Strong winds no issue for Kulhavy and Sauser in Cape Epic

2015-03-18 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Strong and cold winds turned yesterday’s Stage 2 of the Absa Cape Epic into an exceptionally tough one and all the talk afterwards was of how Czech strongman Jaroslav Kulhavy powered through it.

This is day three of the world’s leading mountain bike stage race, which takes riders from a prologue on Table Mountain and around the Western Cape to the Elgin Valley, Worcester, Wellington and Durbanville over eight days. It covers 739 km in total.

Kulhavy and four-times Absa Cape Epic winner Christoph Sauser of Switzerland (Investec-Songo-Specialised) yesterday won their second consecutive stage, extending their overall lead to more than six minutes.

“Jaro was super, super strong and did a lot of work,” said Sauser about Kulhavy’s riding in front and taking the brunt of the wind.

Second-placed Czech Kristian Hynek, riding with Austian Alban Lakata (Topeak Ergon) also paid tribute to Kulhavy: “Jaro is a machine … it was amazing how he was working on the front,” said the defending champion.

Kulhavy was typically reserved, saying only that “that wind was crazy, but it was good stage and there were some really nice trails over the last 20 km”.

The 92 km stage started and finished at the Oak Valley Wine Estate in ­Durbanville and took riders through the area’s extensive network of mountain bike trails. In a day of thrilling racing, Hynek and Lakata managed to break away with Sauser and Kulhavy at the top of the tough Nuweberg climb about 20 km into the ride.

Today’s third stage is the longest of the 2015 Absa Cape Epic and takes the riders from Oak Valley to Worcester – some 128 km and 2 200 m of climbing. Riders will be relieved to hear that the wind is expected to drop from early morning, but temperatures might get up to the 30° C mark in Worcester.

Stage 2 results

1. Investec-Songo-Specialized 2-1 Christoph Sauser (Switzerland) 2-2 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) 4:06.50,8

2. Topeak Ergon 1-1 Kristian Hynek (Czech Republic) 1-2 Alban Lakata (Austria) 4:09.09,1 +2.18,3

3. Multivan Merida 6-1 Jose Hermida (Spain) 6-2 Rudi van Houts (Netherlands) 4:12.49,0 +5.58,2

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