Paulissen and Chiarini win stage 5 of Cape Epic

Heroes of the day Kaufmann And Kaess come to the rescue

An act of sportsmanship on Friday's hot, rugged and mountainous stage 5 of the Cape Epic may have decided the destination of the race.

The stage was won by Roel Paulissen of Belgium and Italian partner Riccardo Chiarini (Torpado) in a thrilling finish, but they have virtually no chance of getting into the yellow jersey by the finish on Sunday and a lot of the focus was on the overall battle behind them.

Disaster struck for overall leaders Robert Mennen of Germany and Kristian Hynek of the Czech Republic (Topeak-Ergon) about 40km into the 115km stage when the latter simultaneously punctured both his front and back tyres.

"I don't know whether it was a sharp rock of piece of glass, but I got a double flat on a section of singletrack," said Hynek.

They had been following directly behind Germans Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess (Centurion Vaude), who were out of the race for the yellow jersey after Tuesday's stage 2 when Kaufmann's frame broke.

"I screamed at them to help," said Hynek. The Germans, friends of Mennen, stopped and fortunately Kaufmann's wheels and gearing were compatible with Hynek's bike and he took them off his bike handed them over.

"That was an amazing sporting gesture and I owe them big time now," said Hynek.

Meanwhile, second-placed overall team Christoph Sauser, of Switzerland, and Czech Frantizek Rabon (Meerendal Songo Specialized) surged ahead and began to make inroads into the Topeak-Ergon team's nearly 12-minute overall cushion.

They passed through the first water point at 44km more than four minutes ahead of Hynek and Mennen, but then Sauser's run of bad luck this year struck again. Riding down a grassy section of downhill he slashed his tyre on a hidden rock.

The cut in Sauser's tubeless tyre was too big for sealant to stop the leaking and he had to put a tube into it.

By the time they finished third in the 115km stage from Greyton to Elgin, Sauser and Rabon were only two minutes ahead of Hynek and Mennen - the latter finishing fifth but still enjoying an overall lead of nine minutes and 48 seconds, which might prove decisive with only two more days of racing left.

Hynek felt that with only two stages left their lead should be enough to secure the win if they did not have mechanical issues, punctures or crashes: "But many things can happen - 10 minutes may not be enough."

Sauser said later that he has had three punctures and a crash this year - more than in the past three years in spite of using the same frame, rims and tyres as last year. He still believed a win was possible: "If you think you will lose then you will lose."

"There are still two days to go and anything can happen," said Rabon.

Meanwhile, Former overall winner Paulissen was celebrating after winning the stage with Chiarini.

Philip Buys and cross country world champion Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo) finished only six seconds behind them after a dramatic chase into the overnight stop at Elgin.

Paulissen won the Epic in 2005 and 2008, and said it was a great feeling to be back on the podium.

They had passed South African Buys and Swiss Schurter on a big climb up the notorious Groelandberg near the end but feared that the talented combination would catch them on the descent to the finish.

"Near the end there was a little ramp and they were 50 metres behind us. I said to Riccardo 'this is everything or nothing' and we managed to stay ahead - it was a big victory for both of us," said Paulissen. Torpado now lie fourth overall but are 19 minutes behind the leaders.

Buys and Schurter are fifth overall, another 11 minutes back.

One of the notable performances on the day was the fourth finish by former Superbike legend Ben Bostrom of America, riding with Costa Rican Paolo Cesar Montoya (Meerendal Songo Specialized 2) in his first Cape Epic. "I thought we might be top 10 today (they are lying 16th overall), but top five! I am so happy and lucky to be here."

The day also saw another top rider having to withdraw. This time it was Dutchman Rudi van Houts, partner of Spaniard Jose Hermida (Multivan Merida). Van Houts crashed on Thursday and started Friday but soon pulled out.

Women

In the women's category Swiss Ariane Kleinhans and Dane Annike Langvad (RECM 2) won the stage by a significant 14 minutes, taking their overall lead over Swiss Esther Suss and Briton Sally Bigham (Meerendal) to more than 15 minutes. This represents a dramatic turnaround after the RECM pairing were nearly 24 minutes behind after Monday's stage one when they suffered from a series of punctures and technical problems.

