "It was very slippery out there," said Platt. "I missed the line (on some single track) and the front wheel went." He hit the ground hard and was stunned for a while: "My motivation went a little bit and I was hurting everywhere - but we are fighters and started to catch up."

Mennen said conditions had been exceptionally tough and the stage boiled down to "the survival of the fittest'. "Luckily we had good legs and no mechanicals - it was our luck today," he said.

Third home and five minutes behind the stage winners were Germans Tim Boehme and Simon Stiebjahn of Teams Bulls 2. They are also lying third in the general classification.

Swiss Sauser's brake pads wore down in the mud and a broken part periodically jammed his back wheel until it worked loose near the end. He and Rabon are now lying sixth overall.

Also still in contention for the overall win are the fourth-placed combination of Swiss Kenny Looser and German Hannes Genze (Meerendal Centurion Wheeler), and fifth-placed Swiss pairing Lukas Fluckiger and Martin Fanger (BMC).

Women

Women's favourites Ariane Kleinhans of Switzerland and Annike Langvad of Denmark (RECM2) recovered brilliantly from a disastrous stage one to take back nearly nine minutes of the 24 they lost to Meerendal's Esther Suss (Swiss) and Sally Bigham (English).

Kleinhans and Langvad won Tuesday's stage in 4h53m07,5s. Their recovery suggests that they take more time back in the stages to come, setting up a thrilling women's category battle.

"It was important to not get into any trouble but still be awake to take an opportunity if there was one. Towards the end we gave our all," said Kleinhans.

Third place in the women's category went to Swede Jennie Stenerhag and South African Theresa Ralph (Cape Brewing Company), who are now 19 minutes back on the leaders.

Wednesday's 134km stage three takes the riders from Robertson to Greyton. On Tuesday night the weatherman was predicting some light drizzle for Wednesday - not ideal, but still a welcome change after two brutal days.

Masters

The masters category was won by Bart Brentjens and Abraao Azevedo (Betch.nl Superior Meerendal) in a time of 4:37:09. They were followed by Shan Wilson and Adrian Enthoven of Definitive Bikes team in 4:45:09 with Pascal de Kort and Bart van de Water of Technofit in third place (4:55.41). Wilson and Enthoven now lead this category by five minutes and 24 seconds and are placed 20th overall.

Grand masters

Andrew McLean and Heinz Zoerweg of Cycle Lab Toyota again finished in first place in the grand masters in a time of 4:39:53. They were followed by Eben Espach and Corrie Muller (Absa Grand Masters) in 5:10:45 with Lieb Loots and Izak Visagie of Pragma Nampak in third place in 5:14:49. Ranked second overall in this category after Cycle Lab Toyota is Meerendal Songo Specialized 4 (Bärti Bucher and Doug Brown) in 11:46:24. They finished in fourth position today (5:15:32).

Bucher said, "It was really hard out there today. Because of the mud in our eyes visibility was very poor and it wasn't always possible to see where you were going. By the time you saw a rock it was often too late, and we got some punctures on the route."

Mixed

Yannick Lincoln and Aurelie Halbwachs of team Synergy won the mixed category for the second day in a row in 5:07:51, followed by Gal Tsachor and Idit Shub of Trek Isreal (5:17:23). In third place were Cherise Stander and Theo Blignaut of RECM Mixed (5:23:49).

Blignaut said, "It was a long, hard, wet and muddy stage. I struggled today and can feel the distance from yesterday and today in my legs. Cherise is so sharp and it's a wonderful experience to ride with her."

African Jersey

The African special jersey was won by Erik Kleinhans and Nico Bell of RECM in 4:25:35. They were followed by Kevin Evans and Max Knox of FedGroup Itec in 4:29:22. Scott Factory Racing's Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns were third in 4:31:53.

Stage 3: Robertson to Greyton (134km, 1800m of climbing)

There is still a long way to go, but stage 3 could be decisive in defining the ambitions of some of the leading riders. It will favour those with the so-called "big engines" - Christoph Sauser predicted earlier this week that it would suit his former road racing partner Frantisek Rabon - and will encourage breaks from riders who aren't particularly good climbers. It takes the riders from the succulent Robertson Karoo vegetation to the farmlands of Greyton and the Cape Country Meander.

