Red hot racing for Absa African and Dimension Data Masters jerseys

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Two fierce “races within the race” are adding extra intrigue to the 2015 Absa Cape Epic.

The first is the battle for the red Absa African special jersey, which has been worn by three teams and changed hands at the finish of each of the past three stages.

The other is the race for the Dimension Data Masters category, with two top teams finishing together again on Friday after their relentless battle illuminated a rugged Stage 5.

On Friday was the turn of South African Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock (RED-E Blend) to win back the red jersey when they rode the 121km course brilliantly to finish third overall. They took it from Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes of Scott Factory Racing, who won Thursday’s Stage 4 overall.

Lill said afterwards: “I was very happy for them because it is great for South African riding, but I have the feeling that they paid for it today.

“I was elated and relieved when we crossed the line. Relieved that we had no mechanicals, and elated because we finished on the podium and took back the red jersey,” added Lill. “Our main focus going into the race was the red jersey, but we are happy to pick up a few podiums along the way.”

South Africans Gawie Combrinck and Johann Rabie (EAI South Africa) also raced strongly to finish fourth overall yesterday and move into third in the contest for the jersey.

Youngsters Rourke Croeser and Travis Walker (USN) had worn the red jersey for the first two stages but dropped to fourth among the all-African teams.

The Dimension Data Masters category is turning out to be a thriller, with BETCH.nl Superior’s Dutch/Brazilian combination of Bart Brentjens and Abraao Azevedo going toe-to-toe with South Africans Nico Pfitzenmaier and Robert Sim (Dorma/Robert Daniel) on stage after stage.

On Friday it was the turn of Brentjens and Azevedo to win, but only by less than half a second in a sprint finish. Pfitzenmaier and Sim won the previous two stages but also by small margins.

The South Africans had, however, lost a little ground during the early stages and are one minute and 26 seconds back in the overall standing. Two days of red hot racing lie ahead.

“This is by far the most draining Epic ever for me” said Pfitzenmaier. “Physically and emotionally, the battle with myself and with the team we are chasing is so intense … I just don’t know what more we can do to get that leaders’ jersey.”

The story of the Grand Masters category is a very different one, with Meerendal BIXS KTM’s Barti Bucher (Switzerland) and Heinz Zoerweg (Austria) extending their lead to 53 minutes overall. On Friday they finished a little more than four minutes ahead of second-placed Greg Anderson and Andrew Mclean (Ascendis Health).

The Mixed category is also being dominated  by one team, ETIS’s Peter Vesel of Slovenia and Ivonne Kraft of Germany, who have a 31-minute overall cushion over South African Nizaam Essa and Briton Catherine Williamson (Asrin Cycling) after winning by six minutes on Friday.

Vesel said afterwards: “Today was so challenging for us. We had a flat tyre, then I crashed and hurt my arm. Luckily it’s not too bad.

“I am feeling so happy to be in the overall lead, but I can’t think about victory yet because there are still two days left and we have seen how unpredictable the Epic can be.”

Former Springbok Rugby World Cup winner Joel Stransky and partner Anriette Schoeman (Liqui Fruit) finished fifth in the category on Friday and are now sixth overall.

And in another commanding performance Phillimon Sebona and Jan Motshioa (Exxaro PWC) extended their lead in the Exxaro special jersey race to one hour and 45 minutes. Rilamulele Gadabeni and Tovhawani Mavundavhi (Exxaro/EOH) lie second, and will probably have to settle for that when they ride into Meerendal Wine Estate and the finish on Sunday.

2015 Stage 5 Dimension Data Masters

Stage Results

1. BETCH.nl-Superior 60-1 Bart Brentjens (Netherlands) 60-2 Abraao Azevedo (Brazil) 5:36.58,0
2. Dorma / Robert Daniel 61-1 Nico Pfitzenmaier (South Africa) 61-2 Robert Sim (South Africa) 5:36.58,4 +0,4
3. Assos Werksmannschaft 258-1 Daniele Nardello (Italy) 258-2 Karl Zoetemelk (France) 5:45.51,5 +8.53,5

