Perfect start as Evans and George win prologue

Williamson and Stopforth fastest among the women

Defending champions, Kevin Evans and David George (Nedbank 360Life) got their 2012 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek mountain bike stage race off to the perfect start on Sunday when they won the 15km prologue time trial stage in Oudtshoorn, Western Cape Province, South Africa.

Starting last as defending champions, George and Evans blitzed their way around the 15km course through the Buffelspoort Game Reserve to clock a time of 37 minutes and 8 seconds. It was 24 seconds faster than the 37:32 set earlier by Matthys Beukes and Ben Melt Swanepoel of Team Cango MTB.com. Third place went to Louis Knipe and Craig Boys (Contego 28E) with a time of 38:43.

In the women's race, 2011 winners, South African Ischen Stopforth and her British teammate, Catherine Williamson (Bridge bizhub Ladies), secured first place by just three seconds over the Klein Karoo Chicks pairing of Yolande de Villiers and Yolande Speedy.

The German team of Max Fridrich and Nadine Rieder (Ergon 24H Racing Team) claimed the opening stage win in the mixed category; Robert Sim and Nico Pfitzenmaier (Robert Daniel Momsen) claimed fifth overall and first place in the Veteran division; and Swiss teammates, Barti Bucher and Ernst Engeli (Bixs-Sherpa Tensing Pedelarie) took the early lead in the master category.

The solo men's division was won by Petrus Malherbe in 40:09 with 1 Diana Carolin (50:03) taking the solo women's race lead into stage 1 on Monday.

"It was a challenging, but fun route. Rocky and loose with off-camber stuff, but a well thought out lap that wasn't too hard. Well done to Matthys for his handy work," said George, referring to stage runner-up Matthys Beukes who designed the prologue route, which runs through his family's property.

Starting last, most racers would ask for time splits on their rivals to give them an idea of how they're doing and whether they need to push harder, but George and Evans opted for the alternative.

"We just wanted to ride without taking too many chances, choosing smooth lines and being careful on the tricky stuff and then using as much power as possible to make up the difference where we could. Turns out it was a good tactic," said George.

George and Evans secured a maximum 10 points for the stage win. Points will be accumulated during the event by the top daily finishers. These will be used to award the R100,000 ($US 12,000) prize up for grabs on the event's signature stage 2. This is to discourage teams from only focussing on stage 2 success.

"It's great that the race was so close in the women's category today. Three seconds is a very slim lead and we're not going to get too caught up in defending it tomorrow. Stage racing is best taken one day at a time. Catherine and I will give it our best shot though and we look forward to an interesting race this week," said Stopforth.

Stage 1 on Monday will take the riders from Buffelspoort Game Lodge, Oudtshoorn over a distance of 103km with an elevation gain of 1,720 metres to the Calitzdorp High School in Calitzdorp. It promises to be a challenging route to set the tone for the remainder of the week.

