Schurter/Stirnemann seal 2017 Cape Epic victory

Suss/Stenerhag top women with Evans/Hincapie taking out the masters title

Nino Schurter and Matthias Stirnemann sealed their first Cape Epic overall victory as the Scott-SRAM duo crossed the line in fourth place as Scott-SRAM Young Guns duo Michiel Van der Heijden and Andri Frischknecht grabbed their second stage win of the race. In the women's race, Esther Suss and Jennie Stenerhag sealed their overall victory while Cadel Evans and George Hincapie (BMC Absa Racing Team) held on for the masters win

"The plan was to come here in 2018 and win, but we are a year early!" said Schurter. "This is very special. To win the Olympics and then come to South Africa and win the Absa Cape Epic, that is great. After Rio it was always my intention to come and win the race, but this has taken us by surprise. I thought next year would be our year. We are ahead of schedule."

The duo did even extended their lead over Christoph Sauser and Jaroslav Kulhavy (Investec-Songo-Specialized) in their final race together. The final place on the podium went to Nicola Rohrbach and Daniel Geismayr (Centurion Vaude 2).

For Stenerhag, it was a particularly emotional victory coming a year after she abandoned the race before undergoing heart surgery.

"I can't stop crying. I am so happy … it is just unbelievable," said Stenerhag. "I don't know what date it is today, but I think it is four days until exactly a year after my heart operation.

"Since that day my biggest goal was to try and come back to win this race. To pull it through is something completely unreal. I cannot believe that I am standing here as the winner.

"I think we won by keeping everything smooth and consistent. We just kept calm and never thought we could win until now when we crossed the line. I think that helped because we never stressed about anything – just kept it smooth.

"It is a fairytale. I put so much into it. Everything I have done for the last three months has been to just with this as a goal. It is just amazing."

Evans and Hincapie capped off their debut at the race as they took out the seventh stage to ensure overall victory in the masters category.

"We didn't have many time checks so we didn't really know where we were," said Evans "We knew we were at least three or four minutes up but you can't be sure until you cross the line, so we just kept pressure on right to the line.

"George had a bad moment mid-way when we came off on a descent. When he dropped it, it unsettled him a bit … but otherwise we were pretty good. I rode nine Tours de France and 16 Grand Tours in my career, so those ones mentally are much more taxing because of the duration. But the Epic is hard for your legs."

