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Team Bulls Charge to Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek Prologue Win

Prologue

The German Team Bulls pairing of Tim Bohme and Simon Stiebjahn charged around the Buffelsdrift Game Lodge trails to win the prologue time trial and take the early overall lead in the 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race near Oudtshoorn, South Africa on Sunday.

Sweden’s Jennie Stenerhag and South Africa’s Robyn de Groot (Biogen Toyota Cape Brewing Co.) secured the win in the women’s category.

The prologue time trial followed a fairly twisty 15.3km course around Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, an appropriate scene setter for the sixth edition of South Africa’s newest UCI-graded mountain bike stage race.

Starting fifth from last, Bohme and Stiebjahn clocked a time of 36 minutes 07 seconds, which turned out to be 19 seconds faster than South African stage favourites, Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes (SCOTT Factory Racing). South African marathon champion, James Reid and his Austrian teammate, Herman Persteiner (Asrin Cycling), rounded out the podium places for the event opener.

“We were actually going for a smooth stage and tried to limit our losses. We knew that SCOTT Factory Racing were the big favourites, as they know this course so well and they won this stage last year. It was a nice surprise!” said a cheery Stiebjahn afterwards.

After finishing third overall at the 2014 ABSA Cape Epic and enjoying good form in recent weeks, Bohme and Stiebjahn fancy their chances of overall victory at the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek and will incorporate that goal into their tactics from Stage 1.

“In mountain biking, nothing is certain. We will try and defend the Yellow Jersey from tomorrow for sure. There are another six hard days to come still, but we will make the most of every moment we can to keep the leader jerseys on our shoulders,” added Stiebjahn.

In the women’s race, De Groot and Stenerhag, the national marathon champions of their respective countries, clocked a time of 44:45, also 19 seconds ahead of runners-up, Cherise Stander and Candice Neethling (#iride4burry). Former marathon world champion and Olympic medallist, Esther Suss (SUI) and Theresa Ralph (RSA), riding as Team Meerendal Wheeler 1, rounded out the podium places in 47:15.

“That win was totally unexpected!” remarked De Groot. “We really just wanted to ride a safe prologue more than anything else. To get the victory was a bonus and a good confidence booster for the rest of the race.”

In the other team racing categories, South Africans Jaco Ferreira and Alexander Lamberts of Team Columbia Europcar Bridge were the top Amateurs; South Africans Kobus Barnard and Fienie Barnard (Klein Karoo Mixed) won the stage in the Mixed; Heinz Zorweg (AUT) and Bartie Bucher (SUI) of Team Meerendal Wheeler 2 were the top Masters and South Africans Johan Labuschagne and Gerrie Beukes of Team Klein Karoo Veterans, secured the Veteran men’s win.

In the Solo division, Travis Walker (RSA), Konny Looser (SUI) and Matthew Beers (RSA) were the top three men respectively, while Christine Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Gina Nixon (RSA) and Katja Cauwenbergh (BEL) where the top three women.

Monday’s Stage 1 sees the riders tackle a distance of 100km with 1794m of ascent from Oudtshoorn to Calitzdorp.

The 2014 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek will be held from 12-18 October 2014. For more information on the event, visit www.capepioneer.co.za


  Article Date: 13 October 2014

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