Stewart and Looser lose big chunk of Pioneer lead | SASCOC - SASCOC
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Stewart and Looser lose big chunk of Pioneer lead

Team FedGroup Itec’s Brandon Stewart (SA) and Konny Looser (SUI) lost all but eight seconds of their more-than-five-minute overnight lead, while Asrin Cycling’s James Reid (SA) and Jens Schuermans (BEL) won a second successive stage on a dramatic fourth day of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek in the Klein Karoo on Wednesday.

Looser crashed heavily just 27 kilometres into the 107km stage from Price Albert to De Rust, damaging his rear wheel and his suspension fork in the process. He also sustained hip, knee and ankle injuries. Team FedGroup’s rivals charged on in an effort to take back time on the race leaders, who managed to narrowly retain the race lead with three stages remaining.

Reid and Schuermans, winners of the event’s mountain-top finish queen stage on Tuesday, delivered a snappy final dash from a lead bunch of nine to secure the stage victory in a time of 3hr 57min 4sec. Contego Giant Factory Racing’s Gert Heyns (SA) and Louis Bresler Knipe (SA) finished second with Team RE:CM’s Waylon Woolcock (SA) and Erik Kleinhans (SA) taking third.

Losing time steadily despite a courageous 80km chase, Stewart and Looser managed to cross the line in eighth, 5:16 down, maintaining their yellow jersey grasp by just eight seconds over Woolcock and Kleinhans. Reid and Schuermans are still third overall 8:34 back.

Team RE:CM Davinci’s Ariane Kleinhans (SUI) and Annika Langvad (Den) extended their lead in the women’s race, by winning the stage ÔÇô their fourth in succession ÔÇô by over 12 minutes, confirming their utter dominance of the event. In the picture right, Langvad leads Kleinhans in Wednesday’s action.

They now lead stage three runners-up Wheeler BMC’s Esther Suss (SUI) and Jane Nuessli (GBR) by 41:32, with Biogen SA’s Robyn de Groot (SA) and Ischen Stopforth (SA) in third another half an hour behind.

ÔÇ£I’m disappointed that our rivals took advantage of our misfortune today, especially so early in the stage. But Konny showed some true grit to fight through the pain with a damaged bike and we live to fight another day in yellow. That was an unexpectedly tough day out,ÔÇØ said Stewart.

ÔÇ£I hit a rock that a rider in front of me must have dislodged and went over the handlebars. I fell really hard on my left side but with the other teams racing on I had no time to worry about injuries. My wheel would have taken a long time to repair and luckily a German team saw our situation and gave us one of their back wheels to help us get going again,ÔÇØ said Looser, who sustained serious bruising in the fall.

The first Mixed team home on Wednesday was Cube Nutswerk MTB’s Birgit Lavrijssen (NED) and Marco Minnaard (NED), who managed to displace overnight leaders and stage runners-up, Asrin Cycling 3’s Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) and Craig Gerber (SA), from the top of the General Classification.

In the Veteran’s division, Klein Karoo Vets’ Wynand Mulder (SA) and Gerrie Beukes (SA) claimed their first stage win and moved from third to second in the overall race. They beat overall leaders, Cube Nutswerk 2’s Micha de Vries (NED) and Rik van den Hanenberg (NED) by 3:41, but trail the Dutchmen by more than an hour in the General Classification.

The Masters’ category saw the continued dominance of Wilde 3’s Izak Visagie (SA) and Lieb Loots (SA) with their fourth successive stage win, which saw them stretch their overall lead to 1hr 23min over Stone Hammer’s Malcolm Dods (GBR) and Wizner Zbigniew (SWE).

Adriaan Louw (RSA) claimed the Solo men’s division stage win on Wednesday and increased his overall lead, while Bettina Uhlig (GER) won the Solo women’s stage, closing down Kate Slegrova’s (RSA) overall lead to just over three minutes.

At 70km, Thursday’s Stage four from De Rust to Herold is a short haul, but with 1950 metres of ascent and sections of very rough terrain through the Kammanassie Mountains, it’s going to be extremely tough.

Stage Three (107km from Prince Albert to De Rust)

Open men
1 Asrin Cycling ÔÇô James Reid (RSA); Jens Scheurmans (BEL) 03hr 57min 04sec
2 Contego Giant Factory Racing ÔÇô Gert Heyns (RSA); Louis Bresler Knipe (RSA) @ 01sec
3 RE:CM ÔÇô Waylon Woolcock (RSA); Erik Kleinhans (RSA) @ 02
4 SCOTT Factory Racing ÔÇô Philip Buys (RSA); Matthys Beukes (RSA) @ 07
5 Westvaal Bells Cycling ÔÇô Nico Bell (RSA); Gawie Combrinck (RSA) @ 12

Open Women
1 RE:CM Davinci ÔÇô Ariane Kleinhans (SUI); Annika Langvad (DEN) 4:26:08
2 Wheeler ÔÇô BMC ÔÇô Jane Neussli (GBR); Esther Suss (SUI) @ 12:22
3 Klein Karoo Chicks ÔÇô Yolande de Villiers (RSA); Yolande Speedy (RSA) @ 12:42

