Platt, Huber make it two in a row at Cape Epic | SASCOC - SASCOC
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Platt, Huber make it two in a row at Cape Epic

Karl Platt and Urs Huber of team Bulls took first place in the men’s category of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic for the second consecutive day on Wednesday.

With an impressive third stage time of 3hr 53min 17sec, team Bulls have managed to maintain their first place position with an overall time of 14:58.25. Team Bulls now have an overall lead of 8:49 over team Burry Stander-SONGO.

Christoph Sauser and Jaroslav Kulhavy of team Burry Stander-SONGO finished in second position with a stage time of 3:54.03. They are also in second position overall (15:07.15).

In third place for Stage 3 were Thomas Dietsch and Tim Boehme of team Bulls 2 who successfully completed stage three in a time of 3:59.10 (ranked third overall with a time of 15:10.41). South African’s Charles Keey and Darren Lill of team Cannondale Blend are now in fourth place after completing stage three with a ime of 4:01.15, making their overall time 15:28.01.

Says Platt of the Bulls team: ÔÇ£Christoph (Sauser) and Jaro (Kulhavy) were a bit angry and naughty today. They tried to attack everywhere and accelerated like crazy. We could follow them on the flat section but they attacked again on the climb and we decided to just ride in our own rhythm and at a comfortable speed.

“Last year no one put them under pressure, but this year they’re making mistakes. We were going at the limit and if you get chased, you make more mistakes than if you’re the chaser. Today we increased our lead time which is awesome for us ÔÇô it’s such a cool feeling. Urs (Huber) is like a machine. He just hammers down. We’re very equal and it’s lots of fun to race with him. Stefan (Sahm) also worked very hard today.

For the first 40km he was riding in front, setting the pace and because of that the Bulls have a great result all around. It’s also nice for the fans. We got so many tweets and emails yesterday. It took me two hours just to read them. Unfortunately I can’t answer all of them. The fans out there are unbelievable ÔÇô a huge thanks to them and hopefully they support us to the end.ÔÇØ

Kulhavy comments that he took the wrong turn 2km’s before the finish. ÔÇ£We were in the lead and going really fast. We took a wrong turn and lost the lead as a result. I’m upset because it’s the second stage that we’ve lost. There are still four stages left and we’re not giving up. We still have a chance, but I’m not sure if I can give tomorrow’s stage so much energy. We’ll have to wait and see.ÔÇØ Adds Sauser: ÔÇ£We were going so fast and realised we had made a mistake when we got to a T-junction. We had to ride all the way back and lost some time again. It’s frustrating. We were in the lead and lost time again, just 2km before the finish, instead of closing time on the Bulls. We’ll motivate ourselves again tomorrow when we race. We didn’t have game plan today ÔÇô we just rode harder.ÔÇØ

In the women’s category Yolande Speedy and Catherine Williamson (Energas) won their second stage in a row in 4:58.36. They now lead this category by 1:06:45 (overall 19:00.07,0). They were followed by Belgian and Dutch team Sara Mertens and Laura Turpijn in 5:24.06 (overall 21:13.25). The Pragma Volcan Ladies, Hanlie Booyens and Ischen Stopforth, finished in third place in 5:29.14 (overall 20:06.52).

Esther S├╝ss has retired from the race due to illness. Her partner Jane Nuessli is now riding in the white Outcast jersey. The white Outcast jersey applies to UCI riders when a partner drops out ÔÇô it helps other riders identify the Outcast rider. Other riders may not accept assistance from an Outcast rider and Outcast riders may not interfere with the outcome of the race.

Says Speedy (Energas): ÔÇ£I’m sorry that the two strongest teams are out of the race. Esther (S├╝ss) and Jane are also out. But it’s still the Absa Cape Epic and anything can happen. Jane (Nuessli) was riding with us at the beginning ÔÇô it was such an honour. It’s the first time that I’m in the leading Orange jersey and we’ll still put everything into the race.ÔÇØ Adds her teammate Williamson: ÔÇ£Anything can still happen ÔÇô the race is still on. There is no bigger race than the Epic and if we win, I can retire happily at the end of the year if I want to.ÔÇØ

Thursday’s stage four was a 120km ride (1900m of climbing) between Tulbagh and Wellington.


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