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Cape Epic 2014

Date range:
March 23-30
  • Cape Epic, Durbanville-Lourensford Wine Estate, SHC
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Prologue

      Distance:
      23km
      Start location:
      Durbanville - Meerendal Wine Estate
      End location:
      Durbanville - Meerendal Wine Estate
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      108km
      Start location:
      Robertson - Arabella Wines
      End location:
      Robertson - Arabella Wines
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      101km
      Start location:
      Robertson - Arabella Wines
      End location:
      Robertson - Arabella Wines
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      134km
      Start location:
      Robertson - Arabella Wines
      End location:
      Greyton - The Oaks Estate
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      88km
      Start location:
      Greyton - The Oaks Estate
      End location:
      Greyton - The Oaks Estate
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      110km
      Start location:
      Greyton - The Oaks Estate
      End location:
      Elgin - Oak Valley Wine Estate
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      85km
      Start location:
      Elgin - Oak Valley Wine Estate
      End location:
      Elgin - Oak Valley Wine Estate
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      69km
      Start location:
      Elgin - Oak Valley Wine Estate
      End location:
      Somerset West - Lourensford Wine Estate
  • Race history

March 27, Stage 4: Greyton - The Oaks Estate - Greyton - The Oaks Estate 88km

Schurter and Buys win their first stage in this year's Cape Epic

By:
Cycling News
Published:
March 27, 2014, 12:16 GMT,
Updated:
March 28, 2014, 15:46 GMT

Mennen and Hynek to wear yellow again; Platt out of race

South African Philip Buys on Thursday became the first South African to stand on the top step of the Cape Epic podium since Burry Stander in 2012 as the race dished up a host of fresh dramas. Buys and his Swiss partner, two-time cross country world champion Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo), won the 88km stage 4 - which started and finished in Greyton - after breaking from the field near the halfway point and managing to keep a chasing pack at bay.

They are both cross country specialists - shorter races with an emphasis on technical skills - and yesterday's shorter stage with many singletrack sections suited them.

Buys said he and Schurter "managed to increase the gap on each downhill and then maintain it on the climbs - it is a very special feeling to win it."

Schurter, the world's top ranked mountain biker, said the South African was getting stronger every day. "Soon I'm going to be in trouble and in the hurtbox."

Behind them there was an early shock when four-time winner and pre-race favourite Karl Platt withdrew with a damaged knee. He had damaged it in a fall on Tuesday and started Thursday's stage, but had to withdraw, leaving his partner Urs Huber (Team Bulls) to ride on alone but out of the race.

"I just wanted to finish the race - I have never not finished the Epic before. But on the first climb, I knew there was trouble. At seven kilometres I said to Urs it is no use, I can't pedal," said Platt. "I wont say it was the hardest decision ever to make, because I had no choice. I am very disappointed because I was in the shape of my life. I will be back though. I just want to say thanks to all the support."

For the first time since the race began Sunday the leading men's team retained the yellow jersey: Topeak-Ergon's Robert Mennen (German) and Kristian Hynek (Czech) finished third on the stage but still have a lead of nearly 12 minutes.

"We're the first team to have it for a second day and we'll do our best to keep it until Sunday (the closing stage from Elgin to Lourensford wine estate)," said Hynek. "The shirts fit us well and we like the colour - we don't want to give them back."

Second Thursday was German pair Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess (Centurion-Vaude), but they remain outside the top 10 overall after a bad day on Tuesday when Kaufmann broke the frame of his bike.

Moving into second overall after finishing fifth Thursday were four-time winner Swiss Christoph Sauser and Czech Frantisek Rabon, in spite of the former breaking a chain and crashing during the stage.

Sauser said later that he and Rabon had been behind Schurter and Buys when they made their break, but his chain broke. He fixed it and was chasing back to a group just behind the leading pair when his pedal hit a rock hidden in grass and he was thrown over his handlebars. He had been hurt around the upper chest and shoulders, but had finished well and was looking forward to the remaining three stages.

Sauser's chances of this year being first to win the Epic five times might hinge on Friday's 115km stage from Greyton to Elgin, which contains a huge 2,800m of vertical gain and several brutal climbs on the way.

Women

There was a significant turnaround Thursday in what has become a thrilling women's race when leader Esther Suss's rear shock lost air and stopped working minutes after the start. The Swiss rider and English partner Sally Bigham (Meerendal) lost 12 minutes on the day and slipped to second behind a charging Ariane Kleinhans, from Switzerland, and Dane Annike Langvad (RECM2).

