Absa Cape Epic: Queen’s Stage takes its toll

The second half of the stage race in South Africa has already been rung in. In the first half, Annika Langvad and her team partner Anna van der Breggen, as well as Bart Brentjens and Abraoo Azevedo, were consistently on course to the gold medal. In the strong men field, already a few favorites dropped out.  After the fifth stage, the competition called for more victims.

It’s the toughest stage race in the world, putting our athletes and teams to a hard test test, already at the start of the season. The fourth stage, a time trial, was different from the other stages. The two teams were sent to the track alone and rush against the time. Then, tired legs and lacks of concentration showed up at the fifth stage.

Plan changes and driving errors

The plan of Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen was actually to calm down the time trial. But it’s difficult, , not to ride, alone on the track, the 43km at full throttle. The plan was quickly rejected. “… you ride somewhat “blind”. And turning the intensity up for two hours on a shorter stage can be mentally challenging after four days of racing. But that’s a big part of the game. The mental challenge of ignoring the fatigue in your legs and keep on pushing is crucial in these stage races., “writes the reigning marathon world champion on Facebook. And the duo did that as well and took the stage victory with one minute in front.

Gallery (c) Michal červený

The women´s duo missed the sixth stage win in a row. At the queen stage of Oak Valley Estate to Stellenbosch, Anna crashed with a her front wheel was defect, and so the two ladies got beaten. Still, they could defend the orange jersey, but their distance in the overall standings slimed to 22 seconds.

However, our Grand Masters, Bart Brentjens and Abraoo Azevedo are unimpressed. 6/6 and 1:13 minutes ahead in the overall standings!

Käß / Geismayer and Rohrbach / Looser have to give up

In the men category, the chaff separates from the wheat slowly. In the gentlemen, the wheat is separated from the chaff so slowly. It’s pitted and the falls and defects are piling up. Two of our MAGURA riders also been affected.

Nicola Rohrbach and Konny Looser had to handle problems over the entire  race. Good results were missing. Finally, they announced the demolition of the contest this morning. Konny was struggling with health problems. After a doctor’s recommendation, the duo retires and did not start at the fifth stage.

Also the Cape Epic-experienced athletes, Daniel Geismayr and Jochen Käß,  did not pass the races without a trace. They had worked their way up from stage to stage. Now  the early end came. Jochen injured in a fall in the fifth stage and could not continue the race. Thus, they can not defend their fifth place in the overall standings.

Gallery (c) Michal červený

So now, the best MAGURA team is Alan Hatherly and Matthew Beers. This mating also crashed, but so far they have been able to call a constant performance – they finished in 8th place on the fourth stage. The only exception was the fifth stage, where they finished on 13th,but after Jochen and Daniel dropped out of the competition they are now in fifth place in the overall standings.