Full Results - Prologue and General classification after prologue

Men duo
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kevin Evans & David George (Nedbank 360Life)0:37:08 
2Matthys Beukes & Ben Swanepoel (Cango M T B.Com)0:00:24 
3Louis Knipe & Craig Boyes (Contego28E)0:01:35 
4Nico Bell & Gawie Combrinck (Westvaal - Columbia)0:01:46 
5Robert Sim & Nico Pfitzenmaier (Robert Daniel Momsen)0:01:49 
6Chris Wolhuter & Oliver Munnik (Asrin Cycling)0:02:43 
7Micha De Vries & Willem Van Heerdt (Cube Nutswerk 1)0:04:55 
8Wynand Mulder & Kobus Barnard (Klein Karoo Express)0:05:20 
9Bärti Bucher & Ernst Engeli (Bixs -Sherpa Tensing Pedalerie)  
10Mattijs Eversdijk & Liwald Doornbos (Cube Nutswerk 2)0:07:33 
11Peter Basler & Guenter Patrick (Rennshop.Ch)0:07:37 
12Camron Wills & Neville Cragg (R A C)0:08:22 
13David Labuschagne & Johan Labuschagne (Bridge Lab Brothers)0:08:43 
14Simon Francis & Zane De Decker (Drawfour)0:09:14 
15Adrian De La Harpe & Ian Grassow (Grit)0:09:29 
16Bennie De Wet & Charl Johnson (O C D)0:09:34 
17Alex Van Rensburg & Maartin Van Rensburg (Pinky And The Brain)0:10:17 
18Julien Van Der Pluym & Jeandre Van Schalkwyk (Bridge Riders - J&J)0:10:23 
19John Hayes & Robert Hayes (Hayes)0:10:34 
20Craig Whittaker & Neil Hauser (Go Harder)0:11:09 
21Shaun Neveling & Dan Owens (Buzzdi)0:11:19 
22Gus Klohn & Marc Wiederkehr (Ansaldo S T S Dunkeld Cycles)0:11:25 
23Ico Schutte & Jaco Ferreira (Bridge - Ultimate Cycling Knysna)0:11:57 
24Patrick Manini & Brunner Markus (Fidelity Switzerland)0:12:02 
25Roger Rusch & Wille Du Plooy (Broken Bridge)0:12:19 
26John Parent & Paul Stafford (Pain And Suffering)0:12:50 
27Colin Myers & Charl Bleach (We R Still King)0:12:53 
28Nizaam Esa & Rene Haselbacher (Asrin Cycling)0:13:04 
29Shaun Dunbar & Richard Chesterton (Castelli - Bridge Cycles)0:13:08 
30Oliver Williams & Roland Williams (Bros)  
31Willem Bezuidenhout & Pieter Van Deventer (Bridge Maisters)0:13:16 
32Massimo Mancini & Jaco Kamfer (Sweaty Ball Bags)0:13:21 
33Henry Fagan & Henry Swart (Henry Fagan & Partners)0:13:37 
34Theuns Botha & Gerrie Beukes (Bridge First Ascent)0:13:47 
35Niel Rossouw & Pierre Cloete (Vaalpens En Visvoet)0:13:52 
36Carl Mare & Frans Hansen (Kimberly - Clark Vets)0:13:53 
37Deon Kretzschmar & Jacques Le Roux (Dieselbrook)0:14:00 
38Casper De Bruin & Clement De Bruin (Father And Son)0:14:32 
39Daniel Evrard & Joseph Kerkhofs (Kick & Biker Belgium)0:14:43 
40Kabous Marra & Robert King (Wilde 1)0:15:04 
41Colin Bouwer & Paul Hattingh (Biocom)0:15:16 
42Andreas Wittmann & Klaus Rübensaal (Mr. Bike - Lichtenfels)0:15:23 
43Carl Van Maanen & Richard Sikking (Cycle Lab Nelspruit)0:15:37 
44Marcel Bachmann & Christoph Zech (Swissmountain Goats)0:15:41 
45De Villiers Groenewald & Max Pelser (M T B Masochists)0:16:09 
46Marius Claassens & Jonathan Van Den Berg (Two River Young Guns)0:18:14 
47Charles Steyn & Naude De Kock (Klein Karoo Melkmanne)0:18:32 
48Jacobus Steyn & Werner Du Preez (Bridge Milkshake Eagles)0:18:52 
49J P Van Der Merwe & Chris Herbst (C J)0:19:01 
50Willem Boshoff & Ian Coetsee (Baardman & Snorvis)0:19:27 
51Peter Liebenberg & J L Van Der Westhuizen (Klein Karoo Chain Breakers)0:19:34 
52Sivuyile Kepelele & Elton Pommer (9 3 9)0:19:42 
53Henk Meyer & Johann Le Roux (Bridge S F B)0:21:29 
54David Wright & Garth Allardyce (Flavourome )0:21:43 
55Jacques Terblanche & Lennox Claasen (Bridge )0:22:23 
56Sven Mahieu & Peter Pretorius (Bridge Buddies)0:23:45 
57Arnold Steyn & Gottlieb Venter (2 R T)0:24:04 
58Marico Vercuiel & Alex Van Dyk (West Coast Socials)0:29:18 
59Andries Potgieter & Frank Hattingh (Andries & Frank)0:30:32 
60Anru De Wet & Giepie Jordaan (Klein Karoo Toyota)0:30:39 
61Brendon Humphreys & Nick Alton (Bridge 5)0:31:48 
62Hannes Dreeckmeier & Louis Swanepoel (Garsfontein Struggers)0:31:49 
63Altus Muller & Carey Bloch (Birdhaven Buffalos)0:32:22 
64Andre Collins & Roelof Van Riet (Lijeni)0:33:15 
65Brett Cummings & Brett C Mate (2 Rs)0:33:52 
66Jamie Andrew & Chas Andrew (B M G Bombers)0:35:43 
67Loot Steyn & Pieter Breytenbach (Wizards)0:36:23 
68Tinus Venter & Gert Marx (Mad Dogz)0:36:45 
