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Hynek and Mennen keep Cape Epic lead during stage 6 despite punctures

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Nino Schurter and Philip Buys of SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing celebrate as they win stage 6

Nino Schurter and Philip Buys of SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing celebrate as they win stage 6
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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The riders were lined out

The riders were lined out
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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Through the trees at Oak Valley

Through the trees at Oak Valley
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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The helicopter gets a close-up view

The helicopter gets a close-up view
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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The views were a distraction

The views were a distraction
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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A perfect place a ride

A perfect place a ride
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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The tracks were dry for stage six

The tracks were dry for stage six
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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Annika Langvad and Ariane Kleinhans in action

Annika Langvad and Ariane Kleinhans in action
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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The riders had little time to taste the wine

The riders had little time to taste the wine
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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Stage six and seven raced through the woods.

Stage six and seven raced through the woods.
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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Robert Mennen and Kristian Hynek of Topeak-Ergon Racing

Robert Mennen and Kristian Hynek of Topeak-Ergon Racing
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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Race Leaders Kristian Hynek and Robert Mennen celebrate at the finish

Race Leaders Kristian Hynek and Robert Mennen celebrate at the finish
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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Race Leaders Kristian Hynek and Robert Mennen (unsighted) of Topeak-Ergon Racing celebrate as they finish second and retain the overall leaders yellow jersey going into the final stage

Race Leaders Kristian Hynek and Robert Mennen (unsighted) of Topeak-Ergon Racing celebrate as they finish second and retain the overall leaders yellow jersey going into the final stage
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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Christoph Sauser of Meerendal Songo Specialized celebrates with the spectators as he and his patner Frantisek Rabon finish 3rd during stage 6

Christoph Sauser of Meerendal Songo Specialized celebrates with the spectators as he and his patner Frantisek Rabon finish 3rd during stage 6
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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Kristian Hynek of Topeak-Ergon Racing

Kristian Hynek of Topeak-Ergon Racing
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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Robert Mennen of Topeak-Ergon Racing talks to the media after finishing second during stage 6

Robert Mennen of Topeak-Ergon Racing talks to the media after finishing second during stage 6
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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The Cape Epic is all about pain, suffering and pleasure

The Cape Epic is all about pain, suffering and pleasure
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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The stage six podium

The stage six podium
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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Robert Mennen and Kristian Hynek on the poduium

Robert Mennen and Kristian Hynek on the poduium
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)
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The Cape Epic passes thruogh some amazing countryside

The Cape Epic passes thruogh some amazing countryside
(Image credit: Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)

South African Philip Buys commandingly won his second stage of the 2014 Cape Epic on Saturday with Swiss partner Nino Schurter (Team Scott-Odlo) as the race for the overall winners’ yellow jersey was again touched by drama.

“Another stage … another flat … another drama,” said Czech Kristian Hynek, leading overall with German Robert Mennen (Topeak-Ergon), after they had again benefited on the day from the sportsmanship of fellow professionals.

Mennen and Hynek finished the 88km sixth stage in second place but more than 10 minutes ahead in the general classification. Barring disaster - an ever-present threat in the 2014 edition of the event - they should win for the first time when the race finishes at Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West Sunday.

They were facing a serious setback Saturday when Hynek picked up a bad cut on his tire only five kilometres from the start. For the second day running it was fellow professionals Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess (Centurion-Vaude) - out of the race for overall honours after a bad day on Tuesday’s stage 2 when they broke a frame - who came to their rescue by stopping and swopping a wheel. On Friday they had donated two wheels to Hynek when he “double-flatted”.

The rapid change of tyres Saturday meant Hynek and Mennen could chase and ultimately catch up to their general classification competitors.

“This time it happened on a gravel section - the tyre was cut. We got great, great help from Centurion-Vaude,” said Hynek.

Mennen said he had no idea how to thank fellow Germans Kaufmann and Kaess. “I must actually apologise because we took away their chance of a stage win,” said Mennen. “We’ll have to do something big for them.”

Buys and Schurter, the reigning cross country world champion, blitzed the stage - which started and finished at Oak Valley, Elgin, and went through many of the best singletrack sections in the Western Cape - in 3:34:51, finishing nearly six minutes ahead of the yellow jersey-wearers.

