Absa Cape Epic 2018 - Stage 4 - Untamed Montage

Absa Cape Epic 2018 - Stage 4 - Untamed Montage

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mtb Video
Published 23 March 2018

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After a solitary night in Worcester, the race transitioned to Wellington via a testing 113km/1800m course dubbed the Queen Stage. After relinquishing their lead and yellow jersey to Investec Songo Specialized, Cannondale Factory Racing were on a mission to rectify their tactical mistakes of Stage 3 on a course that suited the cross-country specialists. Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek (Canyon Topeak) pushed the pace of the leading pack early in the stage in a ploy to hurt Howard Grotts of Investec Songo Specialized. It worked – and Grotts, the first American to wear the yellow zebra jersey, had no choice but to call on his partner, Jaroslav Kulhavy, for assistance.

Prologue winners Daniel Geismayr and Nicola Rohrbach (Centurion Vaude) showed their objectives by taking the Dimension Data Hotspot but their efforts were short lived after multiple attacks from Cannondale Factory Racing put them as well as Centurion Vaude, BULLS 1 and 2, Buff Scott MTB and Investec Songo Specialized in the hurt box – just as Fumic had forewarned. With Cannodale Factory Racing up the road, Centurion Vaude made an attack of their own at the base of Bains Kloof Pass, which would prove to be the move of the day. They reeled-in the Cannondale boys who were experiencing some mechanical issues of their own, and attacked just before the summit.

Fumic and Avancini would lose even more time and with it any hopes of regaining the yellow jersey after a string of untimely mechanicals. The Investec Songo Specialized Express, driven by Jaroslav Kulhavy, fought back strongly with Buff Scott MTB’s Francesc Carretero/Luis Pinto and Karl Platt/ Urs Huber (BULLS) following hot on their heels. After a sizeable lead Cannondale Factory Racing were lingering in fifth place.

Annika Langvad celebrated her birthday by winning a “brutal” Stage 4 of the Absa Cape Epic with her American partner Kate Courtney on Thursday and extended their lead in the Women’s category to an almost unassailable 32 minutes. The birthday presents started rolling in for Langvad even before the start as their nearest rivals, Ariane Lüthi and Githa Michiels (Team Spur), were forced to withdraw with the tough Michiels picking up a fever overnight and being advised not to start by the race medical staff.

And then out on the course the Investec Songo Specialized pair broke away early on the 113km stage from Worcester to Wellington as their rivals let them ride off the front. By the time they reached the finish Langvad and Courtney could celebrate a win of over eight minutes over Mariske Strauss and Annie Last (Silverback-KMC), with Robyn de Groot and Sabine Spitz (Ascendis Health) just more than a minute further back.

Stage Results

Men
1. Centurion Vaude 3-1 Nicola Rohrbach (SUI) 3-2 Daniel Geismayr (AUT) 4:26.22,6
2. InvestecSongoSpecialized 2-1 Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE) 2-2 Howard Grotts (USA) 4:26.40,5 +17,9
3. BUFF SCOTT MTB 21-1 Francesc Guerra Carretero (ESP) 21-2 Luis Leao Pinto (POR) 4:26.42,1 +19,5

Women
1. Investec Songo Specialized 54-1 Annika Langvad (DEN) 54-2 Kate Courtney (USA) 5:13.14,0
2. Silverback - KMC 51-1 Mariske Strauss (RSA) 51-2 Annie Last (GBR) 5:21.38,4 +8.24,4
3. Ascendis Health 52-1 Sabine Spitz (GER) 52-2 Robyn De Groot (RSA) 5:23.04,0 +9.50,0

Overall Results

Men
1. InvestecSongoSpecialized 2-1 Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE) 2-2 Howard Grotts (USA) 17:47.25,3
2. Cannondale Factory Racing 6-1 Manuel Fumic (GER) 6-2 Henrique Avancini (BRA) 17:51.34,8 +4.09,5
3. Canyon Topeak 7-1 Alban Lakata (AUT) 7-2 Kristian Hynek (CZE) 17:52.48,2 +5.22,9

Women
1. Investec Songo Specialized 54-1 Annika Langvad (DEN) 54-2 Kate Courtney (USA) 20:34.11,7
2. Silverback - KMC 51-1 Mariske Strauss (RSA) 51-2 Annie Last (GBR) 21:06.47,3 +32.35,6
3. Ascendis Health 52-1 Sabine Spitz (GER) 52-2 Robyn De Groot (RSA) 21:15.48,2 +41.36,5

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