Cycling

Sauser-Stander lead Cape Epic

2011-03-27 17:16
Christoph Sauser/ Burry Stander (Sportzpics)
Cape Town - The second prologue in the seven year history of the Absa Cape Epic on Sunday set the seeding order for Stage 1 of the magical, untamed African mountain bike stage race.

The event saw 1 200 excited riders from 54 countries enjoy sunny weather with the first group of riders starting their 8 day journey at 07:00.

The showcase of a fast 27km circuit took place in Tokai Forest, part of Table Mountain National Park. Regarded as the Eden of mountain biking in Cape Town, this revered network of trails represents all of what makes this sport so great, with tough climbs, fast descents and flowing single-track forming the 27km route.

This time trial was a race against the clock to decide the seeding in the field and which teams will wear the coveted zebra-striped leaders' jerseys at the start of Stage 1 in Tulbagh.

The Men's Category for the prologue was won by the South African / Swiss team of Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser (team 36ONE Songo Specialized) in a time of 1:02.40,7. They were followed by Hannes Genze and Jochen Käss of the Multivan Merida Biking team (1:04.22,9) with the Bulls team and three-times winners of the Epic, Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm in third place (1:04.35,6). In fourth place was the South African 360LIFE team Kevin Evans and David George (1:04.50,5) with José Hermida and Ralph Näf in fifth place (1:04.53,0).

"This course definitely suited us. It's the best stage we've ever had -we're cross country riders," said Stander.

"It also suited our bikes. We were riding full suspension 29'ers which helped us close time on the flat section. Susi (his teammate Christoph Sauser's nickname) was hurting me today and I had to slow him down a few times.

"Usually I lead at the start, but as soon as we hit the first climb he was leading and did so for about 80% of the way."

Sauser said winning the prologue was incredible.

"We've never been as well-balanced and strong as a team. To date I suffered through every time trial, but today went really well. We're obviously using the right equipment which helped."

Eva Lechner and Nathalie Schneitter (team Colnago Arreghini Südtirol) won the Ladies Category in a time of 1:20.20,1, ahead of Sally Bigham and Karien Van Jaarsveld (team USN) in a time of 1:26.37,6. Australian team adidas Naomi Hansen and Jodie Willett werethird place in 1:26.56,9.

'The prologue was so much fun," said Bigham.

" The course was nice and technical and kept us on our toes, with some really nice single trail, drops, rocks, roots and sand – my partner also rode really well. Apart from one little crash and problems with a chain, we really had fun. I felt fine power wise and am really looking forward to the next 7 days."

Stage 1's distance (from Saronsberg/Tulbagh back to Saronsberg/Tulbagh) is a shade under 90km with 2 050m of climbing, which may sound short but is not to be underestimated. The flat roads out of town leave few clues as to what is to come. Very soon the short but incredibly steep, rough and loose climbs appear, and on the treacherous descents, volleyball-sized rocks and sand patches pock the little-used dual tracks. While the pros make short work of it, the first 50km may take backmarkers over five hours. The stage's last climb on some rough roads brings riders to the top of one of most precariously difficult downhills seen at the Epic. With large rocks, deep ruts and a sheer drop on the left, riders should be sure to take it slow.

Read more on:    cape epic
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Contador eyes Tour double

2014-10-22 21:00

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.