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Olympians Buys and De Groot still on top in Pioneer

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South Africa’s Yellow Jersey wearers, Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes (SCOTT Factory Racing) claimed a second consecutive stage win when they outsprinted a small lead group on the third stage of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race on Wednesday.
After Tuesday’s gruelling stage, which culminated with a mountaintop finish at the summit of the iconic Swartberg Pass; and with Thursday’s brutal stage four looming, the riders appeared to consolidate somewhat on Wednesday’s stage of 107 kilometres from Prince Albert to De Rust.
Second place went to the German Team Bulls pair of Tim Bohme and Simon Stiebjahn with South Africans Lourens Luus and Adriaan Louw (Fairview Elite) filling the final podium spot. Buys and Beukes retain their General Classification lead of three minutes 26 seconds over Team Bulls.
In the women’s race, the Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co. pair of Olympian Robyn de Groot (SA) and Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) claimed their fourth successive stage victory, also in a sprint finish, against Asrin Cycling’s Catherine Williamson (GBR) and Alice Pirard (BEL) and maintained their overall 13-minute lead.
In the men’s race, a pack of five teams reached the final 20km in the lead group – SCOTT Factory Racing, Team Bulls, EAI Cycling, Fairview RECM (Lourens Luus and Adriaan Louw) and Asrin Cycling’s (James Reid and Herman Persteiner). Unfortunately for Asrin Cycling, Persteiner encountered a mechanical with his chain, which eliminated them from the final dash.
The remaining quartet shared the workload into a strong headwind, but rode a tactical approach to the finish, which included two 90-degree turns and a slightly uphill finishing straight.
‘We predicted this morning the stage might finish in a sprint so were ready for it. We’ve discussed our sprinting tactics quite a bit, but didn’t have to implement them today as Simon (Stiebjahn) made the first move and we were forced to react. Matthys went after him and I watched Tim (Bohme). Simon faded a bit and that allowed both Matthys and I to go across the line ahead of them,’ explained 2012 Olympian Buys.
‘We accepted with about 10km to go that it would come down to a sprint,’ said De Groot. ‘Catherine and Alice rode really well today and we knew that we’d have to be tactically smart to beat them. Fortunately we got our timing right and were able to win. We still have a 13-minute lead, but it’s not big enough to allow us to relax, especially with tomorrow’s big stage.’
Thursday’s fourth stage is likely to be the most decisive of the 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek. With 2690m of ascent in 109km, it promises to make or break podium ambitions. It could also prove the toughest test for many of the amateurs, who are aiming to just complete the event.
The stage starts with a 25km steady drag before taking riders through the dry, rocky Kammanassie Mountains and over to the forested coastal belt area of George. The contrasts on this stage are remarkable and could well contribute to a General Classification shake-up.
‘It will be a tough stage tomorrow. But Matthys and I will not be riding defensively. We’re keen to push the technical sections hard, but will stay as safe as possible,’ revealed Buys.

Picture of Beukes and Buys in the final straight on Wednesday by  Zoon Cronje/Nikon/Xtremedia

Stage Three results
Men
1 Philip Buys (SA)/Matthys Beukes (SA) – SCOTT Factory Racing 3hr 54min 35sec
2 Simon Stiebjahn (GER)/Tim Bohme (GER) – Team Bulls 3:54:35
3 Adriaan Louw (SA)/Lourens Luus (SA) – Fairview Elite 3:54:37
4 Johann Rabie (SA)/Gawie Combrinck (SA) – EAI South Africa 3:54:39
5 James Reid (SA)/Herman Persteiner (AUT) – Asrin Cycling 3:56:38

Women
1 Jennie Stenerhag (SWE)/Robyn de Groot (SA) – Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co 4:33:03
2 Catherine Williamson (GBR)/Alice Pirard (BEL) Asrin Cycling 2 4:33:10
3 Theresa Ralph (SA)/Esther Suss (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 1 4:41:00

Amateur
1 Brian Lennox (SA)/Hannes Hanekom (SA) – Klein Karoo Giants 04:19:47
2 Jaco Ferreira (SA)/Alexander Lamberts (SA) – Columbia Europcar Bridge 4:32:35
3 James Tennent (SA)/David Garrett (SA) – Giant 2 4:30:42

Veteran men
1 Johan Labuschagne (SA)/Gerrie Beukes (SA) Klein Karoo Veterans 4:19:57
2 Fanie Venter (SA)/Wayne McDuling (SA) – Pynfabriek 4:33:13
3 Noel Droomer (SA)/John Swanepoel (SA) – Cornerstone Cycles 4:38:01