"I am smiling because of the singletrack near the finish. Not only because it was fun, but finally we got some shade. It was so hot today," said Langvad. "After today we are feeling more comfortable in the lead and feeling confident. We had no problems."

Kleinhans said, "I actually was afraid of this stage, because Sally and Esther love long hard climbs like we had today. They are good climbers."

Mixed

German team Tom Janas and Bettina Uhlig of Sportograf.com - BQ Cycling won their first stage today in 5:57:35. They were followed by Yannick Lincoln and Aurelie Halbwachs of Synergy in 6:05:36. In third place were Trek Israel's Gal Tsachor and Idit Shub in 6:19:39. Synergy still leads this category by one hour, 44 minutes and 37 seconds.

Janas said, "If I hadn't already asked her to marry me, I would've done it today! Bettina was amazing after having problems yesterday. We also had no mechanical problems today. We came to the Epic to finish in the top 5 but never thought we would win a stage. This morning she said to me I like this kind of racing - let's go for it. I'm so proud of her and happy to have won a stage! It was a perfect day for us."

Masters

The masters category was won by Bart Brentjens and Abraao Azevedo (Betch.nl Superior Meerendal) for the fourth time in 5:21:22. They were again followed by Shan Wilson and Adrian Enthoven of Definitive Bikes in 5:30:49 with Warren Squires and Nic White of team Absa masters in third place (5:48:29). Brentjens and Azevedo now lead this category by 13 minutes and 13 seconds and are placed 14th overall.

Brentjens said, "I'm happy with the lead, but the Epic isn't over. You need at least 10 minutes to be comfortable. We still have two days to go and lots can still happen. I'll only be satisfied if we get to Lourensford and we still have the lead. We did drop Shan at one stage, but they were able to come back. We'll see what happens tomorrow. The battle isn't over yet."

Grand Masters

Andrew Mclean and Heinz Zoerweg of Cycle Lab Toyota again finished first in the grand masters in a time of 5:30:18. They have been undefeated in this year's Cape Epic and have won the prologue as well as every stage so far. They were again followed by Bärti Bucher and Doug Brown of Meerendal Songo Specialized 4 in 5:34.53. Lieb Loots and Izak Visagie of Pragma Nampak finished on the podium for the third time today in 5:55.33.

Zoerweg said, "I'm enjoying the Epic. Riding with Andrew is really nice and we're both strong. I got a puncture today, but we fixed it and didn't worry too much."

Africans

The fastest African team was again Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns of Scott Factory Racing for stage 5 in 5:05:11. They were followed by Erik Kleinhans and Nico Bell of RECM in 5:12:19. Andrew Hill and Charles Keey of RED-E Blend finished in third place in 5:21:22.

Beukes and Heyns will ride in the African special jersey after previous leaders Evans and Knox received a one-hour penalty. They lead by 12 minutes and 30 seconds.

Heyns said of his first Cape Epic, "This means a lot to me. It's been tough going, but I'm happy to be wearing the African jersey and we're doing well. We hoped for it beforehand so to have it, is great."

Beukes said, "It was very warm today. It was long and hard and I'm just happy that we didn't lose any time. It was the toughest day and wearing the red jersey is very important and special to me."

Stage 6: Elgin (85km, 1800m of climbing)

Riders still in the race will definitely have earned the rewards of stage 6. Although there will be 1800m of total climbing, riders will mostly remember the amazing singletrack descents that will be dotted along the route. The first section will be a cruise through vineyards, apple orchards and fynbos and just before water point 1 at Houw Hoek Inn riders will enjoy a first sampling of the great single track still to come. After a steady climb on forestry roads, the next highlight will await, a fast, gradually descending dual track dropping deep into the Elgin Valley. The climb out will soon be rewarded with the sweeping purpose built mountain bike tracks of Lebanon. And just when riders will think it can't get any better, the trails at Paul Cluver await, smooth and perfectly carved, with spectacular bridges. There will still be some climbing to be done to get back to Oak Valley, but that too will be instantly rewarded with some final exhilarating trails that will ensure riders finish with huge smiles on their faces (after what has unanimously been voted by the trial ride teams as the most fun stage of 2014).

