Speedy Injury Gives Epic Challengers Hope

by | Mar 24, 2013

Ladies winners of the penultimate stage, Sara Mertens (L) and Laura Turpijn (R), celebrate as they cross at the finish of stage 6 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from Wellington to Stellenbosch, South Africa on the 23 March 2013. Photo: Sam Clark/Cape Epic/Sportzpics

C-Bear’s Sara Mertens and Laura Turpijn won the Absa Cape Epic penultimate stage in 6:05.45,9 for a race overall time of 37:52.15,6, for their best finish of four podium finishes of this year’s event, after race leader’s Yolande Speedy took a painful tumble, with her continued pursuit of the 2013 title with Energas team-mate Catherine Williamson in doubt.

They were followed by the Pragma Volcan Ladies Hanlie Booyens and Ischen Stopforth in 6:11.16,5 (overall 37:11.20,2). Speedy and Williamson (Energas) finished in third place in 6:14.06,2 (overall 35:11.08,3), the two of them for Team Energas managing to maintain a healhty advantage, now leading this category by 2 hours and 11 seconds.

Says Turpijn of C-Bear: “We never expected to win a stage or even to be second or third. Today was hard but I’m so proud of Sara. She kept on pushing. It was good and I’m really happy.”

Adds Mertens: “We’re very happy. This is my third Absa Cape Epic – the first one I just wanted to finish. The second time I wanted to have fun, which I didn’t have in the first one. And this one I wanted to finish on the podium and Laura helped me with that.”

Leading women Catherine Williamson & Yolande Speedy of Energas during stage 6. Speedy suffered a serious fall, that has placed her race in jeopardy. Photo: Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/ SportzpicsWilliamson (Energas) says: “Yolande crashed today and really hurt herself. We’re hoping it’s only muscular. We were actually quite cautious today, but she hit a stone. It was before the second water point.

“I had a funny feeling about today,” continued Williamson. “She couldn’t ride any of the single-track. She’s strong as an ox on the climbs. I’ll carry her tomorrow, if she hasn’t broken anything.” Adds Speedy: “We were going so well today, until I hit a rock. Hopefully I can still finish tomorrow and nothing is broken. I’m just very grateful to Catherine for pulling me through today.”

With a maximum stage time of 10 hours, riders had to prepare themselves for a long stage, the last real hurdle of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic. The first 20 kilometers were primarily in the forestry plantation on the slopes of Du Toit’s Kloof, with a steady 10-kilometer climb followed by an equally long, fast descent interrupted occasionally by some soft forest single-track.

The second major climb was primarily through orchards that soon gave way to mountain fynbos as the trails turned more rugged, including another single-track descent, but riders had to watch out for the handle-bar-grabbing fynbos.

By the time riders crossed under the N1 national highway at the 35-kilometer mark, they completed almost half the climbing of the day. The next section was fast going along farm and gravel roads along the Drakenstein Mountains towards Franschhoek.

The route made the turn towards Helshoogte Pass, as the trail hugged the steep slopes of the iconic Simonsberg Mountain. Riders passed through wine farms and the Idas Valley before passing underneath the R310 road. From here it was one last steep climb, before a descent sweetened by some more forestry single-track that took riders into the race village.

Mixed Category:

Ariane and Erik Kleinhans of Team RE:CM celebrate winning the Mixed Category during stage 6. Photo: Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/ Sportzpics

The RE:CM team of Erik and Ariane Kleinhans won for the fifth time during this year’s event in 5:17.34,5 (overall 32:05.09,6), finishing ahead of Duane Stander and Cherise Stander (Africanmtbkid 1), with their second podium finish, in 5:27.22,0 (overall 35:04.49,0) with Theresa Ralph and Damian Perrin of Biogen Britehouse in third place in 5:29.27,5 (overall 35:03.50,3).

Erik and Ariane Kleinhans (RE:CM) lead this category by 2 hours, 7 minutes and 21 seconds. Says Erik Kleinhans: “It was an incredible route. It was really nice and we’re very happy to finish first in Stellenbosch, our home town. We had so much support along the way.”

Adds Ariane Kleinhans: “I felt really strong today. Of course we had some extra motivation coming home to Stellenbosch. We only have one stage to go and tomorrow will be very hard, but we’ve done most of it. There are so many mountain bikers in Stellenbosch and it’s so nice to see the whole family here.”

Stage 7: Stellenbosch to Lourensford Wine Estate (54 km, 1 500 m of climbing):

The final stage of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic is short, with only one major climb at the halfway mark. Riders will leave Stellenbosch along the mountainside through Coetzenberg and Eden Forest, then work their way into the Stellenbosch Winelands.

The trail climbs up through the vineyards, opening up spectacular views of False Bay, as far as Cape Point, and back to Table Mountain and Durbanville, where the journey started seven long days ago.

Having mastered the nine-kilometer climb up the side of the Helderberg Mountain into the Lourensford Neck, the finish line is almost within sight as the view into the striking Lourensford bowl opens up.