Overall Results

1. BETCH.nl-Superior 60-1 Bart Brentjens (Netherlands) 60-2 Abraao Azevedo (Brazil) 26:49.22,6
2. Dorma / Robert Daniel 61-1 Nico Pfitzenmaier (South Africa) 61-2 Robert Sim (South Africa) 26:50.48,6 +1.26,0
3. Assos Werksmannschaft 258-1 Daniele Nardello (Italy) 258-2 Karl Zoetemelk (France) 27:31.59,9 +42.37,3
4. GoldNutrition/Portugal 487-1 Vitor Gamito (Portugal) 487-2 José Rosa (Portugal) 28:43.57,7 +1:54.35,1
5. TerreActive IT security 327-1 Marc Baechli (Switzerland) 327-2 Daniel Christen (Switzerland) 29:10.35,9 +2:21.13,3
6. Iron-Lion 400-1 Franso Steyn (South Africa) 400-2 Leon Erasmus (South Africa) 29:20.07,8 +2:30.45,2
7. GCH Bike+ 277-1 Andy Davies (England) 277-2 David Garrett (South Africa) 29:23.39,8 +2:34.17,2
8. Technofit 64-1 Pascal de Kort (Belgium) 64-2 Bart van de Water (Belgium) 29:30.38,0 +2:41.15,4
9. Absa Corporate Masters 62-1 Warren Squires (Zimbabwe) 62-2 Nic White (South Africa) 29:36.26,1 +2:47.03,5
10. Rug Meesters 122-1 Pieter Calitz (South Africa) 122-2 Russell Lund (South Africa) 29:46.36,5 +2:57.13,9

2015 Stage 5 Grand Masters

Stage Results

1. Meerendal BIXS KTM 65-1 Barti Bucher (Switzerland) 65-2 Heinz Zoerweg (Austria) 6:08.48,4
2. Ascendis Health 66-1 Greg Anderson (South Africa) 66-2 Andrew Mclean (South Africa) 6:13.15,8 +4.27,4
3. Pitstop1Sport24hrs 69-1 Waleed Baker (South Africa) 69-2 Glen Haw (South Africa) 6:33.27,2 +24.38,8

Overall Results

1. Meerendal BIXS KTM 65-1 Barti Bucher (Switzerland) 65-2 Heinz Zoerweg (Austria) 28:34.27,4
2. Ascendis Health 66-1 Greg Anderson (South Africa) 66-2 Andrew Mclean (South Africa) 29:27.54,7 +53.27,3
3. Nampak 67-1 Izak Visagie (South Africa) 67-2 Linus van Onselen (South Africa) 30:33.44,6 +1:59.17,2
4. AAA & BBC 68-1 Peter Selkrig (Australia) 68-2 Garry James (Australia) 31:09.31,5 +2:35.04,1
5. Pitstop1Sport24hrs 69-1 Waleed Baker (South Africa) 69-2 Glen Haw (South Africa) 31:25.01,4 +2:50.34,0
6. Gutta Boyz 182-1 Trond Hilde (Norway) 182-2 Ivar Tollefsen (Norway) 33:16.02,2 +4:41.34,8
7. Cycling Emotion BMC 390-1 Sam Sprunger (Switzerland) 390-2 Antonio Spidalieri (Italy) 34:08.42,0 +5:34.14,6
8. Orphans Africa MTB 145-1 Ahmed Zaid Mahomed (South Africa) 145-2 Pablo Rodriguez (Argentina) 34:31.00,6 +5:56.33,2
9. Why worry Be happy 156-1 Herman Heunis (South Africa) 156-2 Julian Conrad (South Africa) 35:37.00,0 +7:02.32,6
10. Cicero's Corner 384-1 Kristof De Neys (Belgium) 384-2 Chris Nel (South Africa) 36:20.34,6 +7:46.07,2

2015 Stage 5 Mixed

Stage Results

1. ETIS 71-1 Peter Vesel (Slovenia) 71-2 Ivonne Kraft (Germany) 6:25.46,0
2. Asrin Cycling 70-1 Nizaam Essa (South Africa) 70-2 Catherine Williamson (England) 6:31.56,2 +6.10,2
3. Open - Kappius components 75-1 Jean-Francois Bossler (France) 75-2 Coralie Redelsperger (France) 6:44.17,9 +18.31,9

Overall Results

1. ECOTECH Converge 180-1 Jacques Zietsman (South Africa) 180-2 Heleen Rossouw (South Africa) 28:55.22,6
2. ETIS 71-1 Peter Vesel (Slovenia) 71-2 Ivonne Kraft (Germany) 30:09.38,5 +1:14.15,9
3. Asrin Cycling 70-1 Nizaam Essa (South Africa) 70-2 Catherine Williamson (England) 30:41.02,0 +1:45.39,4
4. Open - Kappius components 75-1 Jean-Francois Bossler (France) 75-2 Coralie Redelsperger (France) 31:07.50,2 +2:12.27,6
5. Dietrich/Rocky Mountain 73-1 Carsten Bresser (Germany) 73-2 Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) 31:48.25,0 +2:53.02,4
6. ENS RH77 77-1 Rene Haselbacher (Austria) 77-2 Sabine Sommer (Austria) 32:05.38,8 +3:10.16,2
7. Bike Office 76-1 Josef Ajram (Spain) 76-2 Mayalen Noriega Belausteguigoitia (Spain) 32:24.55,0 +3:29.32,4
8. Giant Obwalden 265-1 Hans Fluck (Switzerland) 265-2 Anita Bucher (Switzerland) 32:32.52,1 +3:37.29,5
9. Liqui Fruit 102-1 Joel Stransky (South Africa) 102-2 Anriette Schoeman (South Africa) 33:11.13,1 +4:15.50,5
10. sputnik-bikeshop.ch 324-1 Marcel Boss (Switzerland) 324-2 Yvonne Boss (Switzerland) 34:03.54,7 +5:08.32,1