The first 50km on quiet district roads will be fast, although there will be some entertaining deviations from the beaten path with a few short but steep climbs to keep riders on their toes. The route then heads through Melozhori Game Reserve, home to African wildlife such as antelope, zebras, giraffe and buffalo, as well as "The Big Drop", but it won't be plain sailing as riders should watch out for the thorny bushes lining the descent. From here it will be flat(ish) following the Riviersonderend River upstream. As the name (river without end) suggests, it will still be a way to go, with "Puffadder Hill" a short but rocky climb slowing down the pace.

After that participants can expect fast bunch riding on this relatively easy stretch of district and farm roads with some rolling hills as riders clock up the miles. Just when it will look like the day is done, there will be a sting in the tail, diverting riders onto the farmlands for the final approach of the brand new race village at The Oaks Estate, just outside Greyton.

Check out the videos below

Brief Results

Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Robert Mennen (Ger) and Kristian Hynek (Cze) Topeak-Ergon Racing4:12:17 
2Karl Platt (Ger) and Urs Huber (Swi) Bulls0:01:26 
3Tim Boehme (Ger) and Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Bulls 20:05:03 
4Konny Looser (Ger) and Hannes Genze (Ger) Meerendal Centurion Wheeler0:07:38 
5Roel Paulissen (Bel) and Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) Torpado Factory0:09:08 
6Lukas Fluckiger (Swi) and Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing0:13:10 
7Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM0:13:17 
8Christoph Sauser (Swi) and Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Meerendal Songo Specialized0:13:19 
9Kevin Evans (RSA) and Max Knox (RSA) FedGroup Itec0:17:05 
10Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing0:19:36 
Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ariane Kleinhans (Swi) and Annika Langvad (Den) RECM 24:53:08 
2Esther Suss (Swi) and Sally Bigham (GBr) Meerendal0:08:46 
3Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) and Theresa Ralph (RSA) Cape Brewing Company0:19:05 
4Sara Mertens (Bel) and Laura Turpin (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler 20:36:19 
5Milena Landtwing (Swi) and Hielke Elferink (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler0:41:28 
6Ischen Stopforth (RSA) and Yolande de Villiers (RSA) SasolRacing0:44:37 
7Tanya Rabie (RSA) and Nicola Walker (RSA) Woolworths In2Food1:12:47 
8Celina Carpinteiro (Por) and Katerina Slegrova (Cze) Itec/BTT Loulé/BPI1:23:30 
9Hanlie Booyens (RSA) and Mariske Strauss (RSA) Pragma Orange Monkey1:28:42 
10Theresa Horn (RSA) and Desiree Loubser (RSA) Khombisa Media1:37:18 
Mixed
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yannick Lincoln (Mau) and Aurelie Halbwachs (Mau) Synergy5:07:51 
2Gal Tsachor (Isr) and Idit Shub (Isr) Trek Israel0:09:33 
3Cherise Stander (RSA) and Theo Blignaut (RSA) RECM Mixed0:15:58 
4Nizaam Essa (RSA) and Christina Kollman (Aut) Asrin Cycling0:36:02 
5Sophie van Biervliet (Bel) and Jan Stockman (Bel) 't Velootje0:41:25 
6Pablo Rodriguez (Arg) and Lolita van Aardt (RSA) Orphans Africa MTB0:50:23 
7Eric Wictor (Ned) and Hanneke Boon (Ned) Velozine0:52:34 
8Robert Vogel (NZl) and Amanda Brooks (NZl) Hansgrohe 20:52:40 
9Sabina Compassi (Swi) and Paul Buhler (Swi) Meerendal Songo Specialized 80:57:14 
10Peter Vesel (Ger) and Anni Hellstern (Ger) ETIS1:00:20 