"My sitting position was not good and I did not have power," said Suss. Her body position on steep climbs also meant her weight was too far back and "my front wheel kept on lifting".

Kleinhans and Langvad had a disastrous day on Monday, losing nearly 24 minutes to Suss and Bigham, but had been chipping away at the lead and must now be favourites to win.

"It is unfortunate for them that it was a mechanical problem, but the page turns very quickly at the Epic," said Kleinhans. "What it means is that we don't need to attack from now on and will concentrate on riding consistently."

Mixed

There was bad news for Cherise Stander, the top South African contender in the mixed category with Theo Blignaut (RECM mixed), when she had to withdrew about 30km into the stage with breathing problems while lying second overall.

Stander's late husband Burry won the Cape Epic in 2012 with Sauser and in doing so became the last South African to stand on the top step of the podium - until Buys Thursday.

The Mauritians Yannick Lincoln and Aurelie Halbwachs of Synergy won the mixed in 4:32:09. In second place were Trek Israel's Gal Tsachor and Idit Shub in 4:51:16, followed by Asrin Cycling's Nizaam Essa and Christina Kollmann in 5:03.19. Synergy still leads this category by 1 hour, 30 minutes and 34 seconds.

Tsachor said, "We never expected this. We wanted to be top five maybe, but being on the podium is so much more than what we were hoping for. The Epic is amazing and that's why we come back every year. This is our fifth Epic and we decided we should have some proper goals. This year we wanted to be top five. We thought it was time to fulfill our potential, but second was never in our thoughts. We're really sad to hear about Cherise Stander though. We wish her well."

Masters

The masters category was again won by Bart Brentjens and Abraao Azevedo (Betch.nl Superior Meerendal) for the third time in 4:04:32. They were followed by Shan Wilson and Adrian Enthoven of Definitive Bikes team in 4:12:17 with Warren Squires and Nic White of team Absa masters in third place (4:23:03). Brentjens and Azevedo now lead this category by three minutes and 46 seconds and are placed 18th overall.

Wilson said, "You know, some days you are the hammer and other days you are the nail. Today my partner struggled after I had my bad day yesterday. We lost the overall lead, but it's not over. We'll keep fighting until Lourensford. The damage is not that big and the wheel always turns."

Grand masters

Andrew McLean and Heinz Zoerweg of Cycle Lab Toyota finished in first place in the grand masters for the fifth day in a row in a time of 4:12:27. They were followed by Bärti Bucher and Doug Brown of Meerendal Songo Specialized 4 in 4:19:26. Eben Espach and Corrie Muller of Absa Grand Masters finished third in 4:34:55.

Mclean said, "It was a good stage and my partner was strong. We enjoyed it all."

Africans

The fastest African team today was Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns of Scott Factory Racing for stage 4 in 3:50:41. They were followed by Erik Kleinhans and Nico Bell of RECM in 3:54:3. Kevin Evans and Max Knox of FedGroup Itec finished in third place in 3:54:54.

Evans and Knox keep the African special jersey, now 11 minutes and four seconds in front of the second all-African team of Beukes and Heyns.

Race note

Hours after issuing the day's report and results above, race organizers said that Kevin Evans and Max Knox (FedGroup Itec) were given a one-hour penalty for taking an illegal shortcut.

They had been leading the race for the special jersey - for the first all-African team in the Cape Epic - after Thursday's stage 4, but other riders complained after Evans apparently took a short cut across an uphill switchback.

The Commissaires Panel said in a statement that a protest had been made to the race office: it was stated that a member of team 13 (Kevin Evans) deviated from the course (took a shortcut) and in doing so gained an unfair advantage over other riders.

"Review of Go-Pro camera footage from the rider immediately behind the rider in question, as well as footage from team 13's own Go-Pro (attached to the bicycle of the accused rider) confirms that the incident occurred, and that an unfair advantage was gained."

Evans and Knox were apparently planning to appeal the sanction, but if it stands it means they would be fifth in the race for the distinctive red jersey and nearly 50 minutes behind. With only three stages to go, this would put them out of the race.

Scott Factory Racing’s Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns inherited the category lead after FedGroup Itec were penalised. Their overall time is 19:51.09, with Erik Kleinhans and Nico Bell (RECM) just five minutes back.

