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Norgaard sisters celebrate Cape Epic win

Two sisters, Anna-Sofie and Kristine Norgaard, rode to an overall win in the Cape Epic stage race in South Africa. The Danish women, who both rode for the Rothaus-Cube team, won five of the eight stages of the 772km long mountain bike race, finishing ahead of runners-up Ivonne Kraft of Germany and Hannele Steyn-Kotze of South Africa.

Anna-Sofie and Kristine seemed to get stronger each day, despite the high temperatures that took a toll on many of the competitors. In the first two stages, the duo finished second. Their first stage victory came on the third day. On the fourth day, they took over the race leadership, which they would not relinquish for the duration of the event.

It wasn't until the final stage that they decided they could afford to slow down. That opened the door for Kraft and Steyn-Kotze to win what was their third stage win, but the Norgaards still won the overall with a 30-minute margin.

"It is great to win here. On the final day, we were a little more careful not to risk anything. Ivonne and Hannele went for the stage victory and they deserved to win it," said Anna-Sofie Norgaard. "It was super to conclude this race as number one."

Over eight days, the sisters raced 37 hours, 31 minutes and 3 seconds together.

Anna-Sofie and Kristine had planned to celebrate the ninth stage of the Cape Epic, the party after the race, before travelling back home.

"I have enjoyed the time here, but I am happy to see my family and my son again soon," said Anna-Sofie Norgaard, who had a baby last season.

"My son's called Karlo and is named after one of our favourite riders Karl Platt," Anna-Sofie said after stage three. "Karl always manages to have fun, so we think Karlo is going to be strong and also have fun." Platt won men's category at the Cape Epic along with his Team Bulls partner, Stefan Sahm.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.