Stage 3 of the 2011 Absa Cape Epic delivered new winners in both the men's and women's categories. Hannes Genze and Jochen Käss (Multivan Merida Biking) took the men's stage while Sally Bigham and Karien Van Jaarsveld (USN) were the fastest women.
Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser (36ONE Songo Specialized) continue to lead the men's race, while Bigham and Van Jaarsveld are the new leaders of the women's race after the previous leaders, Eva Lechner and Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago Arreghini Südtirol), received a time penalty for accepting outside assistance and finished second.
The Wheeler-BIXS team, Bärti Bucher and Esther Suss, again won the Mixed category, with the Juwi team (Carsten Bresser and Udo Boelts) winning the Masters category for the fourth consecutive day.
With the fast roads out of Tulbagh, riders covered 13km before the first climb. It was steep at times and very loose, requiring hard bursts of effort to gain momentum. After the 4km ascent , riders arrived at a plateau with a beautiful valley nestled between spectacular mountains. There was little time to look around though – the deeply rutted descent tested rider and equipment alike.
After smooth farm roads and more rocky tracks, tyres were put to the test, with devil thorns lying in wait. A long drag upwards on a rough path led to a remote hut at the foot of the cliff face of the bare rock of the mountainside. After the final water point, Absa Cape Epic veterans experienced déjà vu, with a similar run into the race village on some winding singletrack.