Absa Cape Epic 2012: Impressive – the only way to describe Team Topeak Ergon’s Cape Epic

02.04.2012
For Team Topeak Ergon the trip to South Africa for Cape Epic 2012 was worth it. Sally Bigham, with team partner Esther Süss won the women's race. Lakata/Mennen took fifth place.

Team Topeak Ergon's Sally Bigham (33) and her race partner Esther Süss (38, Wheeler iXS Pro Team) took no prisoners at the Absa Cape Epic. Racing as the Wheels 4 Life team, the pair won every stage apart from the fifth stage. Even the “king“ stage, at 147km with a total of 2,900m of climbing left them un-phased. They won it comfortably.

Wheels 4 Life a dominant force
It was a race which the pair took on without a hint of any fear of their competition. By the end of the 7th stage, a comfortable 50 minute lead was under their belts. Added to that, the majority of the men's race was also behind them — overall, in the combined general classification they were 29th.

“Right now, it is party time“, Sally said, at the end of the race — clearly and understandably delighted, continuing to say that the win meant more than in the previous year as “we were such a good team, so strong — it makes it even more rewarding — exhausting, but such great fun. I loved every minute.“

Alban and Robert show their strength on the final stages
For the men riding for the Koblenz based Topeak-Ergon Racing Team, it was also a good race, very different from their usual XCO World Cups. All the same, they return with their heads held high. Alban Lakata (32) and Robert Mennen (26) ended their race, riding against some of the best endurance racers worldwide with an overall fifth place finish. The final stage was especially impressive — but also in stages 5, 6 and 7 they were 4th, 3rd and 2nd respectively.

“It is great to see that the team came together so well. Robert and I clearly work very well together and have the potential to take this further in the future“, an extremely pleased Alban Lakata said. “You have to take into account that we were only 1minute 25 seconds down on third place and the podium — and this was without any real sort of extra preparation for a race of this type.“ Then, looking to the future “for me, it is now a personal target to one day win this race, and as soon as possible.“ We will keep our fingers crossed for you!

Further information and all results are available at: www.cape-epic.com

Absa Cape Epic 2012
The Absa Cape Epic is a stage race which takes part in South Africa. This year the race took place from the 25th March until 1st April. It was the ninth edition of this race and is considered one of the hardest endurance mountain bike races worldwide. The route changes every year, this year taking in 781km from the Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West. The 1200 participants, race 16,300m of climbing over the entire race, made up of gravel climbs, and steep cliff faces — in fact anything which is demanding. For refreshment there is the river crossings, flowing single trails and thick forests. Oh, and one or two demanding down hills too.

Wheels 4 Life
As Sally and Esther do not ride for the same team, for Cape Epic they rode under the flag of “Wheels 4 Life“. The team is, in fact, named after the charity founded and run by Ergon Factory Rider Hans Rey, which provides bicycles to the Third World, together with organisations in the countries. Hans Rey: “A bicycle can make a real difference to people's lives. When we are playing on ours, it is important to remember that“.

Further Information from: www.wheels4life.org, or www.hansrey.com


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