Danes win Womens Race

The Danish sisters Kristine and Anna-Sofie Noergaard (team Rothaus-CUBE) finished in 37:31.03,3 and won their category, having also taken top honours in five of the eight stages in this year’s race. In second place overall in this category were Hannele Steyn-Kotze and Ivonne Kraft (Team Sludge Ladies) in a time of 38:01.15,6 and in third place were Giuliana Vitali and Tamara Horn (team bike2help.ch – Big Tree) in 41:10.43,9.

Says Anna-Sofie Noergaard of team Rothaus-CUBE: “It was great to win. Today we rode carefully and safely as we didn’t want to take any chances. The other ladies really fought for a stage win and deserved it. Now I can’t wait to join my family and see my son again. It’s been a long week away from them, but I enjoyed the race very much.” Adds her sister Kristine: “It feels fantastic to finish the race and also to have won. South Africa and its people have been fantastic. The course this year was great – still tough but not as bad as we expected. Tonight we really want to celebrate and hope we still have some energy to do so.”

Says Hannele Steyn-Kotze of the Sludge Ladies (sponsored by bike shoes): “This is my home town and it was really nice to finish first. We knew it would take a lot but I so wanted to thank my family and friends for their support by winning this stage. Today I rode with my heart. This was my seventh Absa Cape Epic, but next time I’ll be doing it just for fun, and without the pain.” Adds Ivonne Kraft: “It’s great to be finished. We’re very happy. It was a fair race against the Danish sisters and we won. It’s great to know we’re done and that we’ve finished together. This was my fourth Absa Cape Epic and from experience I know that if you’re still friends with your partner, you’ve done well.”

Most Common Injuries…

According to Doctor Basil Bonner, the chief medical officer of the Medi Clinic private hospital division of the Absa Cape Epic, the most common injuries or conditions that needed medical care during this year’s Magical and Untamed African MTB Race included dehydration (62 patients), saddle sores (300 patients) and strappings (145 patients).

Twelve riders incurred fractures during the event. Dr Bonner and his team saw 1030 patients during this year’s Absa Cape Epic, with an average of 171 per day (excluding minor injuries).

Epic Cape 2010 Results

The final day of the taxing 2010 Absa Cape Epic presented by adidas saw riders cover 65km and 1640m of climbing, cycling from Oak Valley to their final destination at the Lourensford Wine Estate. As is tradition, the last stage was the shortest, but not easy! It’s not like they’ve just won Ascot Hospitality Tickets!

As riders approached vineyards, they knew it was all about short, sharp climbs before some longer and even steeper ones through Nuweberg, up to the superb vistas of Elgin/Grabouw. Winning the event and the prize money certianly wasn’t going to as easy as playing scratch cards!

In 2010 the Absa Cape Epic took a new route into the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, on Buysepad, skirting Gantouw Pass. There was no portage this year, but route designer Dr Evil had something else in mind before riders headed down for a traditional finish to the 2010 Absa Cape Epic. Hundreds of enthusiastic spectators welcomed the exhausted teams at the final finish line of this year’s event.

Of the 1172 riders who started their epic journey at Diemersfontein a week ago, 83.6% have successfully completed their Absa Cape Epic adventure by crossing the final finish line at the Lourensford Wine Estate. In the remaining 16.4% figure that is not classified as official finishers, the blue board riders are included. 445 teams were ranked on the GC (General Classification), with both team riders awarded the medal as official Absa Cape Epic finishers. 90 individual cyclists successfully completed the 8 stages without their partners.

Epic Cape Death

A 26-year-old Australian cyclist died in his sleep on Tuesday while participating in the eight day, 723km Absa Cape Epic mountain bike race.

James Williamson, who edited the Australian Enduro mountain bike magazine, was declared dead at 6.47am in the Ceres Private Hospital, where he was taken when his riding partner Shaun Lewis, 28, could not wake him, the organisers said in a statement.

Describing Williamson as a “strong young athlete”, the race organisers said he had an uneventful ride on Tuesday and had felt “completely well with no complaints” at the end of the stage.

“He and his partner ate well last night and everyone who spent the afternoon and evening with him said that he was perfectly fine. After the first two stages they were in 18th overall position.”

Williamson won the World Solo 24 hour mountain bike Championships in Canmore, Canada in 2008.

“After yesterday’s Monday’s stage two through singletrack paradise, he was all smiles, repeatedly expressing how he enjoyed yesterday’s route. He will be deeply missed in the mountain biking media fraternity,” said the race’s international media director Sonja Güldner-Hamel.

Rider Blog: My First Day

Tony Ireland reports on his first day…

Hi All,

Well I have just finished what I can honestly say is my hardest day ever on a bike. Its a far cry from my normal Forex Trading days! The Cape Epic is described as the World’s toughest MTB race and it sounds about right to me.

It is one of those events where you turn up and everyone seems to be just that little bit leaner than you, more focused, on a better bike and way more experienced. Standing on a start line packed with 1200 riders is something that has to be experienced to understand how it feels.

Then we were off. Slowly at first as the riders slowly passed the first few km, then we hit the vinyards, great for making wine, lovely on photos, shocking to cycle through. Surface is dusty and made up of short sharp climbs with drainage ditches every 100m. However, to be honest, in hindsight the vinyards were the least of our worries.

Imagine cycling along a sandy beach, at a 25 degree incline! That is The Cape Epic, tyres struggling to find grip and front wheels sliding in the deeper sections as the sand saps your bike of speed and your legs of strength.

It was not all bad though, some of the single track sections were amazing and every climb has to come back down on the other side, so we we were treated to some spectacular descents. It was during one of these that I had my second blowout of the day, this time on my front wheel. Trust me, trying to descend on a thin metal rim over sand and rocks is a complete non-starter and for me ended up with a quick trip over the handlebars. No damage to body, but my front wheel is still being straightened as I type!

The other section that MUST be mentioned is the 7.5km along an unused railway line! We were forced to bump our way over literally thousands of metal sleepers that shook us to the bone. Totally evil especially when you can see the road just 500m away!

Now it is time to eat and sleep and I am being kicked off the net. I will write more tomorrow….

Regards Tony I (knackered)