Brief Results

Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Roel Paulissen (Bel) and Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) Torpado Factory4:52:03 
2Nino Schurter (Swi) and Philip Buys (RSA) Scott-Odlo0:00:06 
3Christoph Sauser (Swi) and Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Meerendal Songo Specialized0:05:00 
4Ben Bostrom (CRc) and Paolo Montoya (CRc) Meerendal Songo Specialized 20:06:14 
5Robert Mennen (Ger) and Kristian Hynek (Cze) Topeak-Ergon Racing0:07:00 
6Tim Boehme (Ger) and Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Bulls 20:09:06 
7Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing0:13:07 
8Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM0:20:15 
9Damian Perrin (Swi) and Philipp Gerber (Swi) Meerendal BIXS0:21:28 
10Andrew Hill (RSA) and Charles Keey (RSA) RED-E Blend0:29:19 
Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ariane Kleinhans (Swi) and Annika Langvad (Den) RECM 25:29:21 
2Esther Suss (Swi) and Sally Bigham (GBr) Meerendal0:14:13 
3Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) and Theresa Ralph (RSA) Cape Brewing Company0:40:30 
4Milena Landtwing (Swi) and Hielke Elferink (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler0:46:59 
5Yolandi du Toit (RSA) and Leana De Jager (RSA) SasolRacing 21:08:16 
6Ischen Stopforth (RSA) and Yolande de Villiers (RSA) SasolRacing1:12:23 
7Sara Mertens (Bel) and Laura Turpin (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler 21:22:13 
8Hanlie Booyens (RSA) and Mariske Strauss (RSA) Pragma Orange Monkey1:31:23 
9Tanya Rabie (RSA) and Nicola Walker (RSA) Woolworths In2Food1:52:34 
10Theresa Horn (RSA) and Desiree Loubser (RSA) Khombisa Media2:04:30 
Mixed
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Janas (Ger) and Bettina Uhlig (Ger) Sportograf.com - BQ Cycling5:57:35 
2Yannick Lincoln (Mau) and Aurelie Halbwachs (Mau) Synergy0:08:01 
3Gal Tsachor (Isr) and Idit Shub (Isr) Trek Israel0:22:04 
4Nizaam Essa (RSA) and Christina Kollman (Aut) Asrin Cycling0:37:00 
5Pablo Rodriguez (Arg) and Lolita van Aardt (RSA) Orphans Africa MTB0:42:24 
6Sophie van Biervliet (Bel) and Jan Stockman (Bel) 't Velootje0:45:14 
7Hannele Steyn (RSA) and Kenhardt Scheepers (RSA) Howard and Chamberlain0:50:57 
8Sabina Compassi (Swi) and Paul Buhler (Swi) Meerendal Songo Specialized 80:54:52 
9Robert Vogel (NZl) and Amanda Brooks (NZl) Hansgrohe 21:03:56 
10Eric Wictor (Ned) and Hanneke Boon (Ned) Velozine1:05:24 
Masters
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bart Brentjens (Ned) and Abraao Azevedo (Bra) Betch.nl Superior Meerendal5:21:22 
2Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes0:09:27 
3Warren Squires (Zim) and Nic White (RSA) Absa masters0:27:07 
4Richard Lurie (RSA) and Leendert Lorenzen (RSA) Eurocasa0:28:34 
5Udo Boelts (Ger) and Lothar Leder (Ger) Juwi Fox0:43:04 
6Derek Wilson (GBr) and Dean Camier (GBr) Motorhouse Racing - GBr0:51:23 
7Igna de Villiers (RSA) and Pierre Griffioen (RSA) LGE/Midas/DWR0:51:43 
8Robert Enthoven (GBr) and Edward Nicholson (GBr) Nando's0:53:22 
9John Swanepoel (RSA) and Noel Droomer (RSA) Cornerstone Cycles0:54:04 