Stage 5: Greyton to Elgin (110km, 2900m of climbing)

Stage 5 will be the queen stage - arguably the hardest of this year's race, with the most amount of climbing. It will be wise for riders to conserve some energy on the first 50km where Serengeti awaits as the warm up to its big brother Rusty Gate, the highest point in this year's race. It will be a relentless 5km climb at an average 10% gradient.

What goes up must come down, with a short spike on a firebreak, which will be more challenging on the mind than the legs. A short tar section along the Theewaterskloof Dam wall will offer some reprieve, before it will get tough again with some steep climbs as riders will generally make their way skywards to water point 3.

Thereafter, it will be rugged false flat grind, on a loose eroded surface, flanking the majestic Groenlandberg. It will be slow going, through truly spectacular scenery. From the nek the last 14km will mostly be downhill all the way to the race village at Oak Valley Wine Estate, a rewarding finish to a truly epic day.

Brief Results (African stage and GC results subject to change - see race note above)

Men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Nino Schurter (Swi) and Philip Buys (RSA) Scott-Odlo 3:46:05  
2 Markus Kaufmann (Ger) and Jochen Kaess (Ger) Centurion-Vaude 0:01:27  
3 Robert Mennen (Ger) and Kristian Hynek (Cze) Topeak-Ergon Racing 0:01:42  
4 Roel Paulissen (Bel) and Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) Torpado Factory 0:01:57  
5 Tim Boehme (Ger) and Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Bulls 2 0:03:01  
6 Christoph Sauser (Swi) and Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Meerendal Songo Specialized 0:03:48  
7 Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing 0:04:36  
8 Ben Bostrom (CRc) and Paolo Montoya (CRc) Meerendal Songo Specialized 2 0:05:52  
9 Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM 0:08:27  
10 Kevin Evans (RSA) and Max Knox (RSA) FedGroup Itec 0:08:49  
Women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ariane Kleinhans (Swi) and Annika Langvad (Den) RECM 2 4:13:08  
2 Esther Suss (Swi) and Sally Bigham (GBr) Meerendal 0:12:34  
3 Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) and Theresa Ralph (RSA) Cape Brewing Company 0:23:44  
4 Milena Landtwing (Swi) and Hielke Elferink (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler 0:28:15  
5 Sara Mertens (Bel) and Laura Turpin (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler 2 0:40:02  
6 Ischen Stopforth (RSA) and Yolande de Villiers (RSA) SasolRacing 0:53:28  
7 Yolandi du Toit (RSA) and Leana De Jager (RSA) SasolRacing 2 0:57:26  
8 Hanlie Booyens (RSA) and Mariske Strauss (RSA) Pragma Orange Monkey 1:02:08  
9 Tanya Rabie (RSA) and Nicola Walker (RSA) Woolworths In2Food 1:10:09  
10 Theresa Horn (RSA) and Desiree Loubser (RSA) Khombisa Media 1:14:31  
Mixed
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Yannick Lincoln (Mau) and Aurelie Halbwachs (Mau) Synergy 4:32:09  
2 Gal Tsachor (Isr) and Idit Shub (Isr) Trek Israel 0:19:07  
3 Nizaam Essa (RSA) and Christina Kollman (Aut) Asrin Cycling 0:31:09  
4 Pablo Rodriguez (Arg) and Lolita van Aardt (RSA) Orphans Africa MTB 0:32:26  
5 Eric Wictor (Ned) and Hanneke Boon (Ned) Velozine 0:35:39  
6 Sophie van Biervliet (Bel) and Jan Stockman (Bel) 't Velootje 0:38:52  
7 Sabina Compassi (Swi) and Paul Buhler (Swi) Meerendal Songo Specialized 8 0:40:17  
8 Robert Vogel (NZl) and Amanda Brooks (NZl) Hansgrohe 2 0:43:35  
9 Tom Janas (Ger) and Bettina Uhlig (Ger) Sportograf.com - BQ Cycling 0:48:33  
10 Henning Blaauw (RSA) and Louise Ferreira (RSA) Globeflight 0:49:38  
