Events

Men’s lead changes at Cape Epic

The lead has again changed the men’s division at South Africa’s 2008 Absa Cape Epic as the Cannondale-Vredestein squad of Jakob Fuglsang and Roel Paulissen won the stage 3 journey from Calitzdorp to Riversdale, and assumed the yellow leader’s jersey after the Songo.info team of Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser abandoned.

By Fred Dreier

It's a tight finish at Cape Epic

It’s a tight finish at Cape Epic

Photo: Ron Gaunt/Sportzpics

The lead has again changed the men’s division at South Africa’s 2008 Absa Cape Epic as the Cannondale-Vredestein squad of Jakob Fuglsang and Roel Paulissen won the stage 3 journey from Calitzdorp to Riversdale, and assumed the yellow leader’s jersey after the Songo.info team of Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser abandoned.

In the women’s race, the Rocky Mountain duo of Alison Sydor and Pia Sundstedt claimed their third-straight stage victory, increasing their lead to nearly an hour. A resurgent Absa Ladies squad of South Africans Erica Green and Hanlie Booyens finished second, 19 minutes down. The Dolphin-Trek squad of Fabienne Heinzmann and Katrin Schwing rode themselves back into second place in the women’s overall, crossing the line in third. The Trek-Volkswagen team of Susan Haywood and Jennifer Smith slipped to third in the overall with their fourth-place finish.

Stander has a disappointing day in the leader's jersey.

Stander has a disappointing day in the leader’s jersey.

Photo: Sven Martin/Sportzpics

Twenty-year-old Stander, South Africa’s national cross-country champion, had to quit the race after suffering from a knee injury. The young South African stepped off of his bike at the second water station, two hours into the 133km stage. Following the Absa Cape Epic’s rules, Sauser can choose to partner up with any other single rider, or finish the race solo, however his finishing time will be unofficial.

The day opened with the South African USN squad of Brandon Stewart and Max Knox taking an early flyer. With the duo sitting more than an hour down in the general classification, the leading group let the two break free on the opening climb up the Rooiberg Pass. Knox and Stewart eventually gained six minutes before being reeled in atop Garcia Pass by the chasing MTN Energade team of David George and Kevin Evans, just 16km from the finish in Riversdale.

Thundering herd: The field leaves the start on Monday morning.

Thundering herd: The field leaves the start on Monday morning.

Photo: Sven Martin/Sportzpics

George and Evans came into the finishing town with the Cannondale-Vredestein and Bulls squad of Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm in tow. While Platt was the first rider to cross the line, out-kicking MTN Energade and Cannondale-Vredestein, Cape Epic rules state that the winning placing is determined by when the second rider finishes. Sahm, who is ailing from a stomach bug, crossed five seconds later. Paulissen and Fuglsang were the first two teammates across the line, giving them their second stage win in as many days.

“I especially struggled with the technical climbs and loose rocks, but fortunately Roel felt strong,” Fuglsang said. “The stage was partially very flat, but quite hard as it was very bumpy at times and I don’t particularly like that.”

2008 Absa Cape Epic
Stage 3: Calitzdorp to Riversdale
Men

1. Cannondale-Vredestein (Jakob Fuglsang, Roel Paulissen), 4:16:02
2. MTN Energade 1 (Kevin Evans, David George), s.t.
3. Bulls (Karl Platt, Stefan Sahm), 4:16:08
4. USN (Brandon Stewart, Max Knox), 4:16:54
5. Alb-Gold (Hannes Genze, Jochen Kaess), 4:19:58

Women
1. Rocky Mountain (Pia Sundstedt, Alison Sydor), 4:58:00
2. Absa Ladies (Hanlie Booyens, Erica Green), 5:16:49
3. Dolphin-Trek (Fabienne Heinzmann, Katrin Schwing), 5:26:07
4. Trek-Volkswagen (Susan Haywood, Jenny Smith), 5:26:07
5. Scott Contessa (Jane Seggie, Ischen Stopforth), 5:29:31

Photo Gallery

Results

Stage 3: Calitzdorp to Riversdale
Men

1. Cannondale-Vredestein (Jakob Fuglsang, Roel Paulissen), 4:16:02
2. MTN Energade 1 (Kevin Evans, David George), s.t.
3. Bulls (Karl Platt, Stefan Sahm), 4:16:08
4. USN (Brandon Stewart, Max Knox), 4:16:54
5. Alb-Gold (Hannes Genze, Jochen Kaess), 4:19:58

Women
1. Rocky Mountain (Pia Sundstedt, Alison Sydor), 4:58:00
2. Absa Ladies (Hanlie Booyens, Erica Green), 5:16:49
3. Dolphin-Trek (Fabienne Heinzmann, Katrin Schwing), 5:26:07
4. Trek-Volkswagen (Susan Haywood, Jenny Smith), 5:26:07
5. Scott Contessa (Jane Seggie, Ischen Stopforth), 5:29:31