Cape Town - Samuele
Porro and Damiano Ferraro punched the air as they approached the finish line of
fourth stage of the Absa Cape Epic.
Just before the line, the pair who are
riding for Trek-Selle San Marco, got off their bikes and carried them over the
line in triumph, celebrating their first stage win of their debut Cape Epic.
Italian stallions, the dark horses of this year’s
race, are now third overall behind The Bulls and Centurion Vaude by Meerendal
2. The Bulls, however, have taken firm control of the race - and now have a 9
minute 44 second lead over their nearest rivals.
of the leading challengers, Team Topeak Ergon Racing were forced to withdraw
after Kristian Hynek crashed within 5km of the end of Wednesday’s
stage, damaging his elbow badly.
seems nothing but a run of bad luck can now stop The Bulls – and Germany’s
record-equalling fifth title. With three stages left the Bulls will no doubt
ride defensively to be in the yellow zebra jersey at the finish at the
Meerendal on Sunday.
stage, which had lots of climbs, suited the team because they are light. “We
started easy and decided not to push too hard. When we got to the third water
point – 25km before the end – we decided to push harder. We managed to get a
gap and we just went. We came to the Epic just to get experience – and now we
are on the podium. It’s unbelievable.”
2 team, of the German pairing of Simon Stiebjahn and Tim Boehme who are
racing in support of Platt and his Swiss team-mate Urs Huber – were second in
Thursday’s 75km stage – 1 minute and 11
seconds behind Porro and Ferraro.
was super fast from the beginning, obviously because everybody knew the
singletrack starts soon,“ said Stiebjahn.
“We got into a good position when we
went into the singletrack and that helped us a lot because there was four teams
together most of the day. Sometimes other teams came back, but in the final two
climbs we made another break and then it came down to the sprint finish.”
riders Rudi van Houts and Hans Becking (CST Superior) rolled across the line in
third place in a time of 3:08.01.
Platt said that everything had gone according to plan on Thursday, but said it
was yet another tough stage of the race. “The Epic is never easy especially
today with lots of climbs – we were going up and down all day, but there was
lots of singletrack too.”
said he was thrilled with the form of their back-up team. “I'm very happy for
Simon and Tim finishing on the podium today. They trained with us every day
before the Epic and they're getting stronger and stronger too. Maybe before the
end of the week they'll get a stage win too."
Woolcock and Darren Lill (USN Purefit) extended their lead in the Absa African
special jersey category, and were the first South African team home in a time
of 3:15.14 - almost two minutes ahead of their rivals Gawie Combrinck and Nico
Bell (NAD Pro MTB).
was good, but after getting a puncture yesterday we got another one early
today. Lucky we were able to plug it quickly and kept the gap on Gawie and
Nico,” said Woolcock.
rode steady today. The stage didn't really suit us, but we were able to extend
our advantage in the Absa African special jersey a little bit more. That was
the plan today, and to not overextend ourselves... so all in all everything
went according to plan."
Stage 4 results
1. Trek-Selle San
Marco A 13-1 Samuele Porro (Italy) 13-2 Damiano Ferraro (Italy) 3:06.49,3
2. Bulls 2 10-1 Simon Stiebjahn (Germany) 10-2 Tim Boehme (Germany) 3:08.00,3
3. CST Superior 5-1 Rudi van Houts (Netherlands) 5-2 Hans Becking (Netherlands)
1. Bulls 3-1 Karl
Platt (Germany) 3-2 Urs Huber (Switzerland) 17:30.41,2
2. Centurion Vaude by Meerendal 2 17-1 Nicola Rohrbach (Switzerland) 17-2
Matthias Pfrommer (Germany) 17:40.25,7 +9.44,5
3. Trek-Selle San Marco A 13-1 Samuele Porro (Italy) 13-2 Damiano Ferraro (Italy)
4. Cannondale Factory Racing 14-1 Manuel Fumic (Germany) 14-2 Henrique Avancini
(Brazil) 17:56.44,2 +26.03,0
5. Bulls 2 10-1 Simon Stiebjahn (Germany) 10-2 Tim Boehme (Germany) 18:05.47,7
6. USN Purefit 7-1 Darren Lill (South Africa) 7-2 Waylon Woolcock (South
Africa) 18:05.49,0 +35.07,8
7. Dolomiti Superbike 11-1 Periklis Ilias (Greece) 11-2 Tiago Jorge Ferreira
Oliveira (Portugal) 18:08.07,5 +37.26,3
8. Trek-Selle San Marco B 18-1 Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spain) 18-2 Fabian
Rabensteiner (Italy) 18:09.44,4 +39.03,2
9. NAD Pro MTB 8-1 Gawie Combrinck (South Africa) 8-2 Nico Bell (South Africa)
10. Centurion Vaude by Meerendal 4-1 Daniel Geismayr (Austria) 4-2 Hermann
Pernsteiner (Austria) 18:29.22,4 +58.41,2