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Cape Epic - S2

South Africa, March 24-31, 2007

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Stage 8 - March 31: Kleinmond - Lourensford, 75km

Team Bulls take the 2007 Absa Cape Epic

The German pair took the overall victory,
Photo ©: Frank Bodenmuller
(Click for larger image)

In a gripping final stage, leaders Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm of Team Bulls started with only 3.5 minutes lead in the overall as they set out to defend their jerseys. The German team, which won the hearts many following the race over the past week, was overwhelmed when they crossed the finish line in Lourensford with an overall time of 33:08:00.7, just three minutes ahead of closest competitors Belgian Roel Paulissen and Dane Jakob Fugslang (Cannondale-Vredestein 1). Paulissen and Fugslang had tried everything to turn the tables on the last stretch.

"This is absolutely unbelievable. To win the Absa Cape Epic again after 2004 and with such a competitive, world class field at the start, blows me away. I want to thank everyone who cheered for us and who believed in us. The crowds along the way were rooting for us, shouting 'go bulls, go!" Words cannot express what this victory means to us," said the winners.

Third place was taken by Dutch teammates Bart Brentjens and Rudi van Houts (Team Dolphin) who seemed to have found their stride in the second half of this year's race with two of eight possible stage wins.

Eight days after it all began,
Photo ©: Frank Bodenmuller
(Click for larger image)

The final stage of the race was won in a sprint finish taken by Swiss Team Texner-Stoeckli's Thomas Zahnd and Sandro Spaeth in a time of 3:24:51.3. "We've been trying, for the past three years to win a stage at this race. The fact that it worked out this year, in the final stage, with the best riders ever, is awesome," said the team.

The masters, mixed and women's races were all taken by South Africans, with Andrew Mclean and Damian Booth (Cycle Lab) taking the masters title and Yolande Speedy and Paul Cordes (IMC/Mongoose) winning the mixed classification by nearly seventeen and a half minutes.

Anke Erlank and Yolande de Villiers (Team Duravit) took the women's top position with a four hour and twenty minute lead. "I would have been perfectly satisfied just winning this race, but Yolande wanted to push for a top twenty position overall. We came close once or twice but it meant that I had to extend my limits every single day. I'm glad it's over now because this was the toughest Absa Cape Epic ever," said Erlank.

Another nature park,
Photo ©: Frank Bodenmuller
(Click for larger image)

The best African Team in the race was Raleigh MTN Energade 1 with Kevin Evans and Brandon Stewart of South Africa. They completed the eight stages in a total time of 35:03:38.8 in seventh position overall.

Out of 603 teams that started last Saturday in Knysna, 468 completed all eight torturous stages - 278 Men, 125 Masters, 52 Mixed and 13 Ladies Teams crossed the finish line in Lourensford today for a finishing rate of 77.6 percent. However, only 15.7 percent of the total number of riders dropped out of the race as 81 participants whose team partner pulled out, continued to ride and become proud finishers.

Stage eight took physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted riders through 80 kilometres of exquisite Winelands territory with a total elevation gain of 1,285 metres. After following the Palmiet river, riders passed through the apple orchards of Elgin and Grabouw working their way to the summit of Sir Lowry's pass, where they were forced to carry their bikes down a slippery one kilometre descent, over the historic national heritage site of the Voortrekkers ox wagon trail. In Lourensford, thousands of supporters welcomed over 1,000 finishers.

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Frank Bodenmuller/PhotoSport International

Results

Men

1 Thomas Zahnd (Swi) / Sandro Spaeth (Swi) Team Texner-Stoeckli          3.24.51
2 Roel Paulissen (Bel) / JakobFuglsang (Den) Cannondale-Vredestein 1        0.04
3 Karl Platt (Ger) / Stefan Sahm (Ger) Team Bulls                           0.15
4 Alban Lakata (Aut) / Roman Peter (Swi) Trek Volkswagen Racing             0.44
5 Bart Brentjens (Ned) / Rudi van Houts (Ned) Dolphin Mountainbike Team     1.45
6 Ralph Naef (Swi) / Jose Hermida (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team 1       7.18
7 Mannie Heymans (Nam) / Melt Swanepoel (RSA) RALEIGH MTN ENERGADE 2        7.29
8 Silvio Bundi (Swi) / Gion Manetsch (Swi) Giant/Athleticum                10.24
9 David Kinjah Njau (Ken) / Davidson Kamau Kihagi (Ken) Absa Africa        11.24
10 Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) / RenéBirkenfeld (Ger) Stevens               11.33