Master men
1 Heinz Zorweg (AUT)/Barti Bucher (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 2 4:19:05
2 Waleed Baker (SA)/Glen Haw (SA) – Pitstop 4:50:52
3 Izak Visagie (SA)/Lieb Loots (SA) – Wilde 3 4:55:00

Mixed
1 Kobus Barnard (SA)/Fienie Barnard (SA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 4:36:01
2 Max Friedrich (GER)/Jana Zieschank (GER) – Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk 4:36:03
3 Igna de Viliers (SA)/Daleen Van der Leek (SA) LGE Midas Bells Cycling 4:44:37

Solo men
1 Travis Walker (SA) 4:02:30
2 Renay Groustra (SA) 4:02:32
3 Ken van den Bulke (NED) 4:03:20

Solo women
1 Christine Janse van Rensburg (SA) 4:55:30
2 Katja Cauwenbergh (BEL) 5:17:06
3 Nina Hind (SA) 5:34:14

General Classification

Men
1 Philip Buys (SA)/Matthys Beukes (SA) – SCOTT Factory Racing 12:12:56
2 Simon Stiebjahn (GER)/Tim Bohme (GER) – Team Bulls 12:16:23
3 Ismael Venture (ESP)/Ramon Sagues (SA) – ESMTB.com 12:32:29
4 Waylon Woolcock (SA)/Darren Lill (SA) – Cannondale Blend 12:34:49
5 Michiel van Aelbroeck (NED)/Robby de Bock (NED) WMTB.Be – Feenstra 12:35:56

Women
1 Jennie Stenerhag (SWE)/Robyn de Groot (SA) – Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co 14:02:49
2 Catherine Williamson (GBR)/Alice Pirard (BEL) – Asrin Cycling 14:16:36
3 Theresa Ralph (SA)/Esther Suss (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 1 14:43:34

Amateur
1 Brian Lennox (SA)/Hannes Hannekom (SA) – Klein Karoo Giants 13:43:44
2 Mattias Winkler (SUI)/Francois Naf (SUI) Meerendal Wheeler 13:58:39
3 Jaco Ferreira (SA)/Alexander Lamberts (SA) – Columbia Europcar Bridge 14:03:06

Veteran men
1 Fanie Venter (SA)/Wayne McDuling (SA) – Pynfabriek 9:32:38
2 Johan Labuschagne (SA)/Gerrie Beukes (SA) Klein Karoo Veterans 9:46:39
3 Marne Dirks (SA)/Pierre Griffioen (SA) – Bridge Torq Zone Vets 9:58:3

Master men
1 Heinz Zorweg (AUT)/Barti Bucher (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 2 8:52:48
2 Izak Visagie (SA)/Lieb Loots (SA) – Wilde 3 9:56:34
3 Waleed Baker (SA)/Glen Haw (SA) – Pitstop 10:30:56

Mixed
1 Max Friedrich (GER)/Jana Zieschank (GER) – Firebike Tomotion by Blacktusk 14:09:59
2 Kobus Barnard (SA)/Fienie Barnard (SA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 14:20:51
3 Igna de Viliers (SA)/Daleen Van der Leek (SA) LGE Midas Bells Cycling 14:50:46

Solo men
1 Travis Walker (SA) 12:43:02
2 Alan Gordon (SA) 12:45:10
3 Ken van den Bulke (BEL) 12:48:24

Solo women
1 Christine Janse van Rensburg (SA) 15:14:12
2 Katja Cauwenbergh (BEL) 16:42:14
3 Nina Hind (SA) 17:53:57

Elite points
Men
1 Philip Buys (SA)/Matthys Beukes (SA) – SCOTT Factory Racing 33
2 Simon Stiebjahn (GER)/Tim Bohme (GER) – Team Bulls 30
3 Ismael Venture (ESP)/Ramon Sagues (SA) – ESMTB.com 16
4 Johann Rabie (SA)/Gawie Combrinck (SA) – EAI South Africa 16

Women
1 Jennie Stenerhag (SWE)/Robyn de Groot (SA) – Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co 35
2 Catherine Williamson (GBR)/Alice Pirard (BEL) – Asrin Cycling 29
3 Theresa Ralph (SA)/Esther Suss (SUI) – Meerendal Wheeler 1 27


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