Burry, Christoph tops | SASCOC - SASCOC

Burry, Christoph tops

It was more of the same on Tuesday as the South African/Swiss team of Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser (36ONE Songo Specialized) again proved their world-class stature by winning the second stage of this year’s Absa Cape Epic cycle race.

The two remain unbeaten thus far, having also taken top honours in both the Prologue and first stage, in Tokai and Tulbagh respectively.

Now boasting an overall time of nine hours 27min and 38sec, the 36ONE Songo Specialized team will wear the yellow leader jersey for Wednesday’s third stage. They were followed by Hannes Genze and Jochen K├ñss of Multivan Merida Biking in 4:33.30 (overall 9:33.56) with their second podium finish for this event and placed second overall.

In third place with their first podium finish this year were Lukas and Mathias Fl├╝ckiger of Trek World Racing in 4:34.07 (overall time 9:48.42). In fourth place was the Bulls team of Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm in (4:34.23; overall time 9:35.01), placing them in third position overall. Nicolas Vermeulen and Kevin van Hoovels (team Versluys-Evenza) finished in fifth place on Wednesday in 4:40.18 (overall time 9:49.53).

Said Stander: ÔÇ£Today’s stage was hard. We followed a similar tactic to yesterday and tried to stay in front. Towards the end there were some steep climbs, but Susi (Christoph Sauser) was really strong and I just had to follow his wheel and on the flat stretch power to the end.ÔÇØ

Sauser added: ÔÇ£I was feeling super strong today and had a good day in the saddle. We were riding together — about eight of us — for most of the day but we broke away near the end. It was really nice to win another stage, but we’ll only celebrate tomorrow if we manage to win the stage again. The whole thing can blow up again. I’ve never been as strong as this year — I also had a coach this year which was good for me. It’s good to get some advice, even at 35, and do more power workouts. I definitely have more strength in my legs.ÔÇØ

Mannie Heymans and Adrien Niyonshuti (team Garmin adidas MTN) are the leaders in the African Jersey in 10:05.25, followed by Paul Cordes and Charles Keey (MTN/Qhubeka) in 10:17.39. In third place are Brandon Stewart and Shan Wilson (Toyota DCM) in 10:19.55. ÔÇ¿┬áÔÇ¿Heymans said: ÔÇ£We’re out here to defend the African leader jersey and very happy that we managed to extend our lead. Our objective for the rest of the race is to defend it. Adrien and I didn’t do much training together and he’s not a guy with lots of words, but every day just gets better and better. We’re getting stronger as the Absa Cape Epic progresses. I had a big heart for Adrien at the beginning of the race and as we go along, my heart is getting bigger. It’s a dream come true to ride with him. He’s been through so much – I really admire him. It’s a pity about Kevin and David, but we’ll wear the African Leader jersey with pride.ÔÇØ

Eva Lechner and Nathalie Schneitter (team Colnago Arreghini S├╝dtirol) won the women’s category for the third day in a row in a time of 5:56.23 (overall time 12:27.59), ahead of Sally Bigham and Karien Van Jaarsveld (team USN) in a time of 6:01.49 (overall 12:41.38). Naomi Hansen and Jodie Willett of adidas finished in third place in 6:07.58 (overall time 13:26.15). Lechner and Schneitter lead by 13 minutes and 39 seconds.

Meanwhile in the celebrity race, former Springbok rugby player Adrian Garvey ended 293rd overall on Tuesday. Riding for Team Toyota his time was 7hr 46min and his total cycling time stands at 16hr 4min.

Wednesday’s third stage is between Tulbagh and Worcester, a 125km stretch and involving 1900m of climbing. With potential heavy rain forecast over the region for the next few days, things are going to get interesting.