This is the first time in Absa Cape Epic history that riders approach Lourensford Wine Estate from a totally different direction and not Gamtouw Pass.

The final 25 kilometers are predominantly downhill, on forestry roads on the higher elevations, interspersed with some single-track, and into the orchards and vineyards on the lower slopes.

The final run onto the lush green polo field packed with grandstands, marquees and supporters promises to be unforgettable.

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 6 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic, on Saturday, 22 March, 2013:
1. C-Bear 6:05.45,9 (Sara Mertens; Laura Turpijn)
2. Pragma Volcan Ladies +5.30,6 (Hanlie Booyens; Ischen Stopforth)
3. Energas +8.20,3 (Yolande Speedy; Catherine Williamson)
4. ASPEN +17.26,3 (Sarah van Heerden; Jackie Church)
5. Wings +1:18.12,7 (Wilmerie Jacobs; Estie Potgieter)
6. Dawn Wing+ 1:21.02,8 Ann Harrison; Marleen Lourens)
7. NO BREAKS – Mudder and daudder +1:30.29,3 (Joyce Benade; Desiree Briedenhann)
8. Rudy Project Pedali di Marca +1:30.38,0 (Giuliana Massarotto; Ilaria Balzarotti)
9. JAG/CycleLabTours/5hour +1:33.42,8 (Eulogy du Plessis; Maritza Terblanche)
10. Masikhule Decking Solutions +1:34.44,8 (Janet Keet; Junita Vandeline Kruger)
 
Leading Mixed Results after Stage 6 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic, on Saturday, 23 March, 2013:
1. RE:CM 5:17.34,5 (Erik Kleinhans; Ariane Kleinhans)
2. Africanmtbkid 1 +9.47,5 (Duane Stander; Cherise Stander)
3. Biogen Britehouse +11.53,0 (Theresa Ralph; Damian Perrin)
 

Leading Ladies Results after Stage 5 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic, in Wellington, on Friday, 22 March, 2013:

1. Energas 4:06.55,9 (Yolande Speedy; Catherine Williamson)
2. C-Bear +10.05,4 (Sara Mertens; Laura Turpijn)
3. ASPEN +21.44,5 (Sarah van Heerden; Jackie Church)
4. Pragma Volcan Ladies +22.29,9 (Hanlie Booyens; Ischen Stopforth)
5. Dawn Wing +38.26,8 (Ann Harrison; Marleen Lourens)
6. Wings +58.48,6 (Wilmerie Jacobs; Estie Potgieter)
7. www.rrsport.co.nz +1:16.02,0 (Kath Kelly; Erin Greene)
8. Rudy Project Pedali di Marca +1:17.57,6 (Giuliana Massarotto; Ilaria Balzarotti)
9. JAG/CycleLabTours/5hour +1:18.28,7 (Eulogy du Plessis; Maritza Terblanche)
10. Trek Israel 2 +1:20.41,1 (Idit Shub; Rachel Wallfish)
Leading Mixed Results after Stage 5 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic, in Wellington, on Friday, 22 March, 2013:
1. Biogen Britehouse 3:44.34,6 (Theresa Ralph; Damian Perrin)
2. RE:CM +34,6 (Erik Kleinhans; Ariane Kleinhans)
3. Exxaro Cycle Lab 1 +9.50,6 (Johan Labuschagne; Yolandè de Villiers)
Leading Ladies Results after Stage 4 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic, from Tulbagh to Wellington, on Thursday, 21 March, 2013:
1. Energas 5:49.59,2 (Yolande Speedy; Catherine Williamson)
2. C-Bear +26.03,5 (Sara Mertens; Laura Turpijn)
3. Pragma Volcan Ladies +33.46,2 (Hanlie Booyens; Ischen Stopforth)
4. ASPEN +51.42,1 Sarah van Heerden; Jackie Church)
5. Dawn Wing +54.25,1 (Ann Harrison; Marleen Lourens)
6. www.rrsport.co.nz +1:04.32,1 (Kath Kelly; Erin Greene)
7. Wings +1:32.24,5 (Wilmerie Jacobs; Estie Potgieter)
8. NO BREAKS – Mudder and daudder 1:55.35,4 (Joyce Benade; Desiree Briedenhann)
9. Rudy Project Pedali di Marca +2:01.11,8 (Giuliana Massarotto; Ilaria Balzarotti)
10. CX Odyssey +2:11.21,0 (Eva Micklewood; Franci Joubert)
Leading Mixed Results after Stage 4 of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic, from Tulbagh to Wellington, on Thursday, 21 March, 2013:
1. RE:CM 5:34.28,2 (Erik Kleinhans; Ariane Kleinhans)
2. Africanmtbkid 1 +2.39,1 (Duane Stander; Cherise Stander)
3. Biogen Britehouse +5.54,0 (Theresa Ralph; Damian Perrin)
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:
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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