Absa Cape Epic 2018 - Stage 1 - #EpicEnergadeMoments

Absa Cape Epic 2018 - Stage 1 - #EpicEnergadeMoments

mtb Video
Published 20 March 2018


On paper, Stage 1’s 110km/1900m course looked scripted for the marathon riders but as we discovered yesterday the Untamed African MTB Race is filled with surprises – and that’s exactly how the day played out. The racing set off at a blistering pace that was described as “dangerous” and “intense” by Karl Platt who struggled in early parts of the stage.
Cross-country specialists Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini (Cannondale Factory Racing) entered the first water point in the lead followed closely by Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek (Canyon Topeak) and Rohrbach and Geismayr (Centurion Vaude). Despite the efforts of the yellow jersey wearers the Cannondale boys kept the pace high and consolidated their early lead by attacking down the ‘Skid and bones’ Land Rover Technical Terrain – a dexterous move few were able to match. Investec Songo Specialized’s Jaroslav Kulhavy and Howard Grotts followed in hot pursuit and managed to join Avancini/Fumic at the head of the race.
As the final 20km loomed the Czech Express assumed his characteristic position on the front of the pace line followed by Fumic, Avancini and Grotts – the latter of whom appeared to be struggling in the final moments. The stage would eventually go to Cannondale Factory Racing who outfoxed Investec Songo Specialized in a sprint finish that handed them both the overall lead and yellow zebra jersey. “It’s always nice to win a stage,” said Fumic. “And it’s great to be in yellow after a great ride today.”
Multiple World Champion Annika Langvad and her young American partner Kate Courtney overcame a puncture to surge to a second successive victory in the Women’s category on Stage 1 of the Absa Cape Epic on Monday.
The Investec Songo Specialized duo attacked early on the 110km stage which started and finished in Robertson. Despite a slow leak in Courtney’s back tyre, which at one point looked to have put their second victory in a row in danger, they were able to add to their lead from Sunday’s Prologue. The pair finished the stage with a time of 4:45.22, while Langvad’s former partner, Ariane Lüthi, and Githa Michiels were second for the second day in a row. After losing another 52 seconds on Monday, the Team Spur combination is now two minutes and four seconds off the pace.
The young Silverback-KMC team of Mariske Strauss and Annie Last enjoyed a strong final 30 kilometres of the stage to claim third for the day and third overall. The team Ascendis Health/WIAWIS Bikes duo of Robyn de Groot and Sabine Spitz, who is suffering with a stomach bug, have slipped back to fourth.

Stage Results:

1. Cannondale Factory Racing 6-1 Manuel Fumic (Germany) 6-2 Henrique Avancini (Brazil) 4:08.22,6
2. InvestecSongoSpecialized 2-1 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) 2-2 Howard Grotts (United States of
America) 4:08.23,9 +1,3
3. Trek Selle San Marco 2 15-1 Fabian Rabensteiner (Italy) 15-2 Michele Casagrande (Italy) 4:13.55,6

1. Investec Songo Specialized 54-1 Annika Langvad (Denmark) 54-2 Kate Courtney (United States of
America) 4:45.22,7
2. Spur 53-1 Ariane Lüthi (Switzerland) 53-2 Githa Michiels (Belgium) 4:46.15,0 +52,3
3. Silverback - KMC 51-1 Mariske Strauss (South Africa) 51-2 Annie Last (England) 4:51.06,4 +5.43,7