The Cape Pioneer Trek is powering on – and has almost seen a change of lead after another exciting day of racing. Estonians Peeter Pruus and Peeter Tarvis triumphed on a drama-filled day to win Stage 2 and close in on the overall lead of the Cape Pioneer Trek.
Pruus, the European marathon champion and Tarvis, the Estonian marathon champion of Team KOMO/RMW, clocked a winning time of 03 hours 45 minutes 58 seconds for the 99km leg from Mossel Bay to George. They came within 13 seconds of the overall lead, held by Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell (NAD Pro), who had to stop on numerous occasions with tyre problems, but still managed to finish a somewhat desperate second in 3:46:53.
There was a furious six-rider sprint for the final podium spot between Erik Groen and Jeroen Boelen (Stappenbelt Specialized), Konny Looser and Daniel Gathoff (Cape Brewing Co Elite.) and James Reid and Julian Jessop (Team Spur).
The Dutch pair of Groen and Boelen were awarded third after the finish-line photo was examined, their time 3:48:03. Looser and Gathoff were fourth and Reid and Jessop fifth, the former pairing still third in the overall contest.
“We were going to stay in the group at the beginning, but then we thought maybe we’ll try something on the long climb. But it turned out not to be much of a climb, even going downhill sometimes, so we stayed in the group almost until the third waterpoint, then I rode away with one solo rider,” explained Tarvis.
“Then later the other Peeter attacked and he caught me. So we rode together a little bit off the front, but then the NAD Pro team caught us. But they had some problems with their bike and we got away again near the end,” explained Tarvus.
“One of our goals was to win a stage at the Cape Pioneer Trek. Now we have achieved that. We are very close to the lead now so we are going to go for the overall now,” said Pruus.
“We had some troubles but we chased back multiple times. Each time we got back there were attacks. It was chase, chase, chase! It was one of those days. It’s how mountain biking goes,” said a relieved, but weary Combrinck.
All steady for Cape Pioneer women’s leaders
The women’s race saw Cherie Redeker and Mariske Strauss (OMX Pro) extend their lead with a third consecutive stage win. They clocked a winning time of 4:19:13 ahead of Team Garmin’s Yolandi du Toit and Aurelie Halbwachs, who are second on the GC, just over 25 minutes down.
The Mixed division was once again a two-team battle between 2015 winners, Kobus and Fienie Barnard (Klein Karoo Mixed) and title challengers, Neill Ungerer and Yolande de Villiers (Ultimate Cycling). Ungerer and De Villiers managed to win their third successive stage bu just over three-and-a-half minutes, taking their overall lead to just under 10 minutes over the Barnards going into Day 4.
In the Veteran men’s race another close contest ensued with Iniel Hattingh and Vickus Boschoff (Klein Karoo Ko Op) grabbing the stage win just 38 seconds ahead of Fanie Venter and Igna de Villiers (LGE Midas/Businessprint). Although they showed some vulnerability on Tuesday, De Villiers and Venter remain the overall leaders by just over eight minutes.
Linus van Onselen and Izak Visagie (Anderson Masters) confirmed they’re in a class of their own. The won Stage 2 by a considerable margin and extended their overall lead in the Master’s category. It seems only disaster can prevent them from overall victory on Saturday.
Czech Republic rider, Jiri Krivanek, was the standout Solo men’s rider on Tuesday. He was at the very front of the race for most of the stage, finishing alongside stage runners-up, Combrinck and Bell in 3:46:53. Krivanek was more than 10 minutes faster than his nearest rival and now holds an emphatic 21:22 lead over second-placed Franco Pelser.
Nicky Giliomee once again made the Solo women’s division her own, winning the stage and extending her overall lead.
Wednesday’s Stage 3 starts and finishes in George, the capital of the Garden Route . It’s a relatively short 57km leg with 1150 metres of ascent. According to the organisers, 90% of the stage will be on singletrack, built and enjoyed by the local mountain bikers. High volumes of singletrack can create a challenge for less skilled riders. Expect the race’s shortest stage to deliver some surprises…
Cape Pioneer Trek 2016
General Classification – After Stage 2
1. Nico Bell (RSA) / Gawie Combrink (RSA) – NAD Pro MTB 07:59:19
2. Peeter Pruus (Estonia) / Peeter Tarvis (Estonia) – KOMO/RMW 07:59:32
3. Konny Looser (Switzerland) / Daniel Gathof (Germany) – CBC Elite Pro 08:06:53
4. Erik Groen (Netherlands) / Jeroen Boelen (Netherlands) – Team Stappebelt Specialized 08:07:47
5. James Reid (RSA) / Julian Jessop (RSA) – Team Spur 08:10:33
1. Mariske Strauss (RSA) / Cherie Redecker (RSA) – OMX Pro Team 09:20:12
2. Yolandi du Toit (RSA) / Aureli Halbwachs (Mauritius) – Team Garmin 09:45:29
3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) / Katja Steenkamp (RSA) – Team CWC BreakAway 10:30:12
4. Leana de Jager (RSA) / Catherine Williamson (UK) – Klein Karoo International 10:32:26
5. Mari du Toit (RSA) / Janine Muller (RSA) – Oakley Group Girls 11:00:44
1. Neill Ungerer (RSA) / Yolande de Villiers (RSA) – Ultimate Cycling 09:07:54
2. Kobus Barnard (RSA) / Fienie Barnard (RSA) – Klein Karoo Mixed 09:17:29
3. Daniele Troesch (France) / Max Friedrich (Germany) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 1 09:45:28
4. Jens Schoenhofen (Germany) / Gwenda Ruesing (Germany) – toMotion Racing by black tusk 2 10:07:51
5. Bellings Luc (Belgium) / Pokobova Vladislava (Belgium) – gastro bikes 10:10:29
1. Fanie Venter (RSA) / Igna de Villiers (RSA) – LGE Midas BusinessPrint 08:59:24
2. Iniel Hattingh (RSA) / Vickus Boshoff (RSA) – Klein Karoo Ko Op 09:07:36
3. Hans Planckaert (Belgium) / Wim Tollenaere (Belgium) – De Fietser Rotwild Zaes Team 09:11:49
4. Brett Penney (RSA) / Eugene Long (RSA) – brett/long 09:41:07
5. Charl Bleach (RSA) / Shaun Sale (RSA) – Sale’s Hire 09:44:53
1. Linus van Onselen (RSA) / Izak Visagie (RSA) – Anderson Masters 09:18:56
2. Niccolò Violati (Italy) / Roberto Gallo (Italy) – Pitstop 10:26:17
3. Mark de Beule (Netherlands) / Robbert De Moor (Netherlands) – Cyclingteam Delta 10:36:02
4. Mike Charlewood (RSA) / Doug Girling (RSA) – Team Grassroof 11:02:34
5. Enzo Antoniazzi (RSA) / Stewart Goodman (RSA) – SOAR 2 11:04:44
1. Nicky Giliomee (RSA) 10:02:53
2. Sabine Stampf (Germany) 10:31:32
3. Marianne Bergli (Norway) 10:39:18
4. Collette Bastard (RSA) 10:41:25
5. Teresa Coetzee (RSA) 13:15:46