Masters
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bart Brentjens (Ned) and Abraao Azevedo (Bra) Betch.nl Superior Meerendal4:37:09 
2Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes0:08:00 
3Pascal de Kort (Bel) and Bart van de Water (Bel) Technofit0:18:32 
4Warren Squires (Zim) and Nic White (RSA) Absa masters0:28:34 
5Rory Mapston (RSA) and Rex Benson (RSA) CHIC Foundation0:38:17 
6Richard Lurie (RSA) and Leendert Lorenzen (RSA) Eurocasa0:38:23 
7Andy Davies (GBr) and Marius Nel (RSA) Pragma BikePlus0:41:20 
8Damien Jones (Aus) and Russell Edgar (Aus) russrad0:43:57 
9Robert Enthoven (GBr) and Edward Nicholson (GBr) Nando's0:46:51 
10John Swanepoel (RSA) and Noel Droomer (RSA) Cornerstone Cycles0:47:09 
Grand Masters
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Mclean (RSA) and Heinz Zoerweg (Aut) Cycle Lab Toyota4:39:53 
2Eben Espach (RSA) and Corrie Muller (RSA) Absa Grand Masters0:30:52 
3Lieb Loots (RSA) and Izak Visagie (RSA) Pragma Nampak0:34:56 
4Barti Bucher (Swi) and Doug Brown (RSA) Meerendal Songo Specialized 40:35:39 
5Waleed Baker (RSA) and Glen Haw (RSA) Pitstop0:47:03 
6James Stopforth (RSA) and Peter Stopforth (RSA) MN71:04:36 
7Gideon Knoetze (RSA) and Linus van Onselen (RSA) Mossel Bay Volkswagen1:14:38 
8Thomas Dooley (USA) and Mike Hogan (USA) Kappius / Sir Richards1:15:48 
9Tomas Pribyl (Cze) and Jaroslav Send (Cze) Author Masters1:16:34 
10Kurt Plachel (Swi) and Reto Schlaepfer (Swi) Bischi and Krapf1:17:27 
Africans
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
7Kevin Evans (RSA) and Max Knox (RSA) FedGroup Itec4:25:35 
9Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM4:29:22 
10Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing4:31:53 
12Oliver Munnik (RSA) and Alastair Davies (RSA) Paarl Media Pinners4:37:12 
14Darren Lill (RSA) and Waylon Woolcock (RSA) Cannondale Blend4:39:50 
19Andrew Hill (RSA) and Charles Keey (RSA) RED-E Blend4:43:35 
2Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes0:01:34 
21Craig Boyes (RSA) and Lous-Bresler Knipe (RSA) Asrin cycling0:03:07 
22Dominic Calitz (RSA) and Jurgen Uys (RSA) Paarl Media Young Guns0:05:58 
24Franso Steyn (RSA) and Jandri Ferreira (RSA) ABSA Amateurs0:16:22 
Men general classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Karl Platt (Ger) and Urs Huber (Swi) Bulls10:01:56 
2Robert Mennen (Ger) and Kristian Hynek (Cze) Topeak-Ergon Racing0:01:10 
3Tim Boehme (Ger) and Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Bulls 20:03:00 
4Konny Looser (Ger) and Hannes Genze (Ger) Meerendal Centurion Wheeler0:05:45 
5Lukas Fluckiger (Swi) and Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing0:07:40 
6Christoph Sauser (Swi) and Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Meerendal Songo Specialized0:10:52 
7Roel Paulissen (Bel) and Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) Torpado Factory0:16:34 
8Kevin Evans (RSA) and Max Knox (RSA) FedGroup Itec0:24:35 
9Darren Lill (RSA) and Waylon Woolcock (RSA) Cannondale Blend0:27:12 
10Stefan Sahm (Fra) and Thomas Diestch (Fra) Bulls 30:31:35 
Women general classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Esther Suss (Swi) and Sally Bigham (GBr) Meerendal11:38:42 
2Ariane Kleinhans (Swi) and Annika Langvad (Den) RECM 20:13:53 
3Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) and Theresa Ralph (RSA) Cape Brewing Company0:29:57 
4Milena Landtwing (Swi) and Hielke Elferink (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler1:06:25 