Masters
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Bart Brentjens (Ned) and Abraao Azevedo (Bra) Betch.nl Superior Meerendal 4:04:32  
2 Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes 0:07:45  
3 Warren Squires (Zim) and Nic White (RSA) Absa masters 0:18:31  
4 Pascal de Kort (Bel) and Bart van de Water (Bel) Technofit 0:19:37  
5 Richard Lurie (RSA) and Leendert Lorenzen (RSA) Eurocasa 0:22:34  
6 Igna de Villiers (RSA) and Pierre Griffioen (RSA) LGE/Midas/DWR 0:32:01  
7 Udo Boelts (Ger) and Lothar Leder (Ger) Juwi Fox 0:32:23  
8 Andy Davies (GBr) and Marius Nel (RSA) Pragma BikePlus 0:33:09  
9 Heinz Posch (Swi) and Andreas Guignard (Swi) Meerendal Songo Specialized 13 0:33:52  
10 Helmuth Weich (Nam) and Mannie Heymans (Nam) Mediclinic SUNHeart 0:45:17  
Grand masters
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Andrew Mclean (RSA) and Heinz Zoerweg (Aut) Cycle Lab Toyota 4:12:27  
2 Barti Bucher (Swi) and Doug Brown (RSA) Meerendal Songo Specialized 4 0:06:59  
3 Eben Espach (RSA) and Corrie Muller (RSA) Absa Grand Masters 0:22:28  
4 Waleed Baker (RSA) and Glen Haw (RSA) Pitstop 0:29:09  
5 Thomas Dooley (USA) and Mike Hogan (USA) Kappius / Sir Richards 0:50:55  
6 James Stopforth (RSA) and Peter Stopforth (RSA) MN7 0:52:24  
7 Tomas Pribyl (Cze) and Jaroslav Send (Cze) Author Masters 0:54:43  
8 Ivar Tollefsen (Nor) and Tronde Hilde Gutta Boyz 0:58:36  
9 William Werthheim (RSA) and Greg Anderson (RSA) NUK Orthodontic 1:01:24  
10 Gideon Knoetze (RSA) and Linus van Onselen (RSA) 1:02:29  
Africans
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing 3:50:41  
2 Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM 0:03:51  
3 Kevin Evans (RSA) and Max Knox (RSA) FedGroup Itec 0:04:12  
4 Johann Rabie (RSA) and Neil MacDonald (RSA) FedGroup Itec 2 0:09:46  
5 Craig Boyes (RSA) and Lous-Bresler Knipe (RSA) Asrin cycling 0:13:12  
6 Andrew Hill (RSA) and Charles Keey (RSA) RED-E Blend 0:13:45  
7 Oliver Munnik (RSA) and Alastair Davies (RSA) Paarl Media Pinners 0:16:17  
8 Phillimon Sebona (RSA) and Jan Motshioa (RSA) Exxaro / PwC 0:20:39  
9 Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes 0:21:36  
10 Dominic Calitz (RSA) and Jurgen Uys (RSA) Paarl Media Young Guns 0:22:25  
Men general classification after stage 4
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Robert Mennen (Ger) and Kristian Hynek (Cze) Topeak-Ergon Racing 18:44:28  
2 Christoph Sauser (Swi) and Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Meerendal Songo Specialized 0:11:47  
3 Tim Boehme (Ger) and Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Bulls 2 0:13:46  
4 Roel Paulissen (Bel) and Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) Torpado Factory 0:26:05  
5 Nino Schurter (Swi) and Philip Buys (RSA) Scott-Odlo 0:37:15  
6 Lukas Fluckiger (Swi) and Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing 0:38:07  
7 Kevin Evans (RSA) and Max Knox (RSA) FedGroup Itec 0:55:37  
8 Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing 1:06:41  
9 Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM 1:12:03  
10 Stefan Sahm (Fra) and Thomas Diestch (Fra) Bulls 3 1:12:23  
Women general classification after stage 4
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ariane Kleinhans (Swi) and Annika Langvad (Den) RECM 2 21:39:50  
2 Esther Suss (Swi) and Sally Bigham (GBr) Meerendal 0:01:11  
3 Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) and Theresa Ralph (RSA) Cape Brewing Company 1:03:45  
4 Milena Landtwing (Swi) and Hielke Elferink (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler 1:39:24  