Buys said it was “just great” to be on the top step of the podium for the second time in three days - they also won stage 4- and paid tribute to the explosive strength of Schurter. “On the singletrack, we work well together, but I suffer quite a lot on the climbs.”

“It was a beautiful stage - a mountain bike stage,” said Schurter. They are now lying fifth overall - but more than 20 minutes behind the leaders after some troubled opening stages - and Schurter was hoping to win the final stage Sunday and get on to the podium.

Pre-race favourite and four-times winner Christoph Sauser of Switzerland and his Czech partner Christoph Rabon (Meerendal Songo Specialized) were third Saturday, giving up another 34 seconds to Hynek and Mennen. They remain in second overall but are more than 10 minutes back with only Sunday’s 68km stage to come - a gap that they are unlikely to bridge unless the leading team runs into serious trouble.

Rabon said he had a bad day. “I had no power in my legs … it just wasn’t happening today.”

Sauser said he and Rabon would attack from the start Sunday, but Hynek would not be taking risks. “It would be beautiful to win (the stage into) Lourensford, but there is no reason to take risks. The yellow jersey is our priority,” he said.

Team Bulls 2’s Simon Stiebjahn and Tim Boehme, both Germans, are third overall, six minutes behind Sauser and Rabon.

Women

Ariane Kleinhans of Switzerland and Annike Langvad of Denmark (RECM 2) seem almost certain to be winners of the women’s category after another commanding performance Saturday. They finished in 4:12:44 - 10 minutes ahead of their nearest rivals Esther Suss, also Swiss, and Sally Bigham of England (Meerendal).

“Yesterday was a bit too much with the heat, but the singletrack and all the shade today (Saturday) made me a happy mountain biker again. I wish the final stage of the Epic was like the final day of the Tour de France with handshakes and drinking champagne. But seeing that it is not, we will do the same as every day: riding as strong and fast as we can.”

Kleinhans and Langvad’s overall lead is now 26 minutes.

South Africa’s Theresa Ralph and Swede Jennie Stenerhag (Cape Brewing Company) are lying third but are more than an hour back from the RECM 2 team.

Mixed

Yannick Lincoln and Aurelie Halbwachs of Synergy won their fourth stage in 4:31.02. They were followed by Nizaam Essa and Christina Kollmann of Asrin Cycling and Tom Janas and Bettina Uhlig of Sportograf.com - BQ Cycling. Synergy still leads this category.

Lincoln said, "I don't want to talk about the overall victory. It all came so close to an end today, that I'm too scared to say anything. My front wheel came off, but luckily on an uphill. Imagine that happening on a downhill. It could've been all over. I'll be happy if I'm still in green along with Aurelie tomorrow. She has been great and strong and that's helping me stay strong." Halbwachs continues that it was an enjoyable stage, but not easy at all. "I'm happy we made it and are still in the lead. We can't wait for tomorrow's finish line."

Masters

Bart Brentjens and Abraao Azevedo (Betch.nl Superior Meerendal) won their fifth stage in 4:02:58. They were again followed by Shan Wilson and Adrian Enthoven of Definitive Bikes with newcomers to the podium, Richard Lurie and Leendert Lorenzen of Eurocasa, in third place . Brentjens and Azevedo now lead this category by 18 minutes and 22 seconds and are placed 14th overall.

Azevedo said "This is a dream come true. I've enjoyed the Epic so much and today was great fun on the course with all the singletrack. It's been the race of my life. Being part of this team and riding with Bart is very special."

Grand masters

The unbeaten South African and Austrian duo, Andrew Mclean and Heinz Zoerweg of Cycle Lab Toyota again finished first in a time of 4:08:35. They were again followed by Bärti Bucher and Doug Brown of Meerendal Songo Specialized 4. Eben Espach and Corrie Muller of Absa Grand Masters finished third. Cycle Lab Toyota lead this category by one hour, five minutes and 54 seconds.

Zoerweg said, "It was a very good day. I enjoyed all the singletrack and with only one stage to go, I still feel strong and am confident that we'll win."

