Cape Epic: KZN cyclist beats the world

2011-04-04 00:00

SOMERSET WEST — KZN cyclist Burry Stander has become the first South African ever to win the Absa Cape Epic, when he and partner Christoph Sauser walked away with top honours as overall winners of this year’s Cape Epic yesterday.

With a ten minute and 51 second lead time at the start, Stander and Sauser finished the last eight days of the Magical and Untamed Mountain Bike Race of 707 km in an overall time of 28:44.44,0.

It is the first time in the history of the race that a South African is part of the winning team. In second place in an overall time of 28:51.52,8 were the German team of Hannes Genze and Jochen Käss (Multivan Merida Biking), with the Bulls, Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm, in third place overall in 29:05.53,7.

The Swiss Flückiger brothers, Lukas and Mathias, of the Trek World Racing team, won the final stage yesterday in 2:33.18,6 with Hannes Genze and Jochen Käss (Multivan Merida Biking) in second place (2:35.37,1).

They were closely followed by José Hermida and Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida Biking 3) in 2:39.06,1, with Alexandre Moos and Balthasar Weber of BMC Mountainbike Racing in fourth place (2:39.07,4).

Stander and Sauser took a slower pace once they reached the final 200 metres in order to enjoy the overwhelming welcome of the crowds, finishing in fifth place in 2:39.19,7.

Stander said: “We didn’t start off well today. We lost about four minutes with a flat. We then chased hard again to catch up with the leading group, only to find out that Multivan Merida attacked. We finally caught up with them and could then relax and enjoy it to the finish. Today was still hard, but we were prepared for that.

“To be the first South African to win this race is on par to winning the World Championships. The Absa Cape Epic takes more work because for eight days you have to be perfect instead of only one day.”

Mannie Heymans and Adrien Niyonshuti (team Garmin adidas MTN) won the African Jersey in an overall time of 30:29.36,5, followed by Brandon Stewart and Shan Wilson (Toyota DCM) in 31:33.52,7. Paul Cordes and Charles Keey (MTN/Qhubeka) finished in third position in 32:01.11,9. Heymans and Niyonshuti finished in ninth position overall.

In the Ladies category Sally Bigham and Karien Van Jaarsveld (team USN) finished in third place today (3:30.37,5) and are the overall winners of the Ladies category in 37:44.09.0.

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