Team 360Life Finishes Second Overall at Cape Epic
After winning stage six, the SCOTT team takes second at the wildest of all races.
The South African duo of Kevin Evans and David George from Team Nedbank 360Life finished second overall at this years’ ABSA Cape Epic. On stage six the two SCOTT Riders shrugged off the bad luck they’ve endured over the past week and claimed a dominant victory in Oak Valley. For Evans and George, this dramatic week ended on a positive note at the final stage, which took riders from Oak Valley/Elgin to Lourensford Wine Estate over a distance of 64km with 1 350m of climbing. The pair were fifth on the stage, but secured second place on the General Classification, the highest ever placing by a South African team in the event.
George and Evans experienced early setbacks due to cut tires on Stages one and five, losing significant time and the possibility of challenging for the overall win. Their drama began at stage one when shortly before the second water point at 58km they encountered a torn sidewall in George’s rear tyre. Their repair job wasn’t permanent due to the extent of the tyre damage and shortly after replacing his rear wheel at the next technical station George’s front tyre punctured, forcing more delays.
They pair was forced to walk to the next tech zone which cost them a 25 minute gap to the leading Team. Evans and George fought hard for the rest of the race to close this gap and their dedication shone as they clawed their way back into the top 3.
Their most impressive performance was during stage six on Saturday. With over 2000 metres of vertical ascent to conquer, George and Evans attacked at the base of the first major climb. They opted to charge through both water points and took the victory.
“In order to win the stage and get back up to second on General Classification, we knew we had to put on the pressure as early as possible. We have a lot of frustration built up from the last few days, but today we used it as our motivation. We had everything to gain,” said George. “The support of the crowds was incredible. We feel honoured to have such support.”
The last stage wasn’t the procession it was expected to be as defending champions and overall leaders, Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser, attacked their rivals on the 64km leg from Oak Valley to Lourensford to win a sixth stage and claim their second successive overall win as teammates. The 36One-Songo pair broke clear of the lead group just before the Telkom Hot Spot, won the R10000 cash prize for being first across the prime and then continued to power away up the steep climb that followed. They then carried a relentless pace to the finish. Second place went to the Topeak Ergon duo of Alban Lakata (AUT) and Robert Mennen (GER) who pipped Songo-Specialized’s Max Knox (RSA) and Kohei Yamamoto (JPN) in the sprint for second place, just less than a minute down on Stander and Sauser.
ABSA Cape Epic General Classification results:
1 Burry Stander (RSA) / Christoph Sauser (SUI) 36One-Songo-Specialized 31hrs 46min 50sec
2 Kevin Evans (RSA) / David George (RSA) Nedbank 360Life @ 27:22
3 Hannes Genze (GER) / Andreas Kugler (SUI) Multivan Merida @ 31:07
4 Thomas Dietsche (FRA) / Tim Boehme (GER) Bulls 2 @ 31:57
4 Alban Lakata (AUT) / Robert Mennen (GER) Topeak Ergon @ 32:32
1 Esther Suss (SUI) / Sally Bigham (GBR) Wheels4Life 38:34.11
2 Theresa Ralph (RSA) / Nina Gassler (NOR) Biogen Britehouse @ 49:26
3 Karien van Jaarsveld (RSA) / Jane Nuessli (SUI) MTN Qhubeka @ 1:35.03
1 Bart Brentjens (NED) / Jan Weevers (NED) World Bicycle Relief @ 35:35.58
2 Adrian Enthoven (RSA) / Delaney Impey (RSA) JAG Craft @ 1:38.52
3 Warren Squires (RSA) / Scott McKenzie (RSA) Complete Cyclist @ 3:52.28
1 Erik Kleinhans (RSA) / Ariane Kleinhans (RSA) Contego 28E 34:26.29
2 Udo Boelts (GER) / Milena Landtwing (SUI) Centurion Vaude @ 1:53.19
3 Klaas van Moortel (BEL) / Inne Gantois (BEL) BAIL Peak Performance Brugge @ 2:47.29
Source: Adrian Montgomery