New champions were crowned when the fifth Cape Pioneer Trek ended in a rain-drenched Oudtshoorn on Saturday. Team RE:CM's Waylon Woolcock and Erik Kleinhans secured the men's title, while Team RE:CM Davinci's Annika Langvad and Ariane Kleinhans claimed the women's crown at the seven-day international mountain bike stage race in South Africa's Western Cape province.
Asrin Cycling's James Reid and Jens Schuermans won the final stage from George to Oudtshoorn, which was shortened to 68km due to flooding in some areas. They outsprinted Scott Factory Racing's Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes to secure their third stage win of the event, clocking a time of 2 hours, 10 minutes and 44 seconds. Third place on the stage went to EAI Cycling's Hanco Kachelhoffer and Johann Rabie.
Woolcock and Kleinhans finished fourth, 54 seconds behind the winners but with their overall lead firmly secure. They ended up beating runners-up Buys and Beukes by 9:48 with FedGroup Itec's Brandon Stewart and Konny Looser completing the final podium.
In the women's race, Langvad, the Danish marathon champion and Kleinhans, the Swiss marathon champion, confirmed their complete dominance of the event when they claimed their seventh stage win. They beat Wheeler BMC's Esther Suss and Jane Nuessli by 1:35:15 in the general classification, with defending champions, Klein Karoo Chicks' Yolande Speedy and Yolande de Villiers, taking third place overall.
"We knew some teams were going to go hard for the stage win and that Philip and Matthys wanted to attack our overall lead, so we really had to make sure we kept them in our sights and kept our risk of crashing or mechanicals as low as possible," said Erik Kleinhans.
"This was probably the toughest week of my bike racing life. The tougher stages were on the four good weather days and the easier stages were made tough by the rain and mud! It's a great feeling to win here again. We had some really strong competition which makes the win even more special," added Kleinhans, who won the inaugural edition with Jonny Kritzinger in 2009 and the mixed division with his wife, Ariane, in 2011.
"It's a great feeling to win what has been a really tough race. Annika was an amazing partner and so strong throughout. I must thank our manager, Kandice Buys and our mechanic, Magnus Gouws, who are so experienced and so professional and they make it easier for us to focus on racing; and of course our sponsors for all their support." said Ariane Kleinhans.
"The women's field was stronger than ever before this year and we never once were able to let our guard down. It's great to see this women's category growing in depth and I'm sure this growth will continue in the future," added Kleinhans.
Cube Nutswerk MTB's Birgit Lavrijssen and Marco Minnaard grabbed their fourth stage win and the overall title in the mixed category on Saturday. They fought a race-long battle with Asrin Cycling 3's 2012 winners, Jennie Stenerhag and Craig Gerber who finished as 2013 runners-up. Third place went to Asrin Cycling 2's Nizaam Esa and Catherine Williamson.
The veteran division title will also go to the Netherlands. The Cube Nutswerk 2 team of Micha de Vries and Rik van den Hanenberg finished second on Saturday to Klein Karoo Vets' Wynand Mulder and Gerrie Beukes, but the Dutchmen had done enough on the previous six stages to capture the overall title ahead of Mulder and Beukes. Cannondale Blend Vets' Martin Epstein and Stefano Madies were third overall.
Wilde 3's Izak Visagie and Lieb Loots dominated the master's category racing. The South Africans won all but Saturday's final stage, finishing second to Brug Meesters' Charles Nienaber and Ergee du Toit. Loots and Visagie's overall winning margin was 2:05:05 over Stone Hammer's Malcolm Dods and Wizner Zbigniew, with Nienaber and Du Toit rounding out the final overall podium.
South African Darren Lill won his third stage in the solo men's division on Saturday, but Adriaan Louw, winner of the other four stages, claimed the overall title. In the solo women's category, Dalene van der Leek won Saturday's stage but ended up as overall runner-up behind Germany's Bettina Uhlig, who captured five stage wins in total.
"It's been a dramatic and challenging fifth edition of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek, but a watershed edition for sure. The racing was the most exciting we've seen yet and a great precursor to the 2014 event, which will have official UCI race grading," said Henco Rademeyer of Dryland Event Management, the race's co-founder.
