The Bulls Team of Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm walked away with top honours as overall winners of this year’s exciting Absa Cape Epic.
With a ten minute and 51 second lead time on Sauser and Stander (Songo-Specialized by DCM) at the start on Sunday, the Bulls finished the last 8 days of the Magical and Untamed Mountain Bike Race of 722km in an overall time of 29 hours, 47 minutes and 46 seconds. In second place were South African Burry Stander and his Swiss teammate Christoph Sauser (Songo-Specialized by DCM) in 29:57.49,7 and in third place the South African/Austrian duo of Kevin Evans and Alban Lakata (MTN Qhubeka Topeak Ergon) in 30:12.30,0.
Platt and Sahm also won the Cape Epic in 2007 and 2009, while Platt won in the inaugural race in 2004 with Mannie Heymans from Namibia. He is the most successful participant in the history of the race having won four times and placing on the podium six times.
Max Knox and Brandon Stewart of DCM Chrome walked away with the Leader Jersey of Best African Team in 31:45.08,0.
Hundreds of enthusiastic spectators welcomed the exhausted teams at the final finish line at the Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset-West.
Sunday’s final stage took riders over 65km and 1 640m of climbing from Oak Valley to the finish line. As is tradition, the last stage is always the shortest, but never easy. When riders approached vineyards, they knew it was about short, sharp climbs before some longer and even steeper ones through Nuweberg, up to the superb vistas of Elgin and Grabouw.
This year the race took a new route into the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, on Buysepad, skirting Gantouw Pass.
Men’s Category Multivan Merida’s José Hermida and Rudi van Houts were first to cross the finish line in the final stage of this year’s race in a time of 2:40.32,4. This was their second consecutive podium finish and they ranked sixth overall (30:44.56.8). They were followed by Rabobank Giant Off Road team Emil Lindgren and Fabian Giger, also with their second podium finish in this year’s race (2:42.18,1). In third place were Christoph Sauser and Burry Stander of Songo-Specialized by DCM in 2:44.12,8 with the Bulls Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm in fourth place. Kevin Evans and Alban Lakata (MTN Qhubeka Topeak Ergon) finished fifth in 2:50.17,5.
Stefan Sahm of the winning Bulls team remarked: “It’s an incredible feeling — words can’t describe it. It means so much to Karl and I. We arrived at the race as the defending champions and we successfully guarded our title. I had problems with my chain today and had to change it. It was nerve-wrecking. We enjoyed every second and every metre of the last few kilometres, and who knows, maybe we can do it again next year.” — Sapa