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March 28, 2010

Absa Cape Epic concludes at Lourensford Wine Estate

cape epic

German duo, Stefan Sahm (left) and Karl Platt, were the overall winners of the 2010 Absa Cape Epic. Photo by Roy Barford

cape epic

The cycling was fast and furious. Photo by Travis Robertson

Several thousand people arrived at Lourensford Wine Estate today to enjoy some magnificent mountain biking, sunny skies, as well as the soothing sounds of popular South African band, Watershed.

Situated near the tranquil suburb of Somerset West, with massive mountains as a back-drop, Lourensford Wine Estate provided the perfect finish point for the world’s largest staged mountain bike race.

The Absa Cape Epic, which started in Diemersfontein on Sunday, March 21, took place over eight days, with one stage being completed each day. In total, competitors covered nearly 800km of rough Cape terrain. Riders competed in teams of two and there were more than 2 000 participants this year.

The overall race was won by the Bulls team of German riders, Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm. Second place went to Songo-Specialized by DCM, featuring Christoph Sauser from Switzerland and Burry Stander from Port Shepstone in South Africa.

The cyclists, though drained at the finish, agreed that the scenery on the route was everything a mountain biker could want.

“I enjoyed most of that route, the rest was very tough,” said Switzerland’s Florian Voegel, with a big smile.

The event included several celebrity riders, such as 1995 Rugby World Cup heroes, Joel Stransky and Chester Williams, former South African soccer stars, Mark Fish and Shaun Bartlett, as well as television presenter, Michael Mole.

The Absa Cape Epic was the conclusion of a mega month for cycling in the Cape, which also included the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.

Some enthusiastic individuals took part in both the 109km Cape Argus two weekends ago, as well as the much more arduous, off-road Cape Epic. David Thompson, from the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal, said he spent the past 10 days watching his son, Shane, compete in these events.

“It has been such a great experience,” he said. “For me, it has been all about the scenery and the people. The Cape is such a beautiful place, and the people here are so warm and welcoming, I wish the people in other parts of the country could be more like the people here.”

See a photo essay of the Absa Cape Epic here.

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