Men stage 6
|1||Asrin Cycling - James Reid (RSA); Jens Schuermans (BEL)||2:10:44|| |
|2||Scott Factory Racing - Philip Buys (RSA); Matthys Beukes (RSA)||0:00:02|| |
|3||EAI Cycling - Hanco Kachelhoffer (RSA); Johann Rabie (RSA)||0:00:44|| |
|4||RE:CM - Waylon Woolcock (RSA); Erik Kleinhans (RSA)||0:00:54|| |
|5||Westvaal Bells Cycling - Nico Bell (RSA); Gawie Combrinck (RSA)||0:09:10|| |
Women stage 6
|1||RE:CM Davinci - Ariane Kleinhans (SUI); Annika Langvad (DEN)||2:30:31|| |
|2||Biogen SA Ladies - Robyn de Groot (RSA); Ischen Stopforth (RSA)||0:01:51|| |
|3||Mountain Heroes - Andrea Kuster (SUI); Daniele Troesch (FRA)||0:13:25|| |
Mixed stage 6
|1||Cube Nutswerk MTB - Birgit Lavrijssen (NED); Marco Minnaard (NED)||2:25:59|| |
|2||Asrin Cycling 2 - Nizaam Esa (RSA); Catherine Williamson (GBR)||0:06:01|| |
|3||Datadot Technology - Janie van Rensburg (RSA); Quintin Myburgh (RSA)||0:06:21|| |
Veteran stage 6
|1||Klein Karoo Vets - Wynand Mulder (RSA); Gerrie Beukes (RSA)||2:25:45|| |
|2||Cube Nutswerk 2 - Micha de Vries (NED); Rik Van den Hanenberg (NED)||0:04:05|| |
|3||Cannondale Blend Vets - Martin Epstein (RSA); Stefano Madies (RSA)||0:06:27|| |
Master stage 6
|1||Brug Meesters - Charles Nienaber (RSA); Ergee du Toit (RSA)||2:32:34|| |
|2||Wilde 3 - Izak Visagie (RSA); Lieb Loots (RSA)||0:05:44|| |
Amateur stage 6
|1||Kivida Schorriemorrie - Ninko Doornbos (NED); Coen Hoogervorst (NED)||2:25:29|| |
|2||Contego Giant 2 - Sakkie Hannekom (RSA); Hannes Hannekom (RSA)||0:00:08|| |
|3||Scott Saffa Power - George Nel (RSA); Franso Steyn (RSA)||0:04:35|| |
Solo men stage 6
|1||Darren Lill (RSA)||2:20:12|| |
|2||Adriaan Louw (RSA)||0:02:38|| |
|3||Craig Boyes (RSA)||0:02:39|| |
Solo women stage 6
|1||Dalene van der Leek||2:32:26|| |
|2||Bettina Uhlig (GER)||0:07:20|| |
|3||Thea-Mari van der Sandt (RSA)||0:25:20|| |
Men final general classification
|1||RE:CM - Waylon Woolcock (RSA); Erik Kleinhans (RSA)||21:10:11|| |
|2||Scott Factory Racing - Philip Buys (RSA); Matthys Beukes (RSA)||0:09:48|| |
|3||FedGroup Itec - Brandon Stewart (RSA); Konny Looser (SUI)||0:26:42|| |
|4||Westvaal Bells Cycling - Nico Bell (RSA); Gawie Combrinck (RSA)||0:34:35|| |
|5||Asrin Cycling - James Reid (RSA); Jens Schuermans (BEL)||0:43:22|| |
Women final general classification
|1||RE:CM Davinci - Ariane Kleinhans (SUI); Annika Langvad (DEN)||24:19:50|| |
|2||Wheeler - BMC - Jane Nuessli (GBR); Esther Suss (SUI)||1:35:15|| |
|3||Klein Karoo Chicks - Yolande Speedy (RSA); Yolande de Villiers (RSA)||2:10:07|| |
Mixed final general classification
|1||Cube Nutswerk MTB - Birgit Lavrijssen (NED); Marco Minnaard||26:02:09|| |
|2||Asrin Cycling 3 - Jennie Stenerhag (SWE); Craig Gerber||0:17:46|| |
|3||Asrin Cycling 2 - Nizaam Esa (RSA); Catherine Williamson (GBR)||1:27:17|| |
Veteran final general classification
|1||Cube Nutswerk 2 - Micha de Vries (NED); Rik Van den Hanenberg (NED)||24:14:02|| |
|2||Klein Karoo Vets - Wynand Mulder (RSA); Gerrie Beukes (RSA)||1:00:59|| |
|3||Cannondale Blend Vets - Martin Epstein (RSA); Stefano Madies (RSA)||1:36:04|| |
Master final general classification
|1||Wilde 3 - Izak Visagie (RSA); Lieb Loots (RSA)||25:21:41|| |
|2||Stone Hammer - Malcolm Dodds (RSA); Wizner Zbigniew (RSA)||2:05:05|| |
|3||Brug Meesters - Charles Nienaber (RSA); Ergee du Toit (RSA)||2:26:15|| |
Amateur final general classification
|1||Contego Giant 2 - Sakkie Hannekom (RSA); Hannes Hannekom (RSA)||24:38:05|| |
|2||Scott Saffa Power - George Nel (RSA); Franso Steyn (RSA)||0:32:08|| |
|3||Kivada Schorriemorrie - Ninko Doornbos (NED); Coen Hoogervorst (NED)||2:04:51|| |
Solo men final general classification
|1||Adriaan Louw (RSA)||22:58:43|| |
|2||Craig Boyes (RSA)||0:42:35|| |
|3||Tomas Kozak (CZE)||1:23:54|| |
Solo women final general classification
|1||Bettina Uhlig (GER)||28:32:23|| |
|2||Dalene van der Leek (RSA)||1:00:12|| |
|3||Aileen Anderson (RSA)||1:33:40|| |