The final stage of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic was short with only one major climb at the halfway mark. Riders left Stellenbosch along the mountainside through Coetzenberg and Eden Forest, then worked their way into the Stellenbosch Winelands. The trail climbed up through the vineyards, opening up spectacular views of False Bay, as far as Cape Point, and back to Table Mountain and Durbanville, where the journey started seven long days ago. Having mastered the nine-kilometer climb up the side of the Helderberg Mountain into the Lourensford Neck, the finish line was almost within sight as the view into the striking Lourensford bowl opened up. This was the first time in Absa Cape Epic history that riders approached Lourensford Wine Estate from a totally different direction and not Gamtouw Pass. The final 25 kilometers were predominantly downhill, on forestry roads on the higher elevations, interspersed with some single-track, and into the orchards and vineyards on the lower slopes. The final run onto the lush green polo field packed with grandstands, marquees and supporters was unforgettable.
This year’s Absa Cape Epic saw 1 258 participants starting the Untamed African Mountain Bike Stage Race last Sunday (17 March 2013) at Meerendal Wine Estate, with 1 105 riders at the start shoot this morning. Those who finished today (Sunday, 24 March 2013), enjoyed the ultimate reward of receiving the highly sought after finisher t-shirt and medal when they crossed the final finish line at Lourensford Wine Estate.
Burry Stander – SONGO team of Christoph Sauser and Jaroslav Kulhavy walked away with top honours as overall winners of this year’s exciting Absa Cape Epic, following Sauser’s consecutive victories the last two years as well as in 2006. With a 6 minutes and 21 seconds lead time at the start this morning, Sauser and Kulhavy finished the last 8 days of the Untamed Mountain Bike Race of 706 km and 15 950m of climbing in an overall time of 29:40.44,9. In second place in an overall time of 29:47.55,3 were the German-Swiss duo of Karl Platt and Urs Huber of the Bulls. In third place were the Bulls 2 team of Thomas Dietsch and Tim Boehme in an overall time of 30:07.35,9. Multivan Merida’s José Hermida and Rudi van Houts finished in fourth place overall (30:19.55,0) with Cannondale Factory Racing’s Marco Fontana and Manuel Fumic in fifth place overall (30:47.09,8).