5Sara Mertens (Bel) and Laura Turpin (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler 21:09:37 
6Ischen Stopforth (RSA) and Yolande de Villiers (RSA) SasolRacing1:15:16 
7Hanlie Booyens (RSA) and Mariske Strauss (RSA) Pragma Orange Monkey2:25:43 
8Tanya Rabie (RSA) and Nicola Walker (RSA) Woolworths In2Food2:29:43 
9Yolandi du Toit (RSA) and Leana De Jager (RSA) SasolRacing 22:35:19 
10Celina Carpinteiro (Por) and Katerina Slegrova (Cze) Itec/BTT Loulé/BPI3:13:29 
Mixed general classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yannick Lincoln (Mau) and Aurelie Halbwachs (Mau) Synergy12:15:33 
2Cherise Stander (RSA) and Theo Blignaut (RSA) RECM Mixed0:19:59 
3Gal Tsachor (Isr) and Idit Shub (Isr) Trek Israel0:32:40 
4Peter Vesel (Ger) and Anni Hellstern (Ger) ETIS1:06:02 
5Nizaam Essa (RSA) and Christina Kollman (Aut) Asrin Cycling1:17:59 
6Pablo Rodriguez (Arg) and Lolita van Aardt (RSA) Orphans Africa MTB1:28:29 
7Tom Janas (Ger) and Bettina Uhlig (Ger) Sportograf.com - BQ Cycling1:30:22 
8Sophie van Biervliet (Bel) and Jan Stockman (Bel) 't Velootje1:35:17 
9Sabina Compassi (Swi) and Paul Buhler (Swi) Meerendal Songo Specialized 81:46:49 
10Robert Vogel (NZl) and Amanda Brooks (NZl) Hansgrohe 21:54:58 
Mixed
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes11:21:26 
2Bart Brentjens (Ned) and Abraao Azevedo (Bra) Betch.nl Superior Meerendal0:05:24 
3Pascal de Kort (Bel) and Bart van de Water (Bel) Technofit0:17:39 
4Richard Lurie (RSA) and Leendert Lorenzen (RSA) Eurocasa0:55:49 
5Rory Mapston (RSA) and Rex Benson (RSA) CHIC Foundation1:05:29 
6Andy Davies (GBr) and Marius Nel (RSA) Pragma BikePlus1:09:07 
7Robert Enthoven (GBr) and Edward Nicholson (GBr) Nando's1:15:12 
8Igna de Villiers (RSA) and Pierre Griffioen (RSA) LGE/Midas/DWR1:15:30 
9Warren Squires (Zim) and Nic White (RSA) Absa masters1:17:51 
10Udo Boelts (Ger) and Lothar Leder (Ger) Juwi Fox1:18:07 
Grand masters general classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Mclean (RSA) and Heinz Zoerweg (Aut) Cycle Lab Toyota10:58:20 
2Barti Bucher (Swi) and Doug Brown (RSA) Meerendal Songo Specialized 40:48:04 
3Eben Espach (RSA) and Corrie Muller (RSA) Absa Grand Masters1:05:41 
4Lieb Loots (RSA) and Izak Visagie (RSA) Pragma Nampak1:39:21 
5Waleed Baker (RSA) and Glen Haw (RSA) Pitstop1:53:51 
6William Werthheim (RSA) and Greg Anderson (RSA) NUK Orthodontic2:18:24 
7Thomas Dooley (USA) and Mike Hogan (USA) Kappius / Sir Richards2:27:34 
8James Stopforth (RSA) and Peter Stopforth (RSA) MN72:50:14 
9Tomas Pribyl (Cze) and Jaroslav Send (Cze) Author Masters3:01:59 
10Ivar Tollefsen (Nor) and Tronde Hilde Gutta Boyz3:03:29 
African classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
8Kevin Evans (RSA) and Max Knox (RSA) FedGroup Itec10:26:31 
9Darren Lill (RSA) and Waylon Woolcock (RSA) Cannondale Blend10:29:08 
12Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing10:41:47 
13Andrew Hill (RSA) and Charles Keey (RSA) RED-E Blend10:48:11 
14Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM10:56:40 
17Johann Rabie (RSA) and Neil MacDonald (RSA) FedGroup Itec 211:06:20 
18Craig Boyes (RSA) and Lous-Bresler Knipe (RSA) Asrin cycling11:09:46 
20Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes11:21:26 
24Oliver Munnik (RSA) and Alastair Davies (RSA) Paarl Media Pinners11:43:30 
30Fritz Pienaar (RSA) and Francois Theron (RSA) Advendurance11:52:01 

 

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