Absa Cape Epic 2018 - Stage 6 - News

Absa Cape Epic 2018 - Stage 6 - News

mtb Video
Published 27 March 2018


The trails in and around Wellington on Stage 6 would offer a superb mix of singletrack but with 2000m of vertical ascent spread over 76km the racing was anything but easy, especially with a resurgent Cannondale Factory Racing outfit looking to reclaim their second place on the general classification over Canyon Topeak. Attacks would come early and at regular intervals.
Cannondale Factory Racing’s Henrique Avancini made his early ambitions known when he and Mani Fumic sent the leading group into a frenzy of watts and panic. Canyon Topeak and Centurion Vaude had no choice but to follow in a fast-paced first hour of racing that would see Nicola Rohrbach hit the deck in a crash – something he, and teammate Daniel Geismayr, would never fully recover from.
After riding at the measured pace for most of the morning Investec Songo Specialized would finally make their move on the Green Mamba – a long and steep brute of a climb. Cannondale Factory Racing were unable go with the attack and were forced to adopt a damage control approach for the reminder of the stage. For the Czech Express and his partner, Howie Grotts, it was full speed ahead, the two riding a faultless final 35km in which they stamped their dominance and consolidated their lead.
Their tactic worked and after initially marking Cannondale’s continued attacks, Canyon Topeak’s Alban Lakata was unable to match the intensity and fell off the pace. They’d eventually finish Stage 6 in fifth position and surrender their four second lead and second place position on the general classification to Cannondale Factory Racing.
Illness and injury has been a constant spectre hanging over the women’s race at the Absa Cape Epic, and on Saturday it once again influenced the podium with an obviously ill Mariske Strauss and partner Annie Last forced to concede second overall. As Annika Langvad and Kate Courtney (Investec Songo Specialized) have been charging inexorably to victory, their rivals have been battling just to stay in the event, let alone remain competitive in the ever-changing fight for the second step of the podium.
On Saturday, as Langvad and Courtney moved to within one stage of a clean-sweep by winning the 76km out-and back race from Wellington, it was the turn of Strauss to fall victim to illness and she had to dig deep to just reach the finish line. The South African and her Silverback-KMC partner Annie Last finished sixth on the stage, a distant 16 minutes behind the rampant leaders.

Stage Results

1. InvestecSongoSpecialized 2-1 Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE) 2-2 Howard Grotts (USA) 3:09.08,5
2. Trek Selle San Marco 2 15-1 Fabian Rabensteiner (ITA) 15-2 Michele Casagrande (ITA) 3:10.14,5 +1.06,0 3. Cannondale Factory Racing 6-1 Manuel Fumic (GER) 6-2 Henrique Avancini (BRA) 3:10.15,5 +1.07,0

1. Investec Songo Specialized 54-1 Annika Langvad (DEN) 54-2 Kate Courtney (USA) 3:46.34,4
2. Ascendis Health 52-1 Sabine Spitz (GER) 52-2 Robyn De Groot (RSA) 3:51.34,6 +5.00,2 3. PMRA/CST Racing 59-1 Margot Moschetti (FRA) 59-2 Raiza Goulao (BRA) 3:53.31,7 +6.57,3