Buys, Schurter lose lead
It was ‘everything or nothing’ as Paulissen of Belgium and Italian Chiarini win a tough stage 5
CAPE TOWN — Former twotime Absa Cape Epic winner Roel Paulissen of Belgium was back at the top of the podium yesterday after winning a tough stage five with Italian partner Riccardo Chiarini (Torpado).
South African Philip Buys and Swiss world champion Nino Schurter (ScottOdlo) finished six seconds behind them after a dramatic chase into the overnight stop at Elgin.
“Near the end there was a little ramp and they were 50 metres behind us,” Paulissen said.
“I said to Riccardo, ‘This is everything or nothing’ and we managed to stay ahead — it was a big victory for both of us.”
Drama played out in the race for overall honours during yesterday’s 110 km leg.
Early into the stage, leader Kristian Hynek of the Czech Republic, riding with German Robert Mennen in team TopeakErgon, suffered simultaneous punctures in both his tyres. Centurion Vaude’s Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess came to their rescue, giving them Kaufmann’s tyres — which happened to be compatible.
“They were just in front of us in the singletrack and I screamed at them to help,” said Hynek.
“That was an amazing sporting gesture and I owe them big time now.”
Kaufmann and Kaess were already out of the running for the overall victory after a disastrous stage two on Thursday, when the former broke his frame.
In secondplace overall, Christoph Sauser of Switzerland, and Czech Frantizek Rabon (Meerendal Songo Specialized) made inroads into the TopeakErgon team’s nearly 12minute cushion, but Sauser’s tyre was slashed in a section of singletrack.
In the women’s category, Swiss Ariane Kleinhans and Dane Annike Langvad (RECM 2) won the stage by a significant 14 minutes, taking their overall lead — over Swiss Esther Suss and Briton Sally Bigham (Meerendal) — to more than 15 minutes.
This represented a dramatic turnaround after the RECM pairing were nearly 24 minutes behind after Monday’s first stage, where they suffered a series of punctures and technical problems.
“I am smiling because of the singletrack near the finish. Not only because it was fun, but finally we got some shade. It was so hot today,” said Langvad.
“After today we are feeling more comfortable in the lead and feeling confident. We had no problems.”
The eightstage race finishes at Lourensford Wine Estate tomorrow. — Sapa.
1. Roel Paulissen and Riccardo Chiarini (Torpado) 4:52:03,4. 2. Nino Schurter and Philip Buys (ScottOdlo) 4:52:09,9. 3. Christoph Sauser and Frantisek Rabon (Meerendal Songo Specialized) 4:57:03,4.
1. Mennen and Hynek 23:43:31,6; 2. Christoph Sauser and Frantisek Rabon (Meerendal Songo Specialized) 23:53:19,3; 3. Tim Boehme and Simon Stiebjahn (Bulls 2) 23:59:24,3.
1. Ariane Kleinhans and Annike Langvad (RECM 2) 5:29:20,5; 2. Esther Suss and Sally Bigham (Meerendal) 5:43:33,9; 3. Jennie Stenerhag and Theresa Ralph (Cape Brewing Company) 6:09:50,7.
1. Kleinhans and Langvad 27:09:10,7; 2. Suss and Bigham 27:24:35,2; 3. Stenerhag and Ralph 28:53:25,6.
Riders make their way through the farmlands just outside Greyton during stage five of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from The Oak Estate in Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin yesterday.