Team Bulls charge to Cape Pioneer Trek prologue win

The German Team Bulls pairing of Tim Bohme and Simon Stiebjahn charged around the Buffelsdrift Game Lodge trails to win the prologue time trial and take the early overall lead in the 2014 Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race near Oudtshoorn, South Africa on Sunday.

Sweden's Jennie Stenerhag and South Africa's Robyn de Groot (Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co.) secured the win in the women's category.

The prologue time trial followed a fairly twisty 15.3km course around Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, an appropriate scene setter for the sixth edition of South Africa's newest UCI-graded mountain bike stage race.

Starting fifth from last, Bohme and Stiebjahn clocked a time of 36:07, which turned out to be 19 seconds faster than South African stage favourites, Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes (Scott Factory Racing). South African marathon champion, James Reid and his Austrian teammate, Herman Persteiner (Asrin Cycling), rounded out the podium places for the event opener.

"We were actually going for a smooth stage and tried to limit our losses. We knew that Scott Factory Racing were the big favourites, as they know this course so well and they won this stage last year. It was a nice surprise!" said a cheery Stiebjahn afterwards.

After finishing third overall at the 2014 Cape Epic and enjoying good form in recent weeks, Bohme and Stiebjahn fancy their chances of overall victory at the Cape Pioneer Trek and will incorporate that goal into their tactics from stage 1.

"In mountain biking, nothing is certain. We will try and defend the yellow jersey from tomorrow for sure. There are another six hard days to come still, but we will make the most of every moment we can to keep the leader jerseys on our shoulders," said Stiebjahn.

In the women's race, De Groot and Stenerhag, the national marathon champions of their respective countries, clocked a time of 44:45, also 19 seconds ahead of runners-up, Cherise Stander and Candice Neethling (#iride4burry). Former marathon world champion and Olympic medallist, Esther Suss and Theresa Ralph, riding as Team Meerendal Wheeler 1, rounded out the podium places in 47:15.

"That win was totally unexpected!" said De Groot. "We really just wanted to ride a safe prologue more than anything else. To get the victory was a bonus and a good confidence booster for the rest of the race."

In the other team racing categories, South Africans Jaco Ferreira and Alexander Lamberts of Team Columbia Europcar Bridge were the top amateurs; South Africans Kobus Barnard and Fienie Barnard (Klein Karoo Mixed) won the stage in the mixed; Heinz Zorweg and Bartie Bucher of Team Meerendal Wheeler 2 were the top Masters and South Africans Johan Labuschagne and Gerrie Beukes of Team Klein Karoo Veterans, secured the Veteran men's win.

In the solo division, Travis Walker, Konny Looser and Matthew Beers were the top three men respectively, while Christine Janse van Rensburg, Gina Nixon and Katja Cauwenbergh were the top three women.

Monday's stage 1 will see the riders tackle a distance of 100km with 1794m of ascent from Oudtshoorn to Calitzdorp.

Results for prologue and GC after prologue

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) / Tim Bohme (Ger) - Team Bulls0:36:07
2Philip Buys (RSA) / Matthys Beukes (RSA) - Scott Factory Racing0:00:19
3James Reid (RSA) / Herman Persteiner (Aut) - Asrin Cycling0:01:38
4Ismael Ventura (Spa) / Ramon Sagues (Spa) - Esmtb.Com0:01:50
5Waylon Woolcock (RSA) / Darren Lill (RSA) - Cannondale Blend0:01:57
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jennie Stenerhag (Swe) / Robyn De Groot (RSA) - Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co0:44:45
2Cherise Stander (RSA) / Candice Neethling (RSA) - #Iride4Burry0:00:19
3Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Esther Suss (Sui) - Meerendal Wheeler 10:02:30
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jaco Ferreira (RSA) / Alexander Lamberts (RSA) - Columbia Europcar Bridge0:45:22
2James Tennent (RSA) / David Garrett (RSA) - Giant 20:00:49
3Jonathan Odendaal (RSA) / Bertus Odendaal (RSA) - Four Brothers0:01:08
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Veteran Men:
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Johan Labuschagne (RSA) / Gerrie Beukes (RSA) - Klein Karoo Veterans0:43:21
2Fanie Venter (RSA) / Wayne Mcduling (RSA) - Pynfabriek0:02:33
3Marne Dirks (RSA) / Pierre Griffioen - Bridge Torq Zone Vets0:02:44
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Master Men:
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Heinz Zorweg (Aut) / Barti Bucher (Sui) - Meerendal Wheeler 20:41:11
2Izak Visagie (RSA) / Lieb Loots (RSA) - Wilde 30:04:37
3Con Malherbe (RSA) / Collin Stroberg (RSA) - Coffeeberry Café0:07:50
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) - Klein Karoo Mixed0:44:43
2Vickus Boshoff (RSA) / Anriette Schoeman (RSA) - Sasol Racing Mixed 10:01:55
3Nizaam Esa (RSA) / Barbara Benko (RSA) - Asrin Cycling 10:02:02
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Solo Men:
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Travis Walker (RSA)Row 0 - Cell 2
2Konny Looser (Swi)0:37:35
3Matthew Beers (RSA)0:38:18
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Solo Women:
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christine Janse Van Rensburg (RSA)0:50:52
2Gina Nixon (RSA)0:02:10
3Katja Cauwenbergh (Bel)0:03:50

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