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Sauser & Kulhavý Off To Positive Start At Absa Cape Epic

20 Mar 2017

Investec-songo-Specialized’s Christoph Sauser and Jaroslav Kulhavý might only have crossed the finish line with the fourth fastest time on the Prologue of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic but they were very happy with their result, which saw them finish in fourth 1 minute and 47 seconds behind stage winners Mauel Fumic and Herique Avanchini.

 Before the prologueJaroslav Kulhavý and Christoph Sauser discuss tactics ahead of the Prologue of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic. Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Relaxing after the 26 kilometre long Prologue, which was held in wind-still and hot conditions on the trails of the Meerendal and Hoogekraal Wine Estates, Sauser reflected on the opening kilometres of his bid for a sixth Absa Cape Epic title. “Ja, super happy,” he ventured. “We’re first of the real marathon teams, so that’s more important. Cannondale [Factory