69Craig Gibson & Hennie Ferreira (Inspiration)0:40:31 
70Fanie Coetzee & Johan Coetzee (B M C)0:44:34 
DNFPaul Doubell & Michael Doubell (Microbial Solutions)  
DNFCharles Keey & James Reid (Blend Property - 360 Life )  
Women duo
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ischen Stopforth & Catherine Williamson (Bridge - Bizhub Ladies)0:47:31 
2Yolande De Villiers & Yolande Speedy (Klein Karoo Chicks)0:00:03 
3Sarah Van Heerden & Jackie Church (Wilde 2)0:01:47 
4Theresa Horn & Miriam Stronkhorst (First Ascent Ladies)0:06:24 
5Hilary Johnstone & Sandra Winter (Kingswood Jelly & Custard)0:08:52 
6Kate Slegrova & Caren Henschel (Cycle Training)0:09:28 
7Claire Dowdle & Charlize Wiederkehr (Cycle Mashatu)0:09:52 
Mixed duo
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Max Friedrich & Nadine Rieder (Ergon 24H Racing Team)0:42:27 
2Kathrin Stirnemann & Sandro Soncin (B H - Haibike - Tigers)0:00:40 
3Craig Gerber & Jennie Stenerhag (Newlinesport)0:03:14 
4Hanlie Booyens & Cornelius Muller (Momentum Mixed)0:03:27 
5Carolyn Smith & James Thompson (Oar-Some)0:05:31 
6Dirk Oerlemans & Yolandi Du Toit (Bridge - Bizhub Mixed)0:05:45 
7Gerhard Ebersohn & Christine Jansen Van Rensburg (Peptosport)0:07:52 
8Marco Birrer & Nathalie Müller (Bikeline 1)0:08:13 
9Derek Morgan & Emily Clarke (Eleven Wise Monkeys)0:10:08 
10Geoff David & Annie David (Dangerous Davids)0:11:55 
11Peter Ackermann & Dianna Ineman (Skins-Salvadori Cicli)0:13:53 
12Jan Havenga & Alta Havenga (Havenga)0:17:47 
13M C Wessels & Elsabe Brink (Knersus & Poplap)0:23:04 
14Andre Schempers & Franci Joubert (The Sludge Team)0:27:15 
DNFRoger Innes & Linda Hodson (Wheel Em In)  
Veteran men duo
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rex Benson & Mark Langman (Bridge - U S N)0:44:48 
Master men duo
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Neville Ackermann & Charles Nienaber (Bridge Masters)0:44:30 
2Stephan Kühnel & Marcel Frei (Fahrrad-Schmidt Bike-Tigers)0:01:36 
3Tony Conlon & Peter Stopforth (Marsilio Projects Masters)0:02:04 
4Urs Guentensperger & René Stehr (Biketigers)0:06:37 
Amateur duos
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sakkie Hanekom & Hannes Hanekom (Welgemeen Boerdery)0:40:29 
2George Nel & Franso Steyn (Klein Karoo Wild)0:04:29 
3Lawrence Koff & John Searle (Handles Inc)0:12:19 
4Rick De Villiers & Paul Winter (Bazinga)0:14:57 
5Johan Stumpf & Charl Du Plessis (Klein Karoo Stofpadslaners)0:19:38 
Solo men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Petrus Malherbe0:40:09 
2Timo Cooper0:00:28 
3Heinz Zoerweg0:00:42 
4Carel Bezuidenhoud0:04:31 
5Ivo Nestel0:04:58 
6Johan Malan0:05:21 
7Rory Mapstone0:05:33 
8Andrew Lapping0:05:48 
9Bredell Roux & Cor Kraamwinkel (Vortx Racing)0:06:15 
10Bredell Roux  
11Guy Van Elsen0:06:29 
12Wayne Mcduling0:06:46 
13Chris Van Zyl0:07:08 
14Alex Kruger0:07:16 
15Matt Pieterse0:07:22 
16Cobus Louw0:07:28 
17Niel Gerryts  
18Gerhard Cruywagen0:08:21 
19Ashley Shaw0:09:03 
20Blaine Robson0:09:16 
21Graeme Johnstone0:09:34 
22Colin Donian0:09:42 
24Emile Aldum0:10:24 
25Adrian Storie0:11:08 
26T140:11:46 
27Eben Laubscher0:11:48 
28Robert Vogel0:11:57 
29Pierre Billet0:12:47 
30Alwyn Steenkamp0:13:00 
31Andries Gous0:13:53 
33Marius Sullwald0:14:54 
34Louis Loubser0:15:05 
36Werner Du Toit0:16:17 
37Jan Delport0:16:58 
39Bill Van Den Berg0:17:39 
41Peter Varie & Heidi Venter (Peter Varie)0:18:55 
43Francois Ackerman0:19:26 
44Marc Goddé0:20:29 
45Evert Waeterloos0:21:49 
46Carl Crous0:24:14 
47Anton De Waal0:24:22 
48Peter Varie0:24:42 
49Steve Meurrens0:25:15 
52Trevor Rupping0:29:27 
53Robert Du Preez0:30:15 
54Glen Grundy0:30:55 
55Sef Queis0:31:55 
57Willem Daffue0:35:28 
58Hano Coetser0:35:53 
59Viljoen Thom2:45:07 
Solo women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
23Diana Carolin0:50:03 
32Claudia Gmuer0:54:04 
35Elsie Bezuidenhout0:55:38 
38Desiree Loubser0:57:10 
40Heidi Venter0:59:04 
42Heidi Buttiens0:59:31 
50Siegrid Van Bever1:05:43 
51Petro Labuschagne1:05:46 
56Zandile Ndhlovu1:13:32 
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