Energas Look Unbeatable after Second Stage Win

by | Mar 20, 2013

Catherine Williamson (left) and Yolande Speedy celebrate their win on stage 3 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race, from Saronsberg Wine Estate in Tulbagh, on Wednesday, 20 March 2013. Riding in the oranje jersey after winning Stage 2 on Tuesday and taking the lead from Esther Süss (now retired for medical reasons) and Jane Nuessli, the Team Energas duo have an overall lead of 1 hour, 6 minutes and 45 seconds over second-placed Hanlie Booyens and Ischen Stopforth. Photo: Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/Sportzpic

Stage 3 started with cool temperatures in the morning, and the early relief spurred Yolande Speedy and Catherine Williamson (Energas) on to win their second stage in a row in 4:58.36,2, and now lead the ladies category by 1 hour, 6 minutes and 45 seonds, with an overall time of 19:00.07,0.

Mountains surround the town of Tulbagh and stage three offered a tour of the basin, with a figure of eight which traversed the vineyards and farmlands, skirting these mountains. By now riders should have been used to starting with a climb.

This 400-meter climb over 15 kilometers, with a short warm up, was rather gentle on the legs. This was followed by three kilometers of sweeping single-track, finishing off with a section through popular forest. This was a pleasant day, with lots of ups and downs interspersed with flowing single-track sections.

The day was more gentle, the soil was softer, the vegetation more lush and the hills shorter. When riders heard the finish line and smelt the race village, their odometer only read 55 kilometers, so they needed to keep pedaling.

The second part of the figure of eight was shorter, but included the same amount of climbing as the first one. Dr Evil and the route-design team showed their true colours after water points three: a 1,5-kilometer climb on a steep farm road, followed by a short descent and three more short but sharp climbs on rough surface, before it was finally (almost) all downhill and back to the fields of Saronsberg Wine Estate.

Team Energas’ Yolande Speedy (front) and Catherine Williamson battling their way to record a back-to-back stage win, on Wednesday at the Saronsberg Wine Estate in Tulbagh. Photo: Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SportzpicThe two riding for Energas were followed by Belgian and Dutch team Sara Mertens and Laura Turpijn in 5:24.06,4 (overall 21:13.25,7). The Pragma Volcan Ladies, Hanlie Booyens and Ischen Stopforth, finished in third place in 5:29.14,7 (overall 20:06.52,5).

Prologue and first stage co-leader Esther Süss 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 – 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: “I’m sorry that the two strongest teams are out of the race. Esther (Süss) 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 – 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.”

Adds her teammate Williamson: “Anything can still happen – 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.”

Mixed Category:

The RE:CM team of Erik and Ariane Kleinhans won their fouth stage in a row in the Mixed category in 4:36.47,7 (overall 17:27.57,7), followed by Theresa Ralph and Damian Perrin of Biogen Britehouse (4:39.59,0; overall 19:09.26,0).

In third place were Johan Labuschagne and Yolandi de Villiers of Exxaro Cycle Lab 1 in 4:53.44,4 (overall 18:33.54,9). Erik and Ariane Kleinhans lead this category by 1 hour, 5 minutes and 12 seconds.

Says Erik Klienhans: “It was a good day. We didn’t have any problems. Theresa (Ralph) and Damian (Perrin) attacked from the start and managed to create a gap between us. We caught up with them later.

“We rode in a group for a while, and there was a lot of dust. Eventutally I said to Ariane that we must get away – we couldn’t see with all the dust. The last 20 or 30 km’s we lost them.

“Ariane is becoming stronger every day, and we’re very comfortable with our lead. We’re the only category with such a big lead on the others,” said Kleinhans. “But this is the Absa Cape Epic and anything can happen out there. We know from experience that you can never relax, so we’ll be riding hard for the rest of the race.”

Adds Ariane Kleinhans: “I’m feeling strong. It was quite hard for me in the beginning as I’m still quite tired from yesterday, but as we got to the climbing section I started to feel stronger. We had a good finish today.”

Stage 4: Tulbagh (Saronsberg Wine Estate) to Wellington (120 km, 1900 m of climbing):

Stage four is characterised by three major climbs and extremely varied terrain. The first 15 kilometers are on flat gravel and also some tar road. The route then turns onto forestry roads, gaining some elevation while skirting the side of the mountain.

Riders will quickly reach water point one, but the next stretch is slow going. A five-kilometer steady climb on gravel road with an average of seven percent gradient waits at Kluitjieskraal.

On the other side, the trail roughens until it becomes an eight-kilometer bike-swallowing descent. The gradient is not steep but the track is washed out, rocky (and sandy) with many ruts and holes. After water point two, a flat gravel road leads to the foot of the 16-kilometer tar climb of Bain’s Kloof Pass.

Only the first bit of the descent is on tar before riders plunge into the Bain’s MTB Trails at Welvanpas: smooth flowing ups and downs, perfectly carved into the mountain side.

However, there is one more big climb, most of it on forestry roads, before four kilometers of handcrafted downhill single-track through fynbos vegetation. There is one more tiny bump and the last couple of kilometers are plain sailing into the race village in Wellington.

Follow the riders on the live site at www.cape-epic.com, the mobi site (m.cape-epic.com), on Twitter (#absacapeepic), Facebook (www.facebook.com/capeepic) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/absacapeepic).

