Reid and Schuermans win Cape Pioneer Trek big money stage

Kleinhans and Langvad earn women's prize

South African James Reid and his Belgian teammate Jen Schuermans of the Asrin Cycling team claimed the richest stage prize in mountain bike racing on Tuesday when they out-climbed their rivals to win stage 2 of the Cape Pioneer Trek in South Africa.

The 85km stage (shortened from the original 92km due to a flooded river), started in Calitzdorp and finished on the summit of the Swartberg Pass, a 12km gravel road ascent that relentlessly winds its way up a total of 1,100 vertical metres to a mountain-top finish. The cash prize for the stage for the overall winners was R112,000 (US $12,000), while the women's prize was R20,000 (US $2,000).

Overall leaders Brandon Stewart and Konny Looser of Team FedGroup Itec finished second and extended their advantage, with defending champions, Westvaal Bells Cycling's Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck rounding out the podium places.

Team RE:CM's Waylon Woolcock and Erik Kleinhans finished fourth on the stage and held onto their second place overall, 5:22 down on FedGroup Itec, while Reid and Schuermans moved up to third overall after their good day out, 13:51 off the race lead.

Team RE:CM Davinci's Annika Langvad and Ariane Kleinhans continued their dominance of the women's category by claiming their third successive stage win in an impressive 12th place overall. They extended their overall race lead to almost 30 minutes over stage runners-up, Wheeler BMC's Esther Suss and Jane Nuessli. The all-South African Biogen team of Robyn de Groot and Ischen Stopforth were third on the stage and maintained third place overall.

Put out of podium contention by the mud on Monday's stage, Reid and Schuermans were motivated from the start on Tuesday, slightly fresher than their rivals and eager to capture the race's queen stage, their primary goal for the event.

At 40km into the dry, sunny stage, on a steep, technical climb, Stewart and Looser put in an attack that only Schuermans and Reid were able to respond to. It was a long way out from the finish but the quartet decided to commit to the breakaway. The size of the chase group dwindled steadily to five, comprising RE:CM, Westvaal Bells Cycling and solo male racer Darren Lill (Cannondale Blend) and a pursuit ensued to the base of the final climb with the gap down to as little as 25 seconds between the two groups at one point.

Once on the Swartberg Pass, FedGroup Itec and Asrin Cycling began to trade subtle surges. But with four kilometres remaining where the gradient steepened, Reid, the current South African marathon champion, powered ahead and first Looser, then Stewart cracked. Schuermans, a cross country specialist, was fighting a personal battle against cramps but managed to pull himself up to Reid and the pair charged ahead towards the finish line.

"When James asked me to be his teammate for this race two months ago, he said our main goal was to win stage 2. So I trained specifically with this stage in mind. It feels so good to achieve our goal," said Schuermans.

"We weren't keen to let any teams get away from us before the final climb today, which is why we went with FedGroup's early move," said Reid. "Jens and I are both young and both cross country specialists, so the overall win in a long stage race would be unrealistic. That's why we targeted this particular stage. We may be in with a chance of another stage win still."

In the women's race, Kleinhans and Langvad went on the attack early on and then just built on that as the stage progressed.

"We wanted to start fast and get a gap because we didn't want to ride up the last climb under too much pressure," said Langvad.

"My teammate is from another planet!" said Kleinhans. "Annika is so strong on the flats and downhills and she just pulled me along for the first part of the race. We got quite a decent gap on the other women early on and just kept it steady to the finish."

The stage winners of the other team categories were as follows: Mixed: Cube Nutswerk MTB's Birgit Lavrijssen and Marco Minnaard; Veteran: Cube Nutswerk 2's Micha de Vries and Rik van den Hanenberg; Masters: Wilde 3's Lieb Loots and Izak Visagie; Solo men: Darren Lill (Cannondale Blend) and Solo women: Bettina Uhlig.

At 107km, Wednesday's stage 3 from Prince Albert to De Rust will be the longest of the 2013 Cape Pioneer Trek and it will include a moderate, 1,543 metres of climbing.