Women

1 Anke Erlank (RSA) / Yolandè De Villiers (RSA) DURAVIT                   4.06.53
2 Kerstin Brachtendorf (Ger) / Daniele Troesch (Fra) ADIDAS FIAT Rotwild    24.08
3 Myriam Saugy (Swi) / Fabienne Heinzmann (Swi) Texner BMC Thoemus          24.54
4 Kristine Noergaard (Den) / Anna-Sofie Noergaard (Den) CUBE WLS TEAM       32.18
5 Liesbet Kristafor (RSA) / Leanne Brown-Waterson (RSA) K-Way               59.12
6 Di Thomas (RSA) / Linzi Fredman (RSA) Day Trippers                      1.32.54
7 Jaclynn Derosier (USA) / Sharon Mcdowell-Larsen (USA) Snow Queens       1.42.54
8 Lecinda Uys (RSA) / Mitzi Knipe (RSA) Prolong                           1.51.25
9 Ruth Kirchmann (RSA) / Lorna Mclaren (RSA) Angel Wings                  1.56.54
10 Lynley Baker (NZl) / Katherine Heatley (NZl) Maiden New Zealand        2.15.37

Mixed

1 Ivonne Kraft (Ger) / Nico Pfitzenmaier (Ger) Maloja-BTS Time for Travel    3.59.33
2 Yolande Speedy (RSA) / Paul Cordes (RSA) IMC/Mongoose                         2.41
3 Geddan Ruddock (RSA) / Jean Ann Mckirdy (Can) ABSA PRO MIXED                  9.08
4 Greg Minnaar (RSA) / Hannele Steyn-Kotze (RSA) adidas                        21.04
5 Virginie Souchon (Fra) / Julien Sauvigné (Fra) CMT                           24.41
6 Fienie Barnard (RSA) / Jurie Barnard (RSA) Pezula                            25.49
7 Fourie Kotze (RSA) / Jeannie Bomford (RSA) adidas                            32.27
8 Andreas Mühlbacher (Aut) / Anita Waiss (Aut) Peak Vienna                     35.34
9 Nicole Haas (Swi) / Peter Kunz (Swi) Los Pezos                               39.20
10 Lood Rabie (RSA) / Annelle Rabie (RSA) Voicecare                            42.29

Masters

1 Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Doug Brown (RSA) ABSA Masters                  3.52.21
2 Andrew Mclean (RSA) / Damian Booth (RSA) Cycle lab                          0.07
3 Andre Viljoen (RSA) / Guy Pike (RSA) Team Checkers                          3.45
4 Jacques Malan (RSA) / Schuiling Bobby (RSA) MILES FOR MARROW                6.11
5 Tony Conlon (RSA) / Lieb Loots (RSA) Marsilio Projects                     12.22
6 Corrie Muller (RSA) / Ergee Du Toit (RSA) SAND                             12.40
7 M.C. Franken (RSA) / Fred Coleske (RSA) Red Mongoose                       15.50
8 Ennis Venter (RSA) / Andrew Johan Cillie (RSA) GOSSOUW,HARDING&WATERLOO    23.13
9 Nick Bester (RSA) / Bryan Strauss (RSA) HARMONY                            23.18
10 Johannes Sewald (Ger) / Albert Hager (Ger) Quest Sport                    23.51

