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[Absa Cape Epic]

Stage 6: The Category Wrap

By Absa Cape Epic, 03/25/23, 5:45AM HST


As the heavens opened, the racing continued across the categories

Stage 6 of the Absa Cape Epic over 73km – shortened from 78km because of safety reasons –wrote itself into the legend of the Absa Cape Epic when it comes to stages that will never be forgotten.

Weather conditions once again made an already challenging stage hosted by the Lourensford Wine Estate even more difficult. Last year it was extreme heat and on Saturday the routes were waterlogged, muddy, slippery and for some a bit treacherous. Riders and bikes were pushed to the limit.

Absa Cape Epic legend Karl Platt described the day as “super crazy”.


Amateur category leaders Mitchell Docker and teammate Ian Boswell (Digger and the Doughboy) crossed the finish-line in first place again with a time of 4 hours, 12 minutes, and 28 seconds. The rest of the podium saw new faces though.

Polish riders Janis Prizevoits and Lauris Purnins (Ezerkaulini) came in second (+4.33), while Felipe and Cristobal Sandoval (Sandomac) from Chili took the last step on the podium (+6.07).

These results did not impact the overall standings, though as Oliver Munnik and Rogan Smart (Signal Racing) are still second (+19.20) overall and third (+48.18) are Australian brothers Hayden and Oliver (James Brothers).

There is still no stopping Refilwe Mogorosi and Omphile Mataung (Exxaro Academy Ladies) who continued to dominate women’s racing for the amateurs by winning yet another stage. Their time of 7:12.50 was another solid performance this time beating South African combo Buhle Beauty Nontobeko Ngobese and Ricci-Lee Brookstone (ABSA SheUntamed 2023) and Nicola Biani and Kerry-Lee Pienaar (SheUntamed Bellas) who finished in second and third place respectively.

In the overall standings there was no change.

NTT Masters

Absa Cape Epic-legend Karl Platt and teammate Tomi Misser (Legends BULLS:MONDRAKER) added more time into their competitors in the NTT Masters category.

They won the stage in 4:08.58. Former leaders South Africans Craig Uria and Michael Posthumus (Restonic) came in second (+7.49) and the Czech combination of Pavel Gonda and Jan Fisnar (Czech Rockets Outfindo) were third (+16.08).

“It was a tough stage. I thought yesterday was the hardest for this year, but today was super crazy,” said Platt.

Platt and Misser’s overall lead to Uria and Posthumus is now 13 minutes and 5 seconds. Gonda and Fisnar are still in third and more than 90 minutes behind.

The women in the NTT Masters category showed great form on an extremely tough day. They showed how valuable experience is when it comes to the Absa Cape Epic as the top three teams finished before the Amateur women. Former Absa Cape Epic Champions Sweden’s Jennie Stenerhag and Switzerland’s Esther Süss ( ladies) continued their dominance with another stage win in a time of 5:53.23. 

Carina Mohr and Nina Hartleb (Scott Sport Germany) and South Africans Tessa Keers and Nicola Walker ( were once again second and third respectively on the stage and in the overall standings.

Grand Masters

The Grand Masters defending champions Dutchman Bart Brentjens and Brazil’s Abraao Azevedo (KMC Mtb Racing) are one stage away from their third victory in this category together.

Their stage winning time was 4:26.14. For the second consecutive day SCOTT-SRAM Old Dudes from Switzerland Thomas Frischknecht and Urs Gerig were second (+17.10). Italians Loris Tomat and Michele Gallina (FVG) finished in third place (+25.17).

The Italians are now second overall and the Swiss duo of Frischknecht (father of Andri) and Gerig are in third place overall. Both teams are more than two hours behind the overall leaders.

Great Grand Masters

It was back to winning ways for the French pairing of Rene Vallee and Alain Broglia (Forestiere Rosti 2). They won the sixth stage in 5:36.02. Bart Meganck (Bel) and Cyrille Chossegross (Fr, 63CC/APHM) not only finished second (+28.08) in the stage, but also took the second spot in the overall standings. Taking the place of South Africans Graham Monteith and Robin Olbrich (Emergency Diesel) who finished third (+40.12) and are now in the third place overall with just the final stage left.

Toyota Mixed

The famed Ibon Zugasti and his teammate Alice Pirard (Orbea Factory) won another stage and consolidated their overall lead with a stage time of 4:54.19. Previous overall leaders Riaan Weideman and Samantha Sanders (Toyota Gazoo Racing) were second (+47 seconds) and Bikehigh’s Jasper Lefevre and Ariadna Rodenas Pascual took the last spot on the podium. This is also the positions for the overall standings with a lead of more than 30 minutes for Zugasti and Pirard going into the final stage.


Absa African Jersey 

South Africa’s Marco Joubert and Pieter du Toit (Imbuko {Type} DEV) were the first African team over the finish-line today in a time of 3:38.56. Leaders for the Absa African jerseys Philip Buys (SA) and his Namibian teammate Alexander Miller (PYGA Euro Steel) were second on the day but retained their lead in the jersey competition. 

Joubert and Du Toit, who won the competition last year, are second while third belongs to Arno du Toit and Keagan Bontekoning (Insect Science Pro).

In the Absa African Women’s jersey competition Mauritian Kim Le Court and Vera Looser from Namibia won yet another stage (5:23.46) and with that took control of not only the Absa African jerseys, but also the orange leader jerseys as overall leaders in the women’s race. South Africans Candice Lill and Amy Wakefield ( | SeattleCoffee Co) are now second and they will race the final stage in the red jerseys, though just as custodians. In third place on the stage and overall is another South African combination Tiffany Keep and Hayley Preen (Valley Electrical).

Exxaro Jersey

Masixole Zondani and Kabelo Alphues Maduna (Exxaro/GIANT) won their first stage in the Exxaro Special Jersey race at the 2023 Absa Cape Epic. Their winning time for the brutal stage was 4:37.01. Second in the stage was the overall leaders Ngxakeni and Ntlantla Nonkasa (Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne 3). Tlotlo Mohweledi Selala and Halalisani Njabulo Ndebele (Exxaro/PEPTO) took the last spot on the podium.

William Sello Majapholo and Obvious Khorommbi (Exxaro/RMB) remained in second with Zondani and Maduna in third.

Refilwe Mogorosi and Omphile Mataung (Exxaro Academy Ladies) continued their ownership of the Exxaro Women's jersey.

Stage 7

Lourensford Wine Estate to Val de Vie Estate, 80km (2400m climbing)

The Trail to Val de Vie

The Grand Finale is no easy ride to Val de Vie. Rather it is a rite of passage that has been hard-earned over eight days of limit-testing racing on the Western Cape’s Untamed trails. The 78 kilometre long Stage 7 takes in 2 400 metres of climbing, making it one of the toughest 

Grand Finales in Absa Cape Epic history. Beginning with a grind to the Lourensford Nek there is climbing from the gun, before thrilling singletracks lead teams through Mont Marie, Eden, G-Spot and the Stellenbosch World Cup Course. Then Botmaskop provides the second major test of the day and the final significant climb of the 2023 race. Banhoek and Boschendal’s famed trails then ensure that the Untamed African Mountain Bike Race ends on a singletrack high, before the trails of Val de Vie provide a moment for reflection on the previous seven days. It is not over until riders cross the line, however, and the final 500 metres on the estate’s polo fields are where emotions overcome teams as they’re beckoned home by deafening crowds as heroes of the Untamed.