Brief Results

Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michiel Van der Heijden (Ned) / Andri Frischknecht (Swi) Scott-SRAM Young Guns2:57:14 
2Damiano Ferraro (Ita) / Fabian Rabensteiner (Ita) Trek-Selle San Marco 20:00:17 
3Nino Schurter (Swi) / Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing0:00:38 
4Filip Adel (Cze) / Tomas Visnovsky (Svk) Mitas Superior0:00:49 
5Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) / Daniel Geismayr (Aut) Centurion Vaude 20:00:51 
6Christoph Sauser (Swi) / Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Investec-Songo-Specialized0:01:56 
7Philip Buys (RSA) Matthys Beukes (RSA) PYGA Euro Steel0:02:00 
8Manuel Fumic (Ger) / Henrique Avancini (Bra) Cannondale Factory Racing XC0:05:22 
9Matthew Beers (RSA) / Konny Looser (Sui) Ryder/RED-E0:05:52 
10Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrinck (RSA) NAD Pro MTB0:05:53 
Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sabine Spitz (Ger) / Robyn De Groot (RSA) Ascendis Health3:34:27 
2Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Annie Last (GBr) Hansgrohe Cadence OMX Pro  
3Esther Suss (Swi) / Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) Hansgrohe Cadence OMX Pro0:00:14 
4Carmen Bachacher (Aut) / Michelle Vorster ( Nam) Hollard-Velocity SportLab0:03:57 
5Hielke Elferink (Ned) / Cornelia Hug (Swi) Meerendal CBC 20:04:00 
6Jeannie Bomford (RSA) / Samantha Sanders (RSA) Merchants0:04:25 
7Ariane Luthi (Swi) / Adelheid Morath (Ger) Spur0:06:23 
8Fienie Bernard (RSA) / Dalene Van der Leek (RSA) LIVBeyond0:14:47 
9Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Yolandi du Toit (RSA) LIVBeyond0:15:21 
10Candice Lill (RSA) / Vera Adrian (Nam) DormaKaba SA0:16:04 
Masters
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cadel Evans (Aus) / George Hincapie (USA) BMC Absa Racing Team3:10:12 
2Bart Brentjens (Ned) / Abraao Azevedo (Bra) CST Sandd American Eagle0:07:05 
3Tomi Misser (Spa) / Ibon Zugasti (Spa) Orbea Factory0:08:04 
4David Evans (Aus) / Anthony Shippard (GBr) SRAM PYGA0:13:18 
5Michael Creedon (Irl) / Andrew Cairns (RSA) Oakhaven Capital0:14:57 
6John van de Wouw (Ned) / Freddie van der Schoot (Ned) MTB van de Haterd0:16:41 
7Thorsten Keller (Ger) / Friedrich Max (Ger) Rocky Mountain - toMotion0:17:01 
8Nic Lamond (RSA) / Simon Lamond (RSA) Podium Sports0:19:36 
9Igna De Villiers (RSA) / Paul Theron (RSA) LGE Midas/Slender-Wonder0:20:51 
10Richard Laurie (RSA) / Brent Russel (RSA) Eurocasa Gaggenau0:21:26 
Final general classification men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) / Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing26:35:06 
2Christoph Sauser (Swi) / Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Investec-Songo-Specialized0:08:07 
3Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) / Daniel Geismayr (Aut) Centurion Vaude 20:19:34 
4Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Col) / Max Knox (RSA) Kansai Plascon0:20:32 
5Manuel Fumic (Ger) / Henrique Avancini (Bra) Cannondale Factory Racing XC0:29:50 
6Michiel Van der Heijden (Ned) / Andri Frischknecht (Swi) Scott-SRAM Young Guns0:33:52 
7Philip Buys (RSA) Matthys Beukes (RSA) PYGA Euro Steel1:01:06 
8Alban Lakata (Aut) / Kristian Hynek (Cze) Topeak Ergon Racing1:13:38 
9Jochen Kaess (Ger) / Markus Kaufmann (Ger) Centurion Vaude1:17:34 
10Frans Claes (Bel) / Sebastien Carabin (Bel) Claes - Carabin1:28:14 
Final general classification women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Esther Suss (Swi) / Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) Hansgrohe Cadence OMX Pro31:39:43 
2Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Annie Last (GBr) Hansgrohe Cadence OMX Pro0:35:19 
3Sabine Spitz (Ger) / Robyn De Groot (RSA) Ascendis Health0:47:02 
4Ariane Luthi (Swi) / Adelheid Morath (Ger) Spur1:10:05 
5Carmen Bachacher (Aut) / Michelle Vorster ( Nam) Hollard-Velocity SportLab1:22:59 
6Candice Lill (RSA) / Vera Adrian (Nam) DormaKaba SA1:35:17 
7Hielke Elferink (Ned) / Cornelia Hug (Swi) Meerendal CBC 22:17:16 
8Jeannie Bomford (RSA) / Samantha Sanders (RSA) Merchants2:17:33 
9Fienie Bernard (RSA) / Dalene Van der Leek (RSA) LIVBeyond3:42:41 
10Alice Pirard (Bel) / Sabrina Enaux (Fra) Spur Foundation3:54:37 
Final general classification masters
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cadel Evans (Aus) / George Hincapie (USA) BMC Absa Racing Team29:28:57 
2Tomi Misser (Spa) / Ibon Zugasti (Spa) Orbea Factory0:05:21 
3Bart Brentjens (Ned) / Abraao Azevedo (Bra) CST Sandd American Eagle0:07:10 
4Thorsten Keller (Ger) / Friedrich Max (Ger) Rocky Mountain - toMotion2:28:28 
5Igna De Villiers (RSA) / Paul Theron (RSA) LGE Midas/Slender-Wonder2:38:37 
6Michael Creedon (Irl) / Andrew Cairns (RSA) Oakhaven Capital3:07:22 
7Nic Lamond (RSA) / Simon Lamond (RSA) Podium Sports3:16:19 
8Manuel Rojo Nieto (Esp) / Jorge Lopez Janeiro (Esp) GACOSUR IEDES CENTAURO3:14:44 
9Richard Laurie (RSA) / Brent Russel (RSA) Eurocasa Gaggenau3:22:09 
10Hannes Hanekom (RSA) / Ben Melt Swanepoel (RSA) @403:39:19 

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