Cape Town - Ariane
Kleinhans and Annika Langvad of Spur-Specialized moved a step closer to
clinching their third straight Absa Cape Epic title by winning Stage 3 in a
time of 5:18.47.
the Swiss-Danish pair arrived at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Wellington campus 32,1 seconds ahead of the Topeak Ergon and
added another 1.11,3 to their overall lead on Ascendis Health, they didn’t have
it all their own way today.
didn’t see that coming,” Langvad told Kleinhans as they celebrated their
three contenders in the Sasol Women’s category, as well as Sport for Good,
remained within a minute of each other at all three water points on the 104km
transition stage from Tulbagh. While it didn’t end in a sprint finish, they all
described the racing as fierce and exactly what the women’s category has been
calling out for.
was a very close race and we had no idea how it was going to finish. The racing
was super close and very tough because we were all together until the last 20
kilometres or so,” said Langvad.
Dane believes that it was their nous that saw them eventually emerge from the
pack to win.
didn’t win because we were stronger today, but only because we chose best when
to use our advantage. After the last descent we went through vineyards and the
corners were very slippery… that’s where we made our advantage count.”
the triumphant scenes of Kleinhans and Langvad, were the tears of Adel Morath
(Topeak Ergon) and clear signs of the day’s toil when Jennie Stenerhag
(Ascendis Health) required medical attention.
Bigham revealed that her German partner Morath had ridden the entire stage with
her knee in pain after a crash yesterday. With that said, they both enjoyed
was the best women’s stage that
been involved in during my Cape Epic history,” said Bigham, riding in her sixth
straight Cape Epic. “We had a great time and really enjoyed the close racing.
The separate starts worked well today and it will be very good for the sport if
we have more racing like today – there was lots of attacking and
counter-attacking. It helps when the Masters men don’t get involved in our race
because it can have an impact.”
echoed Bigham’s sentiments.
was an amazing stage… we watched each other, we attacked each other, it was
very tactical. It was super hard so in the end everyone was suffering and
looking forward to seeing the finish line.”
made up ground on Ascendis Health, Bigham is excited about what their
English-German partnership can do during the rest of the week.
think we are working very well together. We don’t talk that much during the
race because there isn’t much chance but we every day we are learning more
about riding with each other. We’re looking forward to the remaining stages.”
was stretchered off to the race hospital after collapsing at the finish and
within the hour announced that she would not continue the race.
Stenerhag’s withdrawal, De Groot said that they actually enjoyed the race today
and she intends to continue riding herself. “Look, there were sections that
were very hot. The racing was very exciting. It was a proper ladies race
Stage 3 Women
50-1 Annika Langvad (Denmark) 50-2 Ariane Kleinhans (Switzerland) 5:18.47,0
2. Topeak Ergon
53-1 Sally Bigham (England) 53-2 Adel Morath (Germany) 5:19.19,1 +32,1
3. Ascendis Health 51-1
Robyn de Groot (South Africa) 51-2 Jennie Stenerhag (Sweden) 5:19.58,3 +1.11,3
50-1 Annika Langvad (Denmark) 50-2 Ariane Kleinhans (Switzerland) 17:05.39,4
2. Ascendis Health
51-1 Robyn de Groot (South Africa) 51-2 Jennie Stenerhag (Sweden) 17:10.07,8
3. Topeak Ergon
53-1 Sally Bigham (England) 53-2 Adel Morath (Germany) 17:13.06,9 +7.27,5
4. Sport for Good
54-2 Yana Belomoina (Ukraine) 54-1 Sabine Spitz (Germany) 17:26.11,6 +20.32,2
Wheeler 52-1 Esther Suss (Switzerland) 52-2 Catherine Williamson (England)
6. Meerendal Rocky
EBE 56-1 Hielke Elferink (Netherlands) 56-2 Elisabeth Brandau (Germany)
7. Galileo Risk
55-1 Theresa Ralph (South Africa) 55-2 Yolandi du Toit (South Africa)
8. Asrin Cycling
71-1 Janka Keseg Stevkova (Slovakia) 71-2 Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Spain)
9. Energade Racing
202-1 Dalene van der Leek (South Africa) 202-2 Sharon Laws (England) 19:14.23,3
Liv - MTB Pro 59-1 Muriel Bouhet (France) 59-2 Merce Pacios Pujado (Spain)