Mixed
1 Cube Nutswerk MTB ÔÇô Birgit Lavrijssen (NED); Marco Minnaard 4:31:29
2 Asrin Cycling 2 ÔÇô Nizaam Esa (RSA); Catherine Williamson (GBR) @ 3:14
3 Asrin Cycling 3 ÔÇô Jennie Stenerhag (SWE); Craig Gerber @ 4:23

Veterans
1 Klein Karoo Vets ÔÇô Wynand Mulder (RSA); Gerrie Beukes (RSA) 4:17:07
2 Cube Nutswerk 2 ÔÇô Micha de Vries (NED); Rik Van den Hanenberg (NED) @ 3:41
3 Cannondale Blend Vets ÔÇô Martin Epstein (RSA); Stefano Madies (RSA) @ 14:52

Masters
1 Wilde 3 ÔÇô Izak Visagie (RSA); Lieb Loots (RSA) 4:38:53
2 Bridge Masters 1 ÔÇô Con Malherbe (RSA); Greg Anderson (RSA) @ 1:30
3 Stone Hammer ÔÇô Malcolm Dods (GBR); Wizner Zbigniew (SWE) @ 3:40

Amateurs
1 Klein Karoo Express ÔÇô Kobus Barnard (RSA); Cornelius Muller (RSA) 4:22:33
2 Scott Saffa Power ÔÇô George Nel (RSA); Franso Steyn (RSA) @ 5:56
3 Contego Giant 2 ÔÇô Sakkie Hannekom (RSA); Hannes Hannekom (RSA) @ 7:08

Solo men
1 Adriaan Louw (RSA) @ 4:02:21
2 Craig Boyes (RSA) @ 4:43
3 Darren Lill (RSA) @ 11:47

Solo women
1 Bettina Uhlig (GER) 4:42:14
2 Dalene van der Leek (RSA) @ 18:08
3 Kate Slegrova (RSA) @ 18:14

General classification after Stage Three

Open men
1 FedGroup Itec ÔÇô Brandon Stewart (RSA); Konny Looser (SUI) 12:38:47
2 RE:CM ÔÇô Waylon Woolcock (RSA); Erik Kleinhans (RSA) @ 08
3 Asrin Cycling ÔÇô James Reid (RSA); Jens Scheurmans (BEL) @ 8:34
4 SCOTT Factory Racing ÔÇô Philip Buys (RSA); Matthys Beukes (RSA) @ 21:25
5 Westvaal Bells Cycling ÔÇô Nico Bell (RSA); Gawie Combrinck (RSA) @ @ 32:39

Open women
1 RE:CM Davinci ÔÇô Ariane Kleinhans (SUI); Annika Langvad (DEN) 14:16:33
2 Wheeler ÔÇô BMC ÔÇô Jane Neussli (GBR); Esther Suss (SUI) @ 41:32
3 Biogen SA ÔÇô Ischen Stopforth (RDSA); Robyn de Groot (RSA) @ 1:13:20

Mixed
1 Cube Nutswerk MTB ÔÇô Birgit Lavrijssen (NED); Marco Minnaard 15:21:44
2 Asrin Cycling 3 ÔÇô Jennie Stenerhag (SWE); Craig Gerber @ 3:53
3 Bridge Peptosport ÔÇô Gerhard Ebersohn (RSA); Christine Jansen van Rensburg (RSA) @ 1:24:03

Veterans
1 Cube Nutswerk 2 ÔÇô Micha de Vries (NED); Rik Van den Hanenberg (NED) 9:49:20
2 Cannondale Blend Vets ÔÇô Martin Epstein (RSA); Stefano Madies (RSA) @ 1:12:05
3 Klein Karoo Vets ÔÇô Wynand Mulder (RSA); Gerrie Beukes (RSA) @ 1:18:14

Masters
1 Wilde 3 ÔÇô Izak Visagie (RSA); Lieb Loots (RSA) 10:11:03
2 Stone Hammer ÔÇô Malcolm Dodds (RSA); Wizner Zbigniew (RSA) @ 1:19:27
3 Brug Meesters ÔÇô Charles Nienaber (RSA); Ergee du Toit (RSA) @ 1:26:07

Amateurs
1 Contego Giant 2 ÔÇô Sakkie Hannekom (RSA); Hannes Hannekom (RSA) 14:43:27
2 Scott Saffa Power ÔÇô George Nel (RSA); Franso Steyn (RSA) @ 9:22
3 Kivada Schorriemorrie ÔÇô Ninko Doornbos (NED); Coen Hoogervorst (NED) @ 56:28

Solo men
1 Adriaan Louw (RSA) @ 13:22:05
2 Craig Boyes (RSA) @ 42:52
3 Tomas Kozak (CZE) @ 54:57

Solo women
1 Kate Slegrova 17:11:17
2 Bettina Uhlig (GER) @ 3:16
3 Dalene van der Leek (RSA) @ 4:43

Picture: Zoon Cronje/Nikon


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