10Mike Foster (Aus) and Jarrod Crosby (Aus) Fixed Wheel Racing0:56:44 
Grand masters
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Mclean (RSA) and Heinz Zoerweg (Aut) Cycle Lab Toyota5:30:18 
2Barti Bucher (Swi) and Doug Brown (RSA) Meerendal Songo Specialized 40:04:36 
3Lieb Loots (RSA) and Izak Visagie (RSA) Pragma Nampak0:25:16 
4Eben Espach (RSA) and Corrie Muller (RSA) Absa Grand Masters0:27:19 
5Waleed Baker (RSA) and Glen Haw (RSA) Pitstop0:46:53 
6Thomas Dooley (USA) and Mike Hogan (USA) Kappius / Sir Richards1:01:53 
7Ivar Tollefsen (Nor) and Tronde Hilde Gutta Boyz1:13:06 
8William Werthheim (RSA) and Greg Anderson (RSA) NUK Orthodontic1:26:43 
9James Stopforth (RSA) and Peter Stopforth (RSA) MN71:31:56 
10Otta Matousek (Cze) and Ales Kilnar (Cze) Itchampions1:38:02 
Africans
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing5:05:11 
2Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM0:07:08 
3Andrew Hill (RSA) and Charles Keey (RSA) RED-E Blend0:16:12 
4Dominic Calitz (RSA) and Jurgen Uys (RSA) Paarl Media Young Guns0:18:01 
5Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes0:25:38 
6Bradley Stroberg (RSA) and Guylin van den Berg (RSA) SOAR0:29:42 
7Nic Lamond (RSA) and Hannes Hanekom (RSA) Tru-Cape Times0:35:21 
8Rowan Grobler (RSA) and Andrew Grobler (RSA) Gear Dunkeld Cycles0:38:10 
9Craig Boyes (RSA) and Lous-Bresler Knipe (RSA) Asrin cycling0:39:12 
10Phillimon Sebona (RSA) and Jan Motshioa (RSA) Exxaro / PwC0:41:41 
Men general classification after stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Robert Mennen (Ger) and Kristian Hynek (Cze) Topeak-Ergon Racing23:43:32 
2Christoph Sauser (Swi) and Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Meerendal Songo Specialized0:09:48 
3Tim Boehme (Ger) and Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Bulls 20:15:53 
4Roel Paulissen (Bel) and Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) Torpado Factory0:19:05 
5Nino Schurter (Swi) and Philip Buys (RSA) Scott-Odlo0:30:21 
6Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing1:12:48 
7Lukas Fluckiger (Swi) and Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing1:13:58 
8Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM1:25:18 
9Andrew Hill (RSA) and Charles Keey (RSA) RED-E Blend1:57:06 
10Stefan Sahm (Fra) and Thomas Diestch (Fra) Bulls 32:03:05 
Women general classification after stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ariane Kleinhans (Swi) and Annika Langvad (Den) RECM 227:09:11 
2Esther Suss (Swi) and Sally Bigham (GBr) Meerendal0:15:24 
3Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) and Theresa Ralph (RSA) Cape Brewing Company1:44:15 
4Milena Landtwing (Swi) and Hielke Elferink (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler2:26:23 
5Sara Mertens (Bel) and Laura Turpin (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler 23:29:04 
6Ischen Stopforth (RSA) and Yolande de Villiers (RSA) SasolRacing4:06:21 
7Yolandi du Toit (RSA) and Leana De Jager (RSA) SasolRacing 25:27:51 
8Hanlie Booyens (RSA) and Mariske Strauss (RSA) Pragma Orange Monkey5:57:13 
9Tanya Rabie (RSA) and Nicola Walker (RSA) Woolworths In2Food6:38:13 