5 Sara Mertens (Bel) and Laura Turpin (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler 2 2:06:51  
6 Ischen Stopforth (RSA) and Yolande de Villiers (RSA) SasolRacing 2:53:58  
7 Yolandi du Toit (RSA) and Leana De Jager (RSA) SasolRacing 2 4:19:36  
8 Hanlie Booyens (RSA) and Mariske Strauss (RSA) Pragma Orange Monkey 4:25:51  
9 Tanya Rabie (RSA) and Nicola Walker (RSA) Woolworths In2Food 4:45:40  
10 Celina Carpinteiro (Por) and Katerina Slegrova (Cze) Itec/BTT Loulé/BPI 5:57:46  
Mixed general classification after stage 4
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Yannick Lincoln (Mau) and Aurelie Halbwachs (Mau) Synergy 22:34:46  
2 Gal Tsachor (Isr) and Idit Shub (Isr) Trek Israel 1:30:34  
3 Nizaam Essa (RSA) and Christina Kollman (Aut) Asrin Cycling 2:17:26  
4 Pablo Rodriguez (Arg) and Lolita van Aardt (RSA) Orphans Africa MTB 2:45:47  
5 Tom Janas (Ger) and Bettina Uhlig (Ger) Sportograf.com - BQ Cycling 2:52:23  
6 Sophie van Biervliet (Bel) and Jan Stockman (Bel) 't Velootje 2:58:23  
7 Eric Wictor (Ned) and Hanneke Boon (Ned) Velozine 3:29:47  
8 Sabina Compassi (Swi) and Paul Buhler (Swi) Meerendal Songo Specialized 8 3:30:26  
9 Robert Vogel (NZl) and Amanda Brooks (NZl) Hansgrohe 2 3:45:37  
10 Henning Blaauw (RSA) and Louise Ferreira (RSA) Globeflight 3:57:26  
Masters general classification after stage 4
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Bart Brentjens (Ned) and Abraao Azevedo (Bra) Betch.nl Superior Meerendal 21:00:19  
2 Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes 0:03:46  
3 Pascal de Kort (Bel) and Bart van de Water (Bel) Technofit 0:38:45  
4 Warren Squires (Zim) and Nic White (RSA) Absa masters 1:48:54  
5 Andy Davies (GBr) and Marius Nel (RSA) Pragma BikePlus 2:08:18  
6 Richard Lurie (RSA) and Leendert Lorenzen (RSA) Eurocasa 2:08:49  
7 Udo Boelts (Ger) and Lothar Leder (Ger) Juwi Fox 2:11:29  
8 Igna de Villiers (RSA) and Pierre Griffioen (RSA) LGE/Midas/DWR 2:13:47  
9 Robert Enthoven (GBr) and Edward Nicholson (GBr) Nando's 2:27:05  
10 Jean-Luc Perez (Fra) and Stephane Pouillet (Fra) Comus-DCM Precision 2:45:26  
Grand masters general classification after stage 4
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Andrew Mclean (RSA) and Heinz Zoerweg (Aut) Cycle Lab Toyota 20:38:01  
2 Barti Bucher (Swi) and Doug Brown (RSA) Meerendal Songo Specialized 4 0:57:46  
3 Eben Espach (RSA) and Corrie Muller (RSA) Absa Grand Masters 2:04:50  
4 Waleed Baker (RSA) and Glen Haw (RSA) Pitstop 3:05:52  
5 Lieb Loots (RSA) and Izak Visagie (RSA) Pragma Nampak 3:10:39  
6 Thomas Dooley (USA) and Mike Hogan (USA) Kappius / Sir Richards 4:13:29  
7 William Werthheim (RSA) and Greg Anderson (RSA) NUK Orthodontic 4:14:01  
8 James Stopforth (RSA) and Peter Stopforth (RSA) MN7 4:38:22  
9 Tomas Pribyl (Cze) and Jaroslav Send (Cze) Author Masters 5:03:26  
10 Ivar Tollefsen (Nor) and Tronde Hilde Gutta Boyz 5:13:31  
African classification after stage 4
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Kevin Evans (RSA) and Max Knox (RSA) FedGroup Itec 19:40:05  
2 Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing 0:11:04  
3 Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM 0:16:26  
4 Andrew Hill (RSA) and Charles Keey (RSA) RED-E Blend 0:39:11  
5 Johann Rabie (RSA) and Neil MacDonald (RSA) FedGroup Itec 2 0:45:25  
6 Craig Boyes (RSA) and Lous-Bresler Knipe (RSA) Asrin cycling 1:12:11  
7 Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes 1:24:00  
8 Oliver Munnik (RSA) and Alastair Davies (RSA) Paarl Media Pinners 1:39:59  
9 Dominic Calitz (RSA) and Jurgen Uys (RSA) Paarl Media Young Guns 2:17:10  
10 Fritz Pienaar (RSA) and Francois Theron (RSA) Advendurance 2:26:03