Buys, Schurter lose lead

It was ‘ev­ery­thing or noth­ing’ as Paulis­sen of Bel­gium and Ital­ian Chiarini win a tough stage 5

Weekend Witness - - Sport -

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.

PHOTO: KARIN SCHERMBRUCKER/CAPE EPIC/SPORTZPICS

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.

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