Events

South Africa’s Cape Epic kicks off with prologue

Trek-Volkswagen’s Susan Haywood and Jenny Smith took the women’s category while Kevin Evans and David George (MTN-Energade) won the men’s in the opening prologue of South Africa’s 2008 Absa Cape Epic on Friday. The two women completed the 17km course, which spun a hilly circuit around the port city of Knysna, in 42:51.2. The pair, both regulars on North America’s National Mountain Bike Series, crossed the line with a 40-second advantage on the Rocky Mountain team of Alison Sydor and Pia Sundstedt.

By Fred Dreier

The Trek team put the hammer down in Cape Epic's prologue TT

The Trek team put the hammer down in Cape Epic’s prologue TT

Photo: Sven Martin

Trek-Volkswagen’s Susan Haywood and Jenny Smith took the women’s category while Kevin Evans and David George (MTN-Energade) won the men’s in the opening prologue of South Africa’s 2008 Absa Cape Epic on Friday.

The two women completed the 17km course, which spun a hilly circuit around the port city of Knysna, in 42:51.2. The pair, both regulars on North America’s National Mountain Bike Series, crossed the line with a 40-second advantage on the Rocky Mountain team of Alison Sydor and Pia Sundstedt.

“It felt good to work our legs after the long trip to South Africa,” Haywood said.” Since we are used to cross country races, the short and intense racing today was something that suited us, especially since we could race in a safe environment with few riders around us. We are more worried about what’s laying ahead”

With eight stages remaining in South Africa’s premier off-road stage race, the Trek-Volkswagen squad will likely face a stiff challenge from Sundstedt and Sydor. The Rocky Mountain duo likely would have beaten Haywood and Smith, however they suffered an untimely puncture near the beginning of the prologue.

Evans and George proved to be a formidable combo at Cape Epic's opener

Evans and George proved to be a formidable combo at Cape Epic’s opener

Photo: Gary Perkin

Meanwhile, George and Evans covered the route in a fast 31:04.4. The duo surged to a crushing victory by nearly a minute better than the Cannondale-Vredestein team of World Cup heavy hitters Roel Paulissen and Jakob Fuglsang. Defending champions Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm of the Bulls squad finished in third, with the U.S. Trek-Volkswagen team of Jeremiah Bishop and Chris Eatough finishing in 14th place, in 35:35.2.

George, South Africa’s road time-trial champion and a former member of the U.S. Postal road team, completed his first-ever mountain bike race at the Absa Cape Epic in 2007.

The road pro said he and Evans, one of South Africa’s elite mountain bike racers, have spent nearly a year working together in preparation for the race.

“I am a time trial champion and I know how to ride it,” George said. “Kevin’s strength is the technical side, so he was riding all the lines today and all I had to do is stick to his wheel and suffer. We trained together for six months and it was also an opportunity for me to pick up some of his skills.”

The 2008 Absa Cape Epic runs through April 6, and showcases a race between 600 two-person teams. Riders will cross more than 500 miles and climb 60,000 feet during the nine-stage event.

2008 Absa Cape Epic
Prologue Results
Men
1. MTN Energade 1(Kevin Evans, David George), 17km in 31:04.4
2. Cannondale-Vredestein (Roel Paulissen, Jakob Fuglsang), 32:01.7
3. Bulls (Karl Platt, Stefan Sahm), 32:21.4
4. Songo.info (Christoph Sauser, Burry Stander), 32:30.2
5. Dolphin (Bart Brentjens, Alban Lakata), 32:47.4
6. ALB-Gold (Hannes Genze, Jochen Kaess), 33:44.9
7. Full Dynamix-RSM (Fredrik Kessiakoff, Massimo Debertolis), 33:47.1
8. MTN Energade 2(Mannie Heymans, Melt Swanepoel), 33:52.3
9. ETTO-Hoydahl 3 (Martin Bratland, Kristian Torgersen), 33:56.6
10. ETT)-Hoydahl 1 (Jo Nordskar, Anders Hovdenes), 34:26.4

North Americans
14. Trek-Volkswagen (Jeremiah Bishop, Chris Eatough), 35:35.2
26. Ellsworth-Primal Wear (Josiah Middaugh, Greg Krause), 38:19.3
38. Project Rwanda (Jonathan Boyer, Abraham Ruhumuriza), 40:06.9

Women
1. Trek-Volkswagen (Susan Haywood, Jenny Smith), 42:51.2
2. Rocky Mountain (Alison Sydor, Pia Sundstedt), 43:29.7
3. Absa Ladies (Erica Green, Hanile Booyens), 43:42.3
4. Dolphin-Trek, Fabienne Heinzmann, Katrin Schwing), 44:4.4
5. Adidas/CMC (Hannele Steyn-Kotze, Leanne Brown-Waterson), 45:41.3

Other North Americans
7. Specialized (Cristina Begy, Rebecca Rusch), 48:12.3

Photo Gallery

Results

2008 Absa Cape Epic
Prologue Results
Men
1. MTN Energade 1(Kevin Evans, David George), 17km in 31:04.4
2. Cannondale-Vredestein (Roel Paulissen, Jakob Fuglsang), 32:01.7
3. Bulls (Karl Platt, Stefan Sahm), 32:21.4
4. Songo.info (Christoph Sauser, Burry Stander), 32:30.2
5. Dolphin (Bart Brentjens, Alban Lakata), 32:47.4
6. ALB-Gold (Hannes Genze, Jochen Kaess), 33:44.9
7. Full Dynamix-RSM (Fredrik Kessiakoff, Massimo Debertolis), 33:47.1
8. MTN Energade 2(Mannie Heymans, Melt Swanepoel), 33:52.3
9. ETTO-Hoydahl 3 (Martin Bratland, Kristian Torgersen), 33:56.6
10. ETT)-Hoydahl 1 (Jo Nordskar, Anders Hovdenes), 34:26.4

North Americans
14. Trek-Volkswagen (Jeremiah Bishop, Chris Eatough), 35:35.2
26. Ellsworth-Primal Wear (Josiah Middaugh, Greg Krause), 38:19.3
38. Project Rwanda (Jonathan Boyer, Abraham Ruhumuriza), 40:06.9

Women
1. Trek-Volkswagen (Susan Haywood, Jenny Smith), 42:51.2
2. Rocky Mountain (Alison Sydor, Pia Sundstedt), 43:29.7
3. Absa Ladies (Erica Green, Hanile Booyens), 43:42.3
4. Dolphin-Trek, Fabienne Heinzmann, Katrin Schwing), 44:4.4
5. Adidas/CMC (Hannele Steyn-Kotze, Leanne Brown-Waterson), 45:41.3

Other North Americans
7. Specialized (Cristina Begy, Rebecca Rusch), 48:12.3