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Cycling | SA Cycling

Christoph Sauser and Burry Stander © Sportzpics

Stander, Sauser rewarded for consistency

Burry Stander said he and Swiss partner Christoph Sauser held an advantage by leading throughout the race, and were able to stay out of trouble on their way to the defence of their Absa Cape Epic title.

Stander and Sauser won the final stage on Sunday, which ended at Lourensford Wine Estate in the Western Cape, to secure overall victory by more than 27 minutes in the eight-day mountainbike race.

"We simply rode on the front for about 80 per cent of the entire race and stayed out of trouble," Stander said.

"When you ride on the front you can pick your line and avoid possible problems.

"When you follow someone else, you can't anticipate what's coming.

"I felt so much more in control riding on the front more this year."

It was Sauser's third victory in the event, having also won in 2006 with compatriot Silvio Bundi.

Stander, meanwhile, is the only South African to have won the overall title, and his total of 20 career stage wins is second only to Sauser, who has 26.

Kevin Evans and David George were fifth in the final stage, but secured second place overall for the highest ever placing by an all-South African team.

Evans and George also won the African Team competition.

The only other South Africans to secure victory in a category was the pairing of Erik and Ariane Kleinhans.

The married couple won the Mixed category by more than two hours and collected seven stage wins in the process.

The women's division was dominated by Sally Bigham of Great Britain and Swiss partner Esther Suss, who won seven stages and the overall title.

South African Theresa Ralph and her Norwegian partner Nina Gassler were second, while another South African, Karien van Jaarsveld, and her Swiss teammate, Jane Nuessli, finished third.

Former world and Olympic champion, and 2005 Cape Epic winner, Bart Brentjens of the Netherlands won the Masters division with compatriot Jan Weevers .

A total of 604 two-rider teams started the 781km race, with 481 teams finishing and 93 solo riders completing the event after their partners withdrew.


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