Brief Results (Full results not available at time of posting)

Men stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Asrin Cycling - James Reid (RSA) & Jens Scheurmans (Bel)3:34:19 
2FedGroup Itec - Brandon Stewart (RSA) & Konny Looser (Swi)0:01:48 
3Westvaal Bells Cycling - Nico Bell (RSA) & Gawie Combrinck (RSA)0:03:45 
4RE:CM - Waylon Woolcock (RSA) & Erik Kleinhans (RSA)0:04:05 
5Firebike-DroessiGer - Mathias Frohn (Ger) & Max Freidrich (Ger)0:13:39 
Women stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1RE:CM Davinci - Ariane Kleinhans (Swi) & Annika Langvad (Den)4:06:05 
2Wheeler - BMC - Jane Neussli (GBr) & Esther Suss (Swi)0:12:49 
3Biogen SA - Ischen Stopforth (RSA) & Robyn de Groot (RSA)0:23:01 
Veteran men stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cube Nutswerk 2 - Micha de Vries (Ned) & Rik Van Den Hanenberg (Ned)4:09:05 
2Klein Karoo Vets - Wynand Mulder (RSA) & Gerrie Beukes (RSA)0:04:11 
3Cannondale Blend Vets - Martin Epstein (RSA) & Stefano Madies (RSA)0:10:14 
Master men stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wilde 3 - Izak Visagie (RSA) & Lieb Loots (RSA)4:22:10 
2Brug Meesters - Charles Nienaber (RSA) & Ergee du Toit (RSA)0:12:32 
3Bridge Masters 1 - Con Malherbe (RSA) & Greg Anderson (RSA)0:22:27 
Amateurs stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Klein Karoo Express - Kobus Barnard (RSA) & Cornelius Muller (RSA)4:09:01 
2Scott Saffa Power - George Nel (RSA) & Franso Steyn (RSA)0:03:37 
3Kivada Schorriemorrie - Ninko Doornbos (Ned) & Coen HooGervorst (Ned)0:04:49 
Solo men stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Darren Lill (RSA)3:38:04 
2Craig Boyes (RSA)0:13:14 
3Adriaan Louw (RSA)0:16:30 
Solo women stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bettina Uhlig (Ger)4:35:04 
2Dalene van der Leek (RSA)0:12:50 
3Aileen Anderson (RSA)0:19:08 
Men general classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1FedGroup Itec - Brandon Stewart (RSA) & Konny Looser (Swi)8:36:26 
2RE:CM - Waylon Woolcock (RSA) & Erik Kleinhans (RSA)0:05:22 
3Asrin Cycling - James Reid (RSA) & Jens Scheurmans (Bel)0:13:51 
4SCOTT Factory Racing - Philip Buys (RSA) & Matthys Beukes (RSA)0:26:34 
5Westvaal Bells Cycling - Nico Bell (RSA) & Gawie Combrinck (RSA)0:37:43 
Women general classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1RE:CM Davinci - Ariane Kleinhans (Swi) & Annika Langvad (Den)9:50:25 
2Wheeler - BMC - Jane Neussli (GBr) & Esther Suss (Swi)0:29:09 
3Biogen SA - Ischen Stopforth (RDSA) & Robyn de Groot (RSA)0:58:49 
Veteran men general classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cube Nutswerk 2 - Micha de Vries (Ned) & Rik Van Den Hanenberg (Ned)9:49:20 
2Cannondale Blend Vets - Martin Epstein (RSA) & Stefano Madies (RSA)1:12:05 
2Klein Karoo Vets - Wynand Mulder (RSA) & Gerrie Beukes (RSA)1:18:14 
Master men general classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wilde 3 - Izak Visagie (RSA) & Lieb Loots (RSA)10:11:03 
2Stone Hammer - Malcolm Dodds (RSA) & Wizner Zbigniew (RSA)1:19:27 
3Brug Meesters - Charles Nienaber (RSA) & Ergee du Toit (RSA)1:26:07 
Amateurs general classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Contego Giant 2 - Sakkie Hannekom (RSA) & Hannes Hannekom (RSA)10:13:45 
2Scott Saffa Power - George Nel (RSA) & Franso Steyn (RSA)0:10:33 
3Kivada Schorriemorrie - Ninko Doornbos (Ned) & Coen HooGervorst (Ned)0:28:35 
Solo men general classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Adriaan Louw (RSA)9:19:44 
2Tomas Kozak (Cze)0:31:19 
3Craig Boyes (RSA)0:38:08 
Solo women general classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kate Slegrova12:10:48 
2Dalene van der Leek (RSA)0:04:49 
3Bettina Uhlig (Ger)0:21:31 
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