The German Bulls Team of Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm walked away with top honours as overall winners of this year’s Absa Cape Epic presented by adidas. With a 10'51 lead time on Christophe Sauser and Burry Stander (Songo-Specialized by DCM) at the start this morning, the Bulls finished the 722km race in an overall time of 29:47:46.
In second place were South African Burry Stander and his Swiss team mate Christoph Sauser (Songo-Specialized by DCM) in 29:57.49 and in third place the South African/Austrian duo of Kevin Evans and Alban Lakata (MTN Qhubeka Topeak Ergon) in 30:12.30.
Multivan Merida’s José Hermida and Rudi van Houts were first to cross the finish line in the final stage in a time of 2:40.32. This was their second consecutive podium finish and they ranked sixth overall (30:44.56). They were followed by Rabobank Giant Off Road team Emil Lindgren and Fabian Giger, also with their second podium finish in this year’s race (2:42.18). In third place were Christoph Sauser and Burry Stander of Songo-Specialized by DCM in 2:44.12,8 with the Bulls Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm in fourth place (2:44.59). Kevin Evans and Alban Lakata (MTN Qhubeka Topeak Ergon) finished fifth in 2:50.17.
José Hermida and Rudi van Houts on their way to winning the last stage
The Bulls Team of Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm also won the Absa Cape Epic in 2007 and 2009, and Karl Platt won in the inaugural year (2004) with Mannie Heymans from Namibia. He is the most successful participant in the history of the race having won four times and placing on the podium six times.
Platt said afterwards: "To win the Absa Cape Epic again - now for the fourth time - is absolutely unbelievable. It means so much to me, especially this year with the most competitive field ever. When people see our playful nature they tend to forget that we also get very nervous and are under pressure during the race; not only for our own sake, but for all the people that stand behind us and cross their fingers that we come out tops. So when we crossed that final finish line it was a huge relief, but most of all an euphoric joy."
His teammate Stefan Sahm added: "It’s an incredible feeling – words can't describe it. It means so much to Karl and I. We arrived at the race as the defending champions and we successfully guarded our title. I had problems with my chain today and had to change it. It was nerve-wrecking. We enjoyed every second and every meter of the last few kilometres, and who knows, maybe we can do it again next year."
Danish sisters top ladies team
The Noergaards celebrate their win
The Danish sisters Kristine and Anna-Sofie Noergaard (team Rothaus-CUBE) finished in 37:31.03 and won their category, having also taken top honours in five of the eight stages in this year’s race. In second place overall in this category were Hannele Steyn-Kotze and Ivonne Kraft (Team Sludge Ladies) in a time of 38:01.15 and in third place were Giuliana Vitali and Tamara Horn (team bike2help.ch – Big Tree) in 41:10.43.
Anna-Sofie Noergaard said: “It was great to win. Today we rode carefully and safely as we didn’t want to take any chances. The other ladies really fought for a stage win and deserved it. Now I can’t wait to join my family and see my son again. It’s been a long week away from them, but I enjoyed the race very much.”
Her sister Kristine added: “It feels fantastic to finish the race and also to have won. South Africa and its people have been fantastic. The course this year was great – still tough but not as bad as we expected. Tonight we really want to celebrate and hope we still have some energy to do so.”
MTN Business Qhubeka receive top honours in mixed category
Yolande Speedy and Paul Cordes (MTN Business Qhubeka) won their category in an overall time of 34:29.32, having also won five of the 8 stages in this year’s race. They were followed by Bärti Bucher and Esther Süss (Wheeler – BIXS) in 35:17.00 with Nico Pfitzenmaier and Sally Bigham of the Adidas Big Tree team finishing in third place overall (35:51.45).
Cyclelab top Masters
Shan Wilson and Andrew Mclean winning the masters category
Cyclelab’s Shan Wilson and Andrew Mclean won the Masters category in this year’s Absa Cape Epic in a time of 33:49.55. They were followed by Adrian Enthoven and Gary Marescia (Cycle Lab Jag Foundation) in 35:52.46 with Corrie Muller and Robert Sim of the Big Tree Masters (36:23.29) in third place overall.
And the winner is… saddle sores
According to Doctor Basil Bonner, the chief medical officer of the Medi Clinic private hospital division of the Absa Cape Epic, the most common injuries or conditions that needed medical care during this year’s race included dehydration (62 patients), saddle sores (300 patients) and strappings (145 patients). Twelve riders incurred fractures during the event. Dr Bonner and his team saw 1030 patients during this year’s Absa Cape Epic, with an average of 171 per day (excluding minor injuries).
For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.