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Flying Fluckigers win

The Fl├╝ckiger brothers, Lukas and Mathias, attained their dream of a second stage win in the seventh and penultimate stage of the Absa Cape Epic cycle race through the Western Cape on Saturday.

But now the brothers need to make up at least 23 minutes and 26 seconds in Sunday’s final stage if they want to be crowned the kings of this magical and untamed African Mountain Bike Race.

They won the 99-kilometre stage in the Oak Valley and Lebanon region near Elgin in 4:11.58 with the Germans Bulls Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm hot on their heels in a time of 4:12.05.

They were followed by Multivan Merida’s Jos├® Hermida and Rudi van Houts in third place in 4:13.36. In fourth place were South African Burry Stander and his Swiss team mate Christoph Sauser (Songo-Specialized by DCM) in 4:15.59.

Max Knox and Brandon Stewart of DCM Chrome finished in sixteenth place Saturday (4:35.28), successfully defending their African Leader jersey for the fourth day in a row. They have moved up one place to 10th place overall (28:38.30).

The Bulls Team of Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm have  an overall time of 27:02.46. They are now leading by 10 minutes and 51 seconds.

On the question of whether they would be going for a hat trick with another stage win tomorrow, Lukas Fl├╝ckiger says they would definitely be taking it easier. ÔÇ£We’ll probably not go for another stage win and just take it easy and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Today’s stage had too much uphill.

“When I looked at the stage profile yesterday, I thought it was going to be much easier. I heard last night that our parents are sitting in front of the computer everyday following the live ticker to see where we are. It’s really motivating to know they’re behind us all the way.ÔÇØ

In the women’s category Kristine and Anna-Sofie Noergaard (team Rothaus-CUBE) won for the fifth consecutive day, finishing in a time of 5:19.21. They remain in first position overall (33:56.56) and were again followed by Hannele Steyn-Kotze and Ivonne Kraft (Team Sludge Ladies) in a time of 5:31.26, who remain in second place overall (34:32.12). In third place were Giuliana Vitali and Tamara Horn (team bike2help.ch ÔÇô Big Tree) with their sixth podium finish in this year’s race (5:54.00), placing them in third position overall (37:21.38).

The eighth and final stage will take riders over 65km and 1 640m of climbing from Oak Valley to their final destination, Lourensford Wine Estate.

As is tradition, the last stage is always the shortest, but never easy. When riders see vineyards, they will know it is all about short, sharp climbs before some longer and even steeper ones through Nuweberg, up to see the superb vistas of Elgin/Grabouw.
This year the Absa Cape Epic takes a new route into the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, on Buysepad, skirting Gantouw Pass. There’s no portage this year, but the route designer has something else in mind before riders head down for a traditional finish to the 2010 Absa Cape Epic.


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