Absa Cape Epic

Women Elite - stage 5

20 Mar 2015, Cape town - western cape, South Africa

Absa Cape Epic

Number of participants: 22

Complete results


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Langvad Annika100:00:00 Denmark
Kleinhans Ariane100:00:00 Switzerland
Stenerhag Jennie200:00:00 Sweden
De Groot Robyn200:00:00 South Africa
de Villiers Yolande300:00:00 South Africa
Keseg Stevkova Janka300:00:00 Slovakia
Pirard Alice400:00:00 Belgium
Süss Esther400:00:00 Switzerland
Bomford Jeannie500:00:00 South Africa
Ralph Theresa500:00:00 South Africa
Redecker Cherie600:00:00 South Africa
Strauss Mariske600:00:00 South Africa
de Jager Leana700:00:00 South Africa
Du Toit Yolandi700:00:00 South Africa
Harrison Ann800:00:00 South Africa
Lourens Marleen800:00:00 South Africa
Weber Genevieve900:00:00 South Africa
Tattersall Wanda900:00:00 Namibia
Muller Kathrin1000:00:00 Germany
Golsteyn Maud1000:00:00 Netherlands
Janssen Jolien1100:00:00 Netherlands
Van Paassen Sanne1100:00:00 Netherlands

Kleinhans And Langvad On Track For Absa Cape Epic Glory


rnNot even an extension to the route distance could prevent Ariane Kleinhans and Annika Langvad from storming to another stage victory at the Absa Cape Epic.rn

rnOn another hot, dry and dusty day at the event, Team RECM Specialized crossed the line in a time of 6:05.33,7. The only minor hiccup on the day was a big crash early in the men’s race, but Langvad and Kleinhans were on the opposite side of the road, and so avoided the pile-up.rn

rnSecond was Team Ascendis Health, Jennie Stenerhag and Robyn de Groot finishing the day in 6:29.20,8. 2007 women’s winner Yolande de Villiers nabbed the last Stage 5 podium place, finishing third on the day with SasolRacing partner Janka Keseg Stevkova.rn

rnStage 5 from Worcester to Wellington was originally scheduled as a 117km slog through the Cape Winelands District, but race organisers were forced to add 5km to the route due to road works on the original course. Extra distance, however, is no problem for the Absa Cape Epic’s power pair.rn

rn“We had a really nice ride from start to finish,” said Annika Langvad. “It was actually very bumpy for two-thirds of the route, but then we got on to the tar climb up Bain’s Kloof Pass, which was like heaven. The 20km or so on the tar was a relief and from there we just kicked home.”rn

rnOn the surface, the only sign that Langvad has been in a gruelling race for six days are a few scratches and cuts from a fall two days ago, but she does admit that the famed climbing of the Cape Epic is starting to take its toll. “In general, I’m feeling okay,” she said. “I can still go and pace on the flat sections or the tar, but my legs are tired. Every day adds up.”rn

rnRealistically, only a major catastrophe can stop Team RECM Specialized from winning the Sasol Women’s category. “Things like the crash in the men’s race can take us out, so we just need to stay out of the way,” said Langvad. “That’s mountain biking, though. You think everything is fine and the next thing you’re on the floor.”rn

rnAlthough nearly an hour behind the leaders, Ascendis Health team manager Barry Austin is pleased with Stenerhag and De Groot’s performance. “We came into this aiming for a top five, so lying second overall is great for us,” said Austin. “If you look at the daily results we’ve been really consistent.”rn

rnIn her first Absa Cape Epic, De Groot is feeling the effects. “At this stage I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. It also feels like we’ve been on the bike for a long time,” she said. “But we’re going well.”rn

rnThe second women rider over the line on Stage 5 was actually Norway’s Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå. The former world champion and Olympic gold medallist, though, is riding as an Outcast after partner Kathrin Stirnemann was forced to pull out after breathing complications on Stage 4.rn

rn“I didn’t work too hard out there,” said Dahle Flesjå, “so I had a good day. I’m feeling strong and enjoying the experience. I don’t do much stage racing, so this quite unique for me.” Dahle Flesjå says she’s getting better and better as the days go on, and that she’d like to return with more competitive ambitions.rn

rnStage 6 should prove to be a competitive day for the entire field. At just 71km the day sounds short, but more than 2 000m of climbing and the technical trails of Welvenpas will test riders struggling with heavy legs. Dubbed a “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” experience, riders will tackle around 30km of singletrack, but also have to subdue climbs with names like “Forever”. It may feel like forever to some, but the race is almost done.

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