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Copyright: A. Kuestenbrueck
Copyright: A. Kuestenbrueck

ABSA Cape Epic 2011: The 7th and last stage revealed a BMC Mountainbike Racing Team in great shape, with their second 4th place of the week, and a final 8th position overall!

3. April 2011

Lourensford, Western Cape, South Africa

Oak Valley/Elgin - Lourensford, the final stage, was raced at a very fast pace. In fact, although the time given to cover the distance by Dr Evil was 2h45, the winners took only 2h33. This final stage was extremely well contested, as we expected yesterday.

With 65 km (the distance was corrected during the course briefing last night), today was a huge success in terms of spectators. In fact, the speaker announced that there were over 20,000 spectators in the area at the finish line (as big as around 8 soccer pitches!). Again, television was part of it live broadcasting, two helicopters, around 10 mobile cameras at the finish line and others around the course and at the start. Not only that, but numerous activities were on offer for visitors: bike and moto trial demonstrations, music concerts, an aerial acrobatics show and stalls of every kind. Beautiful weather and mild temperatures made it the perfect setting for the end of the race.

The Alexandre Moos - Balz Weber duo completed this last stage with the best, as they have done in all this week's stages, but this time they also arrived with the best, for the second time this week. A well-deserved fourth place, despite a sprint lost by just half a second against the Hermida - Naef duo (both world champions in their specialist fields and yesterday's winners...). The podium was once again so close. Full of promise for the rest of the season!

The only dampeners on the day were the two sections with a ban on overtaking (!) and a section with obligatory walking (!!!). The former lasted 6 km and the latter 1.5 km. Totally incomprehensible and unjustifiable, given the terrain used. Alex Moos: "It was so strange, those two sections! The walking section was meant to protect the cobbles of an old track taken by the South African pioneers with their ox carts. Surely, walking on it with our cycling shoes would have damaged the cobbles and the track more than riding over it by bike... And the section where it was forbidden to overtake wasn't really explained either, if it wasn't to try to neutralize the race... But we have to accept the rules given by the organizers or risk being disqualified, so..."

The times: 2:33:18 for the Swiss winners, the Fluckiger brothers, while the BMC team achieved a time of 2:39:07. As regards the overall rankings, the Sauser - Stander duo took first place at Cape Epic 2011 with a time of 28:44:44, beating the Genze - Kaess and Platt - Sahm duos. Our BMC riders finished in an honorable 8th position with a time of 30:09:15, 1:25:29 behind the winners, after a week of racing.

So that's it - the ABSA Cape Epic 2011 is over. This tremendous human adventure finished shortly after 11 o' clock this morning for the best professional teams, while the "commoners" finished at the start of the afternoon, at around 2:15. 1,200 participants from 52 countries (with Switzerland being the best represented after South Africa), 707 km covered in 8 days, and 14,550 m of ascents. This race truly merits its descriptions of "extreme", "unique" and "unparalleled".

If you like wide open spaces, if superhuman efforts don't scare you and if you appreciate the reception given by a country supportive of the cause of extreme sports, then start an intensive training program today, and register for ABSA Cape Epic 2012! You will be captivated by this race to end all races, by this huge organization, by the fantastic countryside you will pass through, by the incredible welcome given to you by the people of this country, by... by... by... Everything is exceptional when it comes to the Cape Epic, from the rising to the setting of the sun, and everything is impressive. And most of all, you won't be alone; you will discover a BMC Mountainbike Racing Team that is even more ambitious than in 2011! So, see you next year?

Text: Ugo Dessimoz, übersetzt aus dem Französischen

All information about the route, results and rankings can be found at www.cape-epic.com