The seeding order has been set for today's first stage of the 2011 Absa Cape Epic presented by Adidas. The South African/Swiss team of Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser (36ONE Songo Specialized) start the race in the zebra-striped leaders' jerseys after winning yesterday's prologue in Cape Town.
They were followed by Hannes Genze and Jochen Käss of Multivan Merida Biking (1:04.22,9), with the Bulls team and three-time winners of the Absa Cape Epic, Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm in third place (1:04.35,6). Next were the South African 360LIFE team of Kevin Evans and David George (1:04.50,5), with José Hermida and Ralph Näf in fifth (1:04.53,0).
Eva Lechner and Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago Arreghini Südtirol) won the women's prologue in a time of 1:20.20,1, ahead of Sally Bigham and Karien Van Jaarsveld (USN) in a time of 1:26.37,6. Australians Naomi Hansen and Jodie Willett (Adidas) took third place in 1:26.56,9.
The Masters category was won by the Juwi team made up of Carsten Bresser and Udo Boelts, in 1:12.32,2. They were followed by Robert Sim and Doug Brown (Robert Daniel) in 1:13.29,3 with Americans Dooley Thomas and Mike Hogan (Singletrack.com/Justin’s Nut Butter) in 1:16.25,7.
The Wheeler-BIXS team, Bärti Bucher and Esther Süss, won the Mixed category in 1:15.46,0, followed by Erika Kleinhans and Ariane Lüthi in 1;20.07,6. The Swiss team of Daniel Annaheim and Renata Bucher (Baumat/Zaboobikes.com) finished in third place (1:20.30,8).
In total, some 1,200 riders will take part in this year's edition of the South African mountain bike stage race, including reigning women's downhill world champion Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) and Olympic silver medallist – and former cross-country and marathon world champion – Thomas Frischknecht (Scott-Swisspower equipped by Oslo).
The prologue was a time trial held over a 27km circuit which included tough climbs, fast descents and flowing singletrack. Today's Stage 1, a loop from Saronsberg/Tulbagh, is a shade under 90km with 2,050m of climbing. For live coverage, visit Cyclingnews.