Africans

The fastest African team was again Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns of Scott Factory Racing in 3:46:30. They were followed by Erik Kleinhans and Nico Bell of RECM . Craig Boyes and Louis-Bresler Knipe of Asrin cycling finished in third place. The third all-African team in the overall GC after Stage 6 is Andrew Hill and Charles Keey of RED-E Blend with an overall time of 29:42:26. Beukes and Heyns lead by 14 minutes and 39 seconds.

Heyns said, "It was great riding up front with Philip and Nino today. We're happy to have kept the lead in this category and are confident going into the final stage."

Stage 7: Elgin to Lourensford (69Km, 1 800m of climbing)

It will be a traditional final day, all culminating at Lourensford Wine Estate, where a hero's welcome will await the tired riders. It will be a short day with a late start, but it will not be a free ride to the finish! There will be a few final hurdles, like the climb up Nuweberg on forestry roads, with its steep and washed out descent. Once over the Hottentots Mountain Range, riders will get to enjoy the vistas over False Bay, all the way back to Cape Town where their journey began some odd 700km ago. A final steep singletrack climb and riders will smell home as they enter the Lourensford Bowl for what promises to be yet another emotional Grand Finale.

Results

Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter (Swi) and Philip Buys (RSA) Scott-Odlo3:34:51
2Robert Mennen (Ger) and Kristian Hynek (Cze) Topeak-Ergon Racing0:05:53
3Christoph Sauser (Swi) and Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Meerendal Songo Specialized0:06:29
4Tim Boehme (Ger) and Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Bulls 20:06:42
5Roel Paulissen (Bel) and Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) Torpado Factory0:07:35
6Stefan Sahm (Fra) and Thomas Diestch (Fra) Bulls 30:11:06
7Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing0:11:39
8Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM0:13:48
9Lukas Fluckiger (Swi) and Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing0:14:59
10Craig Boyes (RSA) and Lous-Bresler Knipe (RSA) Asrin cyclingA) and0:17:27

Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ariane Kleinhans (Swi) and Annika Langvad (Den) RECM 24:12:44
2Esther Suss (Swi) and Sally Bigham (GBr) Meerendal0:10:12
3Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) and Theresa Ralph (RSA) Cape Brewing Company0:25:19
4Sara Mertens (Bel) and Laura Turpin (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler 20:29:58
5Milena Landtwing (Swi) and Hielke Elferink (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler0:36:26
6Ischen Stopforth (RSA) and Yolande de Villiers (RSA) SasolRacing0:50:51
7Yolandi du Toit (RSA) and Leana De Jager (RSA) SasolRacing 20:54:29
8Hanlie Booyens (RSA) and Mariske Strauss (RSA) Pragma Orange Monkey1:00:20
9Tanya Rabie (RSA) and Nicola Walker (RSA) Woolworths In2Food1:14:50
10Celina Carpinteiro (Por) and Katerina Slegrova (Por) Itec BTT1:19:55

Mixed
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yannick Lincoln (Mau) and Aurelie Halbwachs (Mau) Synergy4:31:02
2Nizaam Essa (RSA) and Christina Kollman (Aut) Asrin Cycling0:01:59
3Tom Janas (Ger) and Bettina Uhlig (Ger) Sportograf.com - BQ Cycling0:05:16
4Gal Tsachor (Isr) and Idit Shub (Isr) Trek Israel0:09:56
5Eric Wictor (Ned) and Hanneke Boon (Ned) Velozine0:27:33
6Sophie van Biervliet (Bel) and Jan Stockman (Bel) 't Velootje0:28:19
7Sabina Compassi (Swi) and Paul Buhler (Swi) Meerendal Songo Specialized 80:33:18
8Vaughn Roux (RSA) and Sunet Geldenhuys (RSA) ENS Mixed0:35:44
9Robert Vogel (NZl) and Amanda Brooks (NZl) Hansgrohe 20:35:56
10Hannele Steyn (RSA) and Kenhardt Scheepers (RSA) Howard and Chamberlain0:41:04