10Theresa Horn (RSA) and Desiree Loubser (RSA) Khombisa Media8:04:17 
Mixed general classification after stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yannick Lincoln (Mau) and Aurelie Halbwachs (Mau) Synergy28:40:22 
2Gal Tsachor (Isr) and Idit Shub (Isr) Trek Israel1:44:37 
3Tom Janas (Ger) and Bettina Uhlig (Ger) Sportograf.com - BQ Cycling2:44:22 
4Nizaam Essa (RSA) and Christina Kollman (Aut) Asrin Cycling2:46:24 
5Pablo Rodriguez (Arg) and Lolita van Aardt (RSA) Orphans Africa MTB3:20:10 
6Sophie van Biervliet (Bel) and Jan Stockman (Bel) 't Velootje3:35:36 
7Sabina Compassi (Swi) and Paul Buhler (Swi) Meerendal Songo Specialized 84:17:16 
8Eric Wictor (Ned) and Hanneke Boon (Ned) Velozine4:27:10 
9Robert Vogel (NZl) and Amanda Brooks (NZl) Hansgrohe 24:41:32 
10Henning Blaauw (RSA) and Louise Ferreira (RSA) Globeflight4:57:04 
Masters general classification after stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bart Brentjens (Ned) and Abraao Azevedo (Bra) Betch.nl Superior Meerendal26:21:41 
2Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes0:13:13 
3Warren Squires (Zim) and Nic White (RSA) Absa masters2:16:02 
4Richard Lurie (RSA) and Leendert Lorenzen (RSA) Eurocasa2:37:23 
5Udo Boelts (Ger) and Lothar Leder (Ger) Juwi Fox2:54:33 
6Igna de Villiers (RSA) and Pierre Griffioen (RSA) LGE/Midas/DWR3:05:30 
7Robert Enthoven (GBr) and Edward Nicholson (GBr) Nando's3:20:27 
8Andy Davies (GBr) and Marius Nel (RSA) Pragma BikePlus3:42:23 
9John Swanepoel (RSA) and Noel Droomer (RSA) Cornerstone Cycles3:51:58 
10Jean-Luc Perez (Fra) and Stephane Pouillet (Fra) Comus-DCM Precision3:54:58 
Grand masters general classification after stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Mclean (RSA) and Heinz Zoerweg (Aut) Cycle Lab Toyota26:08:19 
2Barti Bucher (Swi) and Doug Brown (RSA) Meerendal Songo Specialized 41:02:22 
3Eben Espach (RSA) and Corrie Muller (RSA) Absa Grand Masters2:32:09 
4Lieb Loots (RSA) and Izak Visagie (RSA) Pragma Nampak3:35:54 
5Waleed Baker (RSA) and Glen Haw (RSA) Pitstop3:52:45 
6Thomas Dooley (USA) and Mike Hogan (USA) Kappius / Sir Richards5:15:22 
7William Werthheim (RSA) and Greg Anderson (RSA) NUK Orthodontic5:40:43 
8James Stopforth (RSA) and Peter Stopforth (RSA) MN76:10:18 
9Ivar Tollefsen (Nor) and Tronde Hilde Gutta Boyz6:26:36 
10Tomas Pribyl (Cze) and Jaroslav Send (Cze) Author Masters6:42:15 
African classification after stage 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing24:56:20 
2Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM0:12:30 
3Andrew Hill (RSA) and Charles Keey (RSA) RED-E Blend0:44:18 
4Kevin Evans (RSA) and Max Knox (RSA) FedGroup Itec1:33:45 
5Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes1:38:34 
6Craig Boyes (RSA) and Lous-Bresler Knipe (RSA) Asrin cycling1:40:19 
7Dominic Calitz (RSA) and Jurgen Uys (RSA) Paarl Media Young Guns2:24:06 
8Johann Rabie (RSA) and Neil MacDonald (RSA) FedGroup Itec 22:24:20 
9Oliver Munnik (RSA) and Alastair Davies (RSA) Paarl Media Pinners2:46:53 
10Bradley Stroberg (RSA) and Guylin van den Berg (RSA) SOAR2:48:30 

 

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