 

Leading Ladies Results after Stage 3 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic, from Cederberg to the Tulbagh Valley, on Wednesday, 20 March, 2013:
1. Energas 19:00.07,0 (Yolande Speedy; Catherine Williamson)
2. Pragma Volcan Ladies +1:06.45,5 (Hanlie Booyens; Ischen Stopforth)
3. www.rrsport.co.nz +1:43.07,6 (Kath Kelly; Erin Greene)
4. Dawn Wing +1:47.53,7 (Ann Harrison; Marleen Lourens)
5. C-Bear +2:13.18,7 (Sara Mertens; Laura Turpijn)
6. ASPEN +2:35.48,3 (Sarah van Heerden; Jackie Church)
7. NO BREAKS – Mudder and daudder +5:51.36,8 (Joyce Benade; Desiree Briedenhann)
8. Wings +5:53.47,8 (Wilmerie Jacobs; Estie Potgieter)
9. Rudy Project Pedali di Marca +6:58.47,2 (Giuliana Massarotto; Ilaria Balzarotti)
10. Trek Israel 2 +7:05.45,5 (Idit Shub; Rachel Wallfish)
 
Leading Mixed Results after Stage 3 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic, from Cederberg to the Tulbagh Valley, on Wednesday, 20 March, 2013:
1. RE:CM 4:36.46,7 (Erik Kleinhans; Ariane Kleinhans)
2. Biogen Britehouse +3.12,3 (Theresa Ralph; Damian Perrin)
3. Exxaro Cycle Lab 1 +16.57,7 Johan Labuschagne; Yolandè de Villiers
 
Leading Ladies Results after Stage 2 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic, from Cederberg to the Tulbagh Valley, on Tuesday, 19 March, 2013:
https://gsport.co.za/speedy-lauds-williamson-for-cape-epic-orange-jersey/
1. Energas 14:01.30,8 (Yolande Speedy; Catherine Williamson)
2. Pragma Volcan Ladies +36.07,0 (Hanlie Booyens; Ischen Stopforth)
3. BMC Wheeler +49.53,4 (Esther Süss; Jane Nuessli)
4. www.rrsport.co.nz +1:04.54,8 (Kath Kelly; Erin Greene)
5. Dawn Wing +1:13.39,7 (Ann Harrison; Marleen Lourens)
6. C-Bear +1:47.48,5 (Sara Mertens; Laura Turpijn)
7. ASPEN +2:02.19,6 (Sarah van Heerden; Jackie Church)
8. NO BREAKS – Mudder and daudder +4:22.51,3 (Joyce Benade; Desiree Briedenhann)
9. Wings +4:39.56,0 (Wilmerie Jacobs; Estie Potgieter)
10. Trek Israel 2 +5:14.48,8 (Idit Shub; Rachel Wallfish)
 
Leading Mixed Results after Stage 2 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic, from Cederberg to the Tulbagh Valley, on Tuesday, 19 March, 2013:
1. RE:CM 12:51.11,0 (Erik Kleinhans; Ariane Kleinhans)
2. Target TREK-Moronis Bikes +43.38,7 (Peta Mullens; Jarrod Moroni)
3. Exxaro Cycle Lab 1 +48.59,5 (Johan Labuschagne; Yolandè de Villiers)
 
Leading Ladies Results after Stage 1 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic, in Citrusdal, on Monday, 18 March, 2013:
1. BMC Wheeler 5:29.00,5 (Esther Süss; Jane Nuessli)
2. Energas +29.12,2 (Yolande Speedy; Catherine Williamson)
3. Pragma Volcan Ladies +34.44,2 (Hanlie Booyens; Ischen Stopforth)
4. www.rrsport.co.nz +52.16,5 (Kath Kelly; Erin Greene)
5. C-Bear +54.56,0 (Sara Mertens; Laura Turpijn)
6. Dawn Wing +57.26,7 (Ann Harrison; Marleen Lourens)
7. ASPEN +1:24.19,6 (Sarah van Heerden; Jackie Church)
8. NO BREAKS – Mudder and daudder +2:42.00,0 (Joyce Benade; Desiree Briedenhann)
9. Wings +2:53.43,2 (Wilmerie Jacobs; Estie Potgieter)
10. Trek Israel 2 +2:55.04,6 (Idit Shub; Rachel Wallfish)
 
Leading Mixed Results after Stage 1 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic, in Citrusdal, on Monday, 18 March, 2013:
1. RE:CM 5:17.44,3 (Erik Kleinhans; Ariane Kleinhans)
2. Target TREK-Moronis Bikes +20.39,7 (Peta Mullens; Jarrod Moroni)
3. Exxaro Cycle Lab 1+24.34,1 (Johan Labuschagne; Yolandè de Villiers)
 
Leading Ladies Results after the Prologue ahead of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic, in Durbanville outside Cape Town, on Sunday, 17 March, 2013:
1. BMC Wheeler 1:08.21,6 (Esther Süss; Jane Nuessli)
2. Topeak Ergon +1.57,6 (Sally Bigham; Milena Landtwing)
3. Energas +3.34,8 (Yolande Speedy; Catherine Williamson)
4. Pragma Volcan Ladies +7.01,3 (Hanlie Booyens; Ischen Stopforth)
5. C-Bear +7.35,6 (Sara Mertens; Laura Turpijn)
6. Dawn Wing +8.15,8 (Ann Harrison; Marleen Lourens)
7. www.rrsport.co.nz +8.53,1 (Kath Kelly; Erin Greene)
8. ASPEN +14.00,3 (Sarah van Heerden; Jackie Church)
9. NO BREAKS – Mudder and daudder +23.17,9 (Joyce Benade; Desiree Briedenhann)
10. JAG/CycleLabTours/5hour +23.24,6 (Eulogy du Plessis; Maritza Terblanche)

 

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