Mountain Bike Magazine SANI - Autumn 2018 - Page 68

REVIEW | XCO & MARATHON ABSA CAPE EPIC - 18-25 MARCH Eight days of perfect weather, extreme racing and insane skills, the 15th Cape Epic was one for the books. Annika Langvad and Kate Courtney from team Investec Songo Specialized dominated the week, winning every stage, bar the final day, and taking the overall win with a clean sweep (46 minutes ahead of the second team). The men’s race saw tons of action. Reigning XCO World Champ Nino Schurter sadly had a DNF due to his partner Matthias Stirnemann having to pull out on Day 2 due to illness. Jaroslav Kulhavy and Howard Grotts from team Investec Songo Specialized slowly crept to the front, coming in second on most stages and taking the overall win by almost 10 minutes. Overall Women’s winners 1 Annika Langvad and Kate Courtney Investec Songo Specialized (29:57.06,5) 2 Sabine Spitz and Robyn de Groot Ascendis Health (30:43.35,7) 3 Mariske Strauss and Annie Last Silverback – KMC (30:50.22,1) Overall Men’s winners 1 Jaroslav Kulhavy and Howard Grotts Investec Songo Specialized (25:29.48,9) 2 Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek Canyon Topeak (25:39.27,4) 3 Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini Cannondale Factory Racing (25:43.01,8) “We would have liked to be in yellow but we don’t mind chasing!” – Manuel Fumic on Prologue day “We had a pretty good ride. I’m very happy for Howie as he is a newbie and he rode really well. Maybe we will come back next year to win again. Who knows – maybe I can try and beat Suzi’s (Christoph Sauser) record of five victories. I’ve learnt a lot from him and he helped us a lot this year.” – Jaroslav Kulhavy 68 | MTB | kicking ass EPIC/SPORTZPICS, USA XCO champ Kate Courtney said of her first foray in the Epic on Prologue day, “It was an incredible team effort today. Annika is such a team player and she just made sure we played to both our strengths. Rather than put me in the hurt locker on the first day, she really pushed my pace and brought out the best of both of us.”