Final General Classification

Men

1 Karl Platt (Ger) / Stefan Sahm (Ger) Team Bulls                              33.08.01
2 Roel Paulissen (Bel) / Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Cannondale-Vredestein 1              3.23
3 Bart Brentjens (Ned) / Rudi van Houts (Ned) Dolphin Mountainbike Team           43.45
4 Alban Lakata (Aut) / Roman Peter (Swi) Trek Volkswagen Racing                 1.14.00
5 Thomas Zahnd (Swi) / Sandro (Spa)eth (Swi) Team Texner-Stoeckli               1.19.31
6 Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) / René Birkenfeld (Ger) Stevens                    1.46.48
7 Kevin Evans (RSA) / Brandon Stewart (RSA) RALEIGH MTN ENERGADE 1              1.55.38
8 Mannie Heymans (Nam) / Melt Swanepoel (RSA) RALEIGH MTN ENERGADE 2            2.01.30
9 Ralph Naef (Swi) / Jose Hermida (Spa)in Multivan Merida Biking Team 1         2.24.25
10 Shan Wilson (RSA) / Jacques Rossouw (RSA) Team Adidas/William Simpson/Ep     2.42.23
 
Women

1 Anke Erlank (RSA) / Yolandè De Villiers (RSA) DURAVIT                        39.55.53
2 Myriam Saugy (Swi) / Fabienne Heinzmann (Swi) Texner BMC Thoemus              4.20.53
3 Kerstin Brachtendorf (Ger) / Daniele Troesch (Fra) ADIDAS FIAT Rotwild        4.49.14
4 Kristine Noergaard (Den) / Anna-Sofie Noergaard (Den) CUBE WLS TEAM           5.31.06
5 Liesbet Kristafor (RSA) / Leanne Brown-Waterson (RSA) K-Way                   8.53.59
6 Di Thomas (RSA) / Linzi Fredman (RSA) Day Trippers                           14.26.42
7 Jaclynn Derosier (USA) / Sharon Mcdowell-Larsen (USA) Snow Queens            16.30.06
8 Lecinda Uys (RSA) / Mitzi Knipe (RSA) Prolong                                17.51.38
9 Ruth Kirchmann (RSA) / Lorna Mclaren (RSA) Angel Wings                       19.24.48
10 Lynley Baker (NZl) / Katherine Heatley (NZl) Maiden New Zealand             21.33.14
 
Mixed

1 Yolande Speedy (RSA) / Paul Cordes (RSA) IMC/Mongoose                        39.06.06
2 Ivonne Kraft (Ger) / Nico Pfitzenmaier (Ger) Maloja-BTS Time for Travel         17.37
3 Geddan Ruddock (RSA) / Jean Ann Mckirdy (Can) ABSA PRO MIXED                  1.21.10
4 Virginie Souchon (Fra) / Julien Sauvigné (Fra) CMT                            3.37.19
5 Fienie Barnard (RSA) / Jurie Barnard (RSA) Pezula                             4.11.24
6 Fourie Kotze (RSA) / Jeannie Bomford (RSA) adidas                             4.59.02
7 Greg Minnaar (RSA) / Hannele Steyn-Kotze (RSA) adidas                         5.16.04
8 Andreas Mühlbacher (Aut) / Anita Waiss (Aut) Peak Vienna                      5.54.20
9 Nicole Haas (Swi) / Peter Kunz (Swi) Los Pezos                                6.08.59
10 Roald Brosius (Bel) / Aileen Anderson (RSA) BMC                              6.31.23

Masters

1 Andrew Mclean (RSA) / Damian Booth (RSA) Cycle lab                           37.48.34
2 Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Doug Brown (RSA) ABSA Masters                         25.39
3 M.C. Franken (RSA) / Fred Coleske (RSA) Red Mongoose                          1.20.18
4 Corrie Muller (RSA) / Ergee Du Toit (RSA) SAND                                1.36.39
5 Jacques Malan (RSA) / Schuiling Bobby (RSA) MILES FOR MARROW                  1.50.47
6 Tony Conlon (RSA) / Lieb Loots (RSA) Marsilio Projects                        2.15.20
7 Nick Bester (RSA) / Bryan Strauss (RSA) HARMONY                               3.32.16
8 Ennis Venter (RSA) / Andrew Johan Cillie (RSA) GOSSOUW,HARDING&WATERLOO       4.25.38
9 Andre Viljoen (RSA) / Guy Pike (RSA) Team Checkers                            4.44.19
10 Johannes Sewald (Ger) / Albert Hager (Ger) Quest Sport                       4.46.30
Best African Team 
1 Kevin Evans (RSA) / Brandon Stewart (RSA) Team Raleigh MTN Energade 1         35:03:38