2015 Stage 5 Absa African special jersey

Stage Results

1. RED-E Blend 36-1 Darren Lill (South Africa) 36-2 Waylon Woolcock (South Africa) 5:12.07,1
2. EAI South Africa 33-1 Gawie Combrinck (South Africa) 33-2 Johann Rabie (South Africa) 5:12.58,3 +51,2
3. USN #1 11-1 Rourke Croeser (South Africa) 11-2 Travis Walker (South Africa) 5:20.03,0 +7.55,9

Overall Results

1. RED-E Blend 36-1 Darren Lill (South Africa) 36-2 Waylon Woolcock (South Africa) 25:07.21,9
2. Scott Factory Racing 7-1 Philip Buys (South Africa) 7-2 Matthys Beukes (South Africa) 25:16.14,3 +8.52,4
3. EAI South Africa 33-1 Gawie Combrinck (South Africa) 33-2 Johann Rabie (South Africa) 25:21.06,9 +13.45,0
4. USN #1 11-1 Rourke Croeser (South Africa) 11-2 Travis Walker (South Africa) 25:23.10,5 +15.48,6
5. Dorma / Robert Daniel 61-1 Nico Pfitzenmaier (South Africa) 61-2 Robert Sim (South Africa) 26:50.48,6 +1:43.26,7
6. Scott Factory Racing 2 13-1 Gert Heyns (South Africa) 13-2 Arno Du Toit (South Africa) 26:52.10,0 +1:44.48,1
7. Biogen-Volcan 10-1 Kevin Evans (South Africa) 10-2 Max Knox (South Africa) 27:36.26,0 +2:29.04,1
8. RSAWEB Biogen 90-1 Nic Lamond (South Africa) 90-2 Carl Pasio (South Africa) 27:42.18,4 +2:34.56,5
9. Novus Pinners 37-1 Oliver Munnik (South Africa) 37-2 Charles Keey (South Africa) 27:58.15,6 +2:50.53,7
10. RECM 9-1 Erik Kleinhans (South Africa) 9-2 Nico Bell (South Africa) 28:26.45,1 +3:19.23,2

2015 Stage 5 Exxaro special jersey

Stage Results

1. Exxaro PWC 82-1 Phillimon Sebona (South Africa) 82-2 Jan Motshioa (South Africa) 6:11.12,5
2. Exxaro / EOH 108-1 Rilamulele Gadabeni (South Africa) 108-2 Tovhawani Mavundavhi (South Africa) 6:28.28,4 +17.15,9
3. Exxaro / RMB 83-1 Lucky Mlangeni (South Africa) 83-2 Tshepo Tlou (South Africa) 6:30.45,6 +19.33,1

Overall Results

1. Exxaro PWC 82-1 Phillimon Sebona (South Africa) 82-2 Jan Motshioa (South Africa) 29:16.56,6
2. Exxaro / EOH 108-1 Rilamulele Gadabeni (South Africa) 108-2 Tovhawani Mavundavhi (South Africa) 30:52.40,8 +1:35.44,2
3. Exxaro / RMB 83-1 Lucky Mlangeni (South Africa) 83-2 Tshepo Tlou (South Africa) 31:11.58,9 +1:55.02,3
4. Absa Diepsloot MTB 440-1 Clement Mabula (South Africa) 440-2 Sean Baloyi (South Africa) 32:17.18,4 +3:00.21,8
5. Exxaro / Tronox 84-1 Khupi Kobe (South Africa) 84-2 Khutso Tlou (South Africa) 33:04.39,2 +3:47.42,6
6. Exxaro / Datacentrix 121-1 Johnny Taueatoala (South Africa) 121-2 Thokozani Mahlangu (South Africa) 33:51.49,3 +4:34.52,7
7. Exxaro / Nedbank Capital 305-1 Masala Khumbudzo (South Africa) 305-2 Delton Matsenene (South Africa) 35:04.43,2 +5:47.46,6
8. Exxaro / Peptosport 304-1 Sabelo Mncwabe (South Africa) 304-2 William Lubambo (South Africa) 35:35.13,8 +6:18.17,2

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