Masters
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bart Brentjens (Ned) and Abraao Azevedo (Bra) Betch.nl Superior Meerendal4:02:58
2Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes0:05:10
3Richard Lurie (RSA) and Leendert Lorenzen (RSA) Eurocasa0:17:51
4Warren Squires (Zim) and Nic White (RSA) Absa masters0:21:25
5Leon Erasmus (RSA) and Denis Du Toit (RSA) Pragma Teahmo0:23:49
6Derek Wilson (GBr) and Dean Camier (GBr) Motorhouse0:24:09
7Heinz Posch (Swi) and Andreas Guignard (Swi) Meerendal Songo Specialized 130:25:39
8Igna de Villiers (RSA) and Pierre Griffioen (RSA) LGE/Midas/DWR0:31:29
9Peter Winn (RSA) and Andrew King (RSA) Slim and Thin0:38:34
10Charles Bleach (RSA) and Shaun Sale (RSA) Sales Hire0:38:39

Grand masters
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Mclean (RSA) and Heinz Zoerweg (Aut) Cycle Lab Toyota4:08:35
2Barti Bucher (Swi) and Doug Brown (RSA) Meerendal Songo Specialized 40:03:33
3Eben Espach (RSA) and Corrie Muller (RSA) Absa Grand Masters0:14:38
4Lieb Loots (RSA) and Izak Visagie (RSA) Pragma Nampak0:23:28
5Waleed Baker (RSA) and Glen Haw (RSA) Pitstop0:30:04
6Thomas Dooley (USA) and Mike Hogan (USA) Kappius / Sir Richards0:39:22
7James Stopforth (RSA) and Peter Stopforth (RSA) MN70:46:11
8William Werthheim (RSA) and Greg Anderson (RSA) NUK Orthodontic0:47:15
9Ivar Tollefsen (Nor) and Tronde Hilde Gutta Boyz0:48:25
10Tomas Pribyl (Cze) and Jaroslav Send (Cze) Author Masters0:54:22

Africans
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing3:46:30
2Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM0:02:09
3Craig Boyes (RSA) and Lous-Bresler Knipe (RSA) Asrin cycling0:05:48
4Oliver Munnik (RSA) and Alastair Davies (RSA) Paarl Media Pinners0:09:34
5Siphosenkosi Madolo (RSA) and Azukile Simaylie Mereendal Specialized 160:11:15
6Dominic Calitz (RSA) and Jurgen Uys (RSA) Paarl Media Young Guns0:12:26
7Andrew Hill (RSA) and Charles Keey (RSA) RED-E Blend0:15:17
8Phillimon Sebona (RSA) and Jan Motshioa (RSA) Exxaro / PwC0:15:56
9Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes0:21:38
10Nic Lamond (RSA) and Hannes Henekom (RSA) Tru-Cape Times0:22:07

Men general classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Robert Mennen (Ger) and Kristian Hynek (Cze) Topeak-Ergon Racing27:24:16
2Christoph Sauser (Swi) and Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Meerendal Songo Specialized0:10:24
3Tim Boehme (Ger) and Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Bulls 20:16:42
4Roel Paulissen (Bel) and Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) Torpado Factory0:20:48
5Nino Schurter (Swi) and Philip Buys (RSA) Scott-Odlo0:24:29
6Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing1:18:34
7Lukas Fluckiger (Swi) and Martin Fanger (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing1:23:04
8Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM1:33:13
9Stefan Sahm (Fra) and Thomas Diestch (Fra) Bulls 32:08:19
10Andrew Hill (RSA) and Charles Keey (RSA) RED-E Blend2:18:10

Women general classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ariane Kleinhans (Swi) and Annika Langvad (Den) RECM 231:21:55
2Esther Suss (Swi) and Sally Bigham (GBr) Meerendal0:25:36
3Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) and Theresa Ralph (RSA) Cape Brewing Company2:09:34
4Milena Landtwing (Swi) and Hielke Elferink (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler3:02:49
5Sara Mertens (Bel) and Laura Turpin (Ned) Meerendal Wheeler 23:59:02
6Ischen Stopforth (RSA) and Yolande de Villiers (RSA) SasolRacing4:57:12
7Yolandi du Toit (RSA) and Leana De Jager (RSA) SasolRacing 26:22:20
8Hanlie Booyens (RSA) and Mariske Strauss (RSA) Pragma Orange Monkey6:57:33
9Tanya Rabie (RSA) and Nicola Walker (RSA) Woolworths In2Food8:13:37
10Theresa Horn (RSA) and Desiree Loubser (RSA) Khombisa Media9:19:07

