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A fitting and fine Grand Finale

By Absa Cape Epic , 03/24/24, 5:15AM HST


Coetzenberg Stadium in Stellenbosch played host to a fitting final stage of the 20th Absa Cape Epic. The stage over 67km with 2000m of climbing saw dynamic, aggressive racing in all the categories and featured the coldest conditions of the week. The contrast to the heat of the week was fitting and indicative of what it takes to complete this race. Every rider who crossed the line at the Grand Finale after 603km and nearly 16 050m of climbing has a very special place in The Book of Legend.

After a week of tactical racing, the undisputed powerhouses of 2024 however, was the team of Matthew Beers and Howard Grotts (Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne) winning two stages to lay claim to the Yellow Leader Jerseys and adding to the Specialized legacy and trophy cabinet.

In the Aramex Women’s Category Nicole Koller, and GHOST Factory Racing teammate Anne Terspstra maintained their stage-winning streak to make it eight on the trot (the Prologue and seven stages).

“This is incredible,” said a delighted Terpstra. “I don’t know what to say! The Cannondale and Specialized teams put up such a hard fight this week. It was really exhausting, so it is amazing to be standing here as a Cape Epic winner.”

The winners all down the field were as elated. Get the results and hear what they had to say, below.

Toyota Gazoo Racing (Riaan Weideman and Samantha Sanders) took the overall title in the Green Leader Jersey category with Resicon (Angus Rodwell and Shelley Knowles) in second, with Toscana (Felipe Egues Espinosa and Ana Idrovo) moving into third overall after a strong performance on the last day.

Latvian Wannabe Pro Cyclists won the stage in their category adding yet another one to their impressive record for the week to claim the White Leader Jerseys in the Amateur category. Their time of 28 hours, 25 minutes, and 8 seconds was good enough for 21st overall. In second place was Alilililili (Simeon Niederer and Patric Tinner) with Virta (Sami Inkinen and Jasper Verkuijl) rounding out the podium. “It was great to win today,” said Oskars Muiznieks of Latvian Wannabe Pro Cyclists after the win, with his partner Lauris Purnins echoing his sentiments and praising the Stellenbosch crowd.

“There was so much support along the route,” Purnins said, “At all the water points and here at the finish — what a great place for a final stage!”

Ar&Co (Paula Lopez and Alejandra Cristina Tattenbach Arias) held onto their lead to take a much-deserved victory, with RoadexEMU(Krista Pūcīte and Beate Kovgere) in second, while Carli Cooke and Mikayla Benkenstein of AbsaSheUntamed remained consistent to finish second.

The Bulls Masters (Karl Platt and Tomás Misser) claimed a well-deserved win in a total time of 28 hours, 45 minutes, and 30 seconds. In second was Unimed/fourlab, with CzechRocket & SwissDiesel rounding out the podium. “We started the week with a win and finished the week with a win, which was perfect for us. We had no problems,” said Karl Platt after the finish. Platt admitted that while it looked easy, it was a tough week for them and he in particular had a bad day on Stage 6 and had to deep. “It’s a hard, hard race and I had to motivate myself to push through,” he said.

Asterix & Cleopatra (Nina Brenn and Barbara Schwarz) held onto their overall lead to win the category. They were followed by the Absa LastLioness, with Hannele Steyn finishing her 20th Absa Cape Epic, this time alongside Janine Muller. “The right partner is just so important in this race,” she said earlier in the week. “It can make or break your race.” ILoveBoobies #FortyFour (Chantélle Bosch and Jozanne Louw) rode consistently all week to settle for third.

Pedal Project (Oliver Imfeld and Thomas Jauner) took the title with Truls and Vidar (Vidar Olsen and Truls Veslum) holding onto second, while LGE Midas (Igna De Villiers and Fanie Venter) holding on for third.

Toyota Memory Keepers (Hanlie Booyens and Michelle Lombardi) finished safely in first. Rola Motor Group (Comine Claassen and Fiona Austin) finished second, with the Absolutely SheUntamed team of Ingrid Avidon and Ann Harrison in third.

Meerendal (Barti Bucher and Peter Furrer), clinched the top position in the race with a remarkable time of 34 hours, 36 minutes, and 59 seconds. Following them were Forestière & C&C (Ralf Kropp and Rene Vallée) who got stronger all week. Toshiba Namibia  (Frank Snyman and Atle Hansen) secured the 156th overall position to finish in third in their category.

Philip Buys and Pieter Du Toit (PYGA Euro Steel) rode safely to hold onto the Red Special Jerseys made by Ciovita, with ValleyElectrical Titan Racing (Matthys Beukes and Rossouw Bekker) moving into second and Insect Science (Arno du Toit and Herman Fourie) moving into third.  “We had a few hiccups this week,” Philip Buys said after the finish. “I started getting sick over the last two days, so we’re happy to come home in red.”

In the highly competitive Women’s African Special Jersey category, #SheUntamed claimed the top spot, with Sarah Hill and Hayley Smith finishing first with a time of 36 hours, 44 minutes, and 24 seconds. Following closely behind was Efficient Infiniti Insure (Steph Wohlters and Danielle Strydom) with Cape Classic (Tarryn Povey and Kylie Hanekom) rounding out the podium.

The Coopetto (Halalisani Njabulo Ndebele and Siyanda Gumede) claimed the coveted Exxaro special jersey ahead of Fairtree DPworld Cannondale (Kusaselihle Ngidi and Damon Terblanche), with Exxaro Tamela 2 (William Sello Majapholo and Obvious Khorommbi) in third overall. In the women’s race with Fairtree NTT 1 (Yomelela Mfazwe and Ongezo Mini) in the women’s green special jersey.