2017 Cape Epic prologue victory for Fumic and Avancini

Spitz & de Groot win women's race

The Cannondale Factor Racing XC duo of Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini proved too fast in the Cape Epic prologue, getting the better of Olympic champion Nino Schurter and teammate Matthias Stirnemann (SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing).

Trek-Selle San Marco's Samuele Porro and Alexey Medvedev finished the 26km in third place, 1:43 minutes down on Fumic and Avancini's time of 1:01:52.

"We are very happy with the result," Fumic said. "Our plan was to put up a good time and that's exactly what we did. Obviously the Prologue is a cross-country day and that really suits us. We targeted this day and our aim was always to be number one on the podium. But 26km is very routine for us. Tomorrow the race starts and we are hopefully be near the front for the rest of the week."

The oppressive heat ensured pacing was key and teamwork essential to posting a fast time. For Schurter and Stirnemann, the prologue offered the first opportunity to record a victory, but the heat and parcours proved to be their undoing.

"It was very warm, which came as something as a surprise to us," said the mountain bike world champion Schurter. "We are here for stage wins and today just didn't work out. Looking ahead to the rest of the week, we will target a few more stages and hopefully stick in the top three or four of the overall race. Our focus is not the overall win, but the podium is definitely a target."

Christophe Sauser has come out of retirement to add another win to his already record haul of five wins. He explained that the prologue went better than expected and is no looking forward to the longer distance stages this week.

"I am feeling very good with my form, in fact I think that was probably one of the best Prologues I've ever had at the Epic," he said. "I felt like I was completely in sync with the bike and I was just able to flow through the stage. Initially, I was worried about being dropped by Jaro, but after a few kilometres I was feeling good so we were able to let loose."

For defending champions Karl Platt and Urs Huber (Bulls), it was a disappointing day of sorts as the heat got the better of them. However, the experienced duo is also looking ahead to the coming days to claw back their time losses.

"Our ride did not go according to plan; I think we were maybe a little over-motivated at the start and went out too fast. We were going hard, but just couldn't keep the pace up all the way to the end," Platt said.

In the women's race, the absence of three-time defending champion Ariane Kleinhans and Annika Langvad opened the door for Sabine Spitz and Robyn de Groot (Ascendis Health) to stake their claim as the riders to beat. Esther Suss and Jennie Stenerhag (Meerendal CBC) were second with Mariske Strauss and Annie Last (Hansgrohe Cadence OMX Pro) crossing the line in third.

"We really enjoyed the route out there today. It was so nice doing what we love doing today. The plan was to take is at is comes and it went perfectly so we had a very good prologue today," de Groot said. "For me it is such a privilege to be to be able to learn from Sabine for this week – and who can there be better to learn from?"

Stage 1 of the Cape Epic is a 101km day in the saddle from Hermanus to Hermanus.

Brief Results


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Manuel Fumic (Ger) / Henrique Avancini (Bra) Cannondale Factory Racing XC1:01:52 
2Nino Schurter (Swi) / Matthias Stirneman (Swi) SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing0:01:36 
3Samuele Porro (Ita) / Alexey Medvede (Rus) Trek-Selle San Marco0:01:43 
4Christoph Sauser (Swi) / Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Investec-Songo-Specialized0:01:47 
5Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Col) / Max Knox (RSA) Kansai Plascon0:01:49 
6Karl Platt (Ger) / Urs Huber (Swi) Bulls0:03:23 
7Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) / Daniel Geismayr (Aut) Centurion Vaude 20:03:57 
8Jochen Kaess (Ger) / Markus Kaufmann (Ger) Centurion Vaude0:03:59 
9Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) NAD Pro MTB0:04:12 
10Frans Claes (Bel) / Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Claes - Carabin0:04:38 
General classification after prologue
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Manuel Fumic (Ger) / Henrique Avancini (Bra) Cannondale Factory Racing XC1:01:52 
2Nino Schurter (Swi) / Matthias Stirneman (Swi) SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing0:01:36 
3Samuele Porro (Ita) / Alexey Medvede (Rus) Trek-Selle San Marco0:01:43 
4Christoph Sauser (Swi) / Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Investec-Songo-Specialized0:01:47 
5Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Col) / Max Knox (RSA) Kansai Plascon0:01:49 
6Karl Platt (Ger) / Urs Huber (Swi) Bulls0:03:23 
7Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) / Daniel Geismayr (Aut) Centurion Vaude 20:03:57 
8Jochen Kaess (Ger) / Markus Kaufmann (Ger) Centurion Vaude0:03:59 
9Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) NAD Pro MTB0:04:12 
10Frans Claes (Bel) / Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Claes - Carabin0:04:38 

Women


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sabine Spitz (RSA) / Robyn de Groot (RSA) Ascendis Health1:15:26 
2Esther Suss (Swi) / Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) Meerendal CBC0:00:39 
3Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Annie Last (GBr) Hansgrohe Cadence OMX Pro0:01:49 
4Ariane Lüthi (Swi) / Adelheid Morath (Ger) Spur0:02:18 
5Candice Lill (RSA) / Vera Adrian (Nam) DormaKaba SA0:04:52 
6Jeannie Bomford (RSA) / Samantha Sanders (RSA) Merchants0:05:15 
7Hielke Elferink (Ned) / Cornelia Hug (Swi) Meerendal CBC 20:07:55 
8Carmen Buchacher (RSA) / Michelle Vorster (Nam) Hollard-Velocity Sports Lab0:10:42 
9Fienie Barnard (RSA) / Dalene van der Leek (RSA) LIVBeyond0:11:36 
10Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Yolandi du Toit (RSA) Galileo Risk Garmin0:11:42 
General classification after prologue
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sabine Spitz (RSA) / Robyn de Groot (RSA) Ascendis Health1:15:26 
2Esther Suss (Swi) / Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) Meerendal CBC0:00:39 
3Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Annie Last (GBr) Hansgrohe Cadence OMX Pro0:01:49 
4Ariane Lüthi (Swi) / Adelheid Morath (Ger) Spur0:02:18 
5Candice Lill (RSA) / Vera Adrian (Nam) DormaKaba SA0:04:52 
6Jeannie Bomford (RSA) / Samantha Sanders (RSA) Merchants0:05:15 
7Hielke Elferink (Ned) / Cornelia Hug (Swi) Meerendal CBC 20:07:55 
8Carmen Buchacher (RSA) / Michelle Vorster (Nam) Hollard-Velocity Sports Lab0:10:42 
9Fienie Barnard (RSA) / Dalene van der Leek (RSA) LIVBeyond0:11:36 
10Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Yolandi du Toit (RSA) Galileo Risk Garmin0:11:42 

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