Swiss Sauser makes Epic history

2015-03-23 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Swiss mountain biking legend Christoph Sauser’s last Absa Cape Epic as a professional rider ended in triumph yesterday as he inked his name into history by becoming the first person to win it five times.

The 31-year-old and Czech partner Jaroslav Kulhavy (Investec-Songo-Specialized) rode conservatively to finish fifth on a sun-drenched 92 km final stage from Wellington to Meerendal Wine Estate, Durbanville.

After eight days of thrilling racing and 748 km they won the general classification by 10 minutes and 41 seconds from Topeak Ergon’s Alban Lakata of Austria and Kristian Hynek of the Czech Republic.

The prestigious Grand Finale stage was won by Meerendal Centurion Vaude’s German/Swiss combination of Jochen Kaess and Daniel Geismayr.

Sauser’s landmark win sparked a huge celebration on the finish line, with the riders and their support crew being drenched in champagne as thousands of mountain biking fans celebrated at Meerendal Wine Estate.

“This is the coolest thing in the world with all these spectators cheering us on … these moments are very rare,” said an elated Sauser at the finish. “With five kilometres to go I knew that we had it. I tried to absorb as much of it as I could, and thought about all the memories this race has given me.”

The normally taciturn Kulhavy was also grinning broadly, saying “it was really good racing with ‘Susi’ … I enjoyed every kilometre of the stage today and especially the finish line”.

Commenting on his fifth win, Sauser said “it is really cool, but one day someone will beat the record”.

“Maybe when I’m old and grumpy it will mean something, but I’m just enjoying the moment now,” added Sauser.

2015 Stage 7 Men

Stage results

1. Meerendal Centurion Vaude 5-1 Jochen Kaess (Germany) 5-2 Daniel Geismayr (Austria) 3:28.12,7

2. Multivan Merida 6-1 Jose Hermida (Spain) 6-2 Rudi van Houts (Netherlands) 3:28.17,3 +4,6

3. Novus OMX Pro 23-1 Martin Gujan (Switzerland) 23-2 Fabian Giger (Switzerland) 3:29.23,8 +1.11,1

Overall results

1. Investec-Songo-Specialized 2-1 Christoph Sauser (Switzerland) 2-2 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) 31:00.57,7

2. Topeak Ergon 1-1 Kristian Hynek (Czech Republic) 1-2 Alban Lakata (Austria) 31:11.39,5 +10.41,8

3. Bulls 4-1 Karl Platt (Germany) 4-2 Urs Huber (Switzerland) 31:35.23,0 +34.25,3

4. Multivan Merida 6-1 Jose Hermida (Spain) 6-2 Rudi van Houts (Netherlands) 31:47.47,3 +46.49,6

5. Scott Factory Racing 7-1 Philip Buys (South Africa) 7-2 Matthys Beukes (South Africa) 32:07.26,0 +1:06.28,3.

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