After the dust’s settled, the winners’ have sprayed their champagne, the crowds have left Lourensford Wine Estate, the 2012 Absa Cape Epic race organisers and competitors will reflect on a truly spectacular eight days. This the ninth edition of the world’s biggest multi-stage MTB race, fans were wowed by the fast and furious pace, the demanding trails and the adverse weather conditions.
With the world’s bicycling media focused on the Western Cape for the past eight days, with the very best marathon racers and brave weekend warriors embarking on an adventure of a lifetime, the 781km and over 16,000 meters of climbing tested man (and woman, too) and machine to their limits of endurance.
Brandon Stewart and Jacques Rossouw (Team FedGroup – ITEC Connect) contested this event on 2013 Momsen prototype 29er carbon-framed race weapons. Claiming tenth position overall in the General Classification and third in the Absa African Category, Stewart and Rossouw most certainly made their rivals aware of their speed, dedication and power.
Before the race officials congratulated the finishers of the 2012 Absa Cape Epic, the survivors of the week had to race a final 64km-long stage, spring up the final 1350 meters of climbing and descend into the beautiful valley that is the Lourensford Wine Estate.
Dr Evil, the route director, did not give the racers an easy run to the finish line: competitors had to pedal from Oak Valley over Twin Peaks to the Elgin Dam and then over the Gantouw Pass to Lourensford.
Team Robert Daniel Momsen’s Nico Pfitzenmaier retired from the event after a heavy crash on Stage Five, and team-mate Robert Sim completed the last legs of the race on his own on his Momsen SL929 Team Issue machine. This pairing was leading the Telkom Business Masters Category by a healthy 45 minutes when Pfitzenmaier fell.
Pushing their bodies to their limits and beyond on the final ascents of the race, the battle-weary Stewart and Rossouw still managed to power to eighth overall in Stage Seven. The two racers leapfrogged their rivals in the General Classification after a stage in which their perseverance was justly rewarded.
“After a frustrating start we had a great finish,” said Team FedGroup – ITEC Connect team owner Brandon Stewart. “Jacques and I rode as hard as we could, and we fought every kilometer of the stage. It was a tough finish to a tough race, and we clinched tenth position overall. From 11th overall at the start of Stage Seven, we were two minutes behind tenth place and 17 minutes off ninth place. The tenth-placed team pushed hard on this stage, and we then set our sights on reeling in 17 minutes in 64km. Jacques and I raced all the way to the finish, and that performance saw us claim tenth position overall and consolidate our podium position in the Absa African Category.”
“We couldn’t have done any of this without the amazing support, encouragement and hard work of our crew, and my wife Bridgette was once again a pillar of strength as team manager. The 2013 Momsen prototype 29er carbon bikes were perfect, perfect, perfect,” concluded Stewart.
SuperSport will broadcast a 30 minute highlights package of the final stage five times throughout today. See SuperSport’s scheduling for channel updates.
Source: Momsen Bikes