Mixed general classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yannick Lincoln (Mau) and Aurelie Halbwachs (Mau) Synergy33:11:24
2Gal Tsachor (Isr) and Idit Shub (Isr) Trek Israel1:54:33
3Nizaam Essa (RSA) and Christina Kollman (Aut) Asrin Cycling2:48:23
4Tom Janas (Ger) and Bettina Uhlig (Ger) Sportograf.com - BQ Cycling2:49:38
5Sophie van Biervliet (Bel) and Jan Stockman (Bel) 't Velootje4:03:55
6Pablo Rodriguez (Arg) and Lolita van Aardt (RSA) Orphans Africa MTB4:23:17
7Sabina Compassi (Swi) and Paul Buhler (Swi) Meerendal Songo Specialized 84:50:35
8Eric Wictor (Ned) and Hanneke Boon (Ned) Velozine4:54:43
9Robert Vogel (NZl) and Amanda Brooks (NZl) Hansgrohe 25:17:27
10Henning Blaauw (RSA) and Louise Ferreira (RSA) Globeflight5:39:44

Masters general classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bart Brentjens (Ned) and Abraao Azevedo (Bra) Betch.nl Superior Meerendal30:24:39
2Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes0:18:23
3Warren Squires (Zim) and Nic White (RSA) Absa masters2:37:27
4Richard Lurie (RSA) and Leendert Lorenzen (RSA) Eurocasa2:55:14
5Igna de Villiers (RSA) and Pierre Griffioen (RSA) LGE/Midas/DWR3:36:59
6Udo Boelts (Ger) and Lothar Leder (Ger) Juwi Fox3:40:55
7Robert Enthoven (GBr) and Edward Nicholson (GBr) Nando's4:02:35
8Heinz Posch (Swi) and Andreas Guignard (Swi) Meerendal Songo Specialized 134:26:01
9Derek Wilson (GBr) and Dean Camier (GBr) Motorhouse4:35:12
10Jean-Luc Perez (Fra) and Stephane Pouillet (Fra) Comus-DCM Precision4:39:54

Grand masters general classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Mclean (RSA) and Heinz Zoerweg (Aut) Cycle Lab Toyota30:16:54
3Eben Espach (RSA) and Corrie Muller (RSA) Absa Grand Masters2:46:47
4Lieb Loots (RSA) and Izak Visagie (RSA) Pragma Nampak3:59:22
5Waleed Baker (RSA) and Glen Haw (RSA) Pitstop4:22:49
6Thomas Dooley (USA) and Mike Hogan (USA) Kappius / Sir Richards5:54:44
7William Werthheim (RSA) and Greg Anderson (RSA) NUK Orthodontic6:27:58
8James Stopforth (RSA) and Peter Stopforth (RSA) MN76:56:29
9Ivar Tollefsen (Nor) and Tronde Hilde Gutta Boyz7:15:01
10Tomas Pribyl (Cze) and Jaroslav Send (Cze) Author Masters7:36:36

Africans general classification after stage 6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthys Beukes (RSA) and Gert Heyns (RSA) Scott Factory Racing28:42:50
2Erik Kleinhans (RSA) and Nico Bell (RSA) RECM0:14:39
3Andrew Hill (RSA) and Charles Keey (RSA) RED-E Blend0:59:36
4Craig Boyes (RSA) and Lous-Bresler Knipe (RSA) Asrin cycling1:46:07
5Shan Wilson (RSA) and Adrian Enthoven (RSA) Definitive Bikes2:00:12
6Kevin Evans (RSA) and Max Knox (RSA) FedGroup Itec2:06:38
7Dominic Calitz (RSA) and Jurgen Uys (RSA) Paarl Media Young Guns2:36:32
8Johann Rabie (RSA) and Neil MacDonald (RSA) FedGroup Itec 22:56:27
9Oliver Munnik (RSA) and Alastair Davies (RSA) Paarl Media Pinners2:57:15
10Bradley Stroberg (RSA) and Guylin van den Berg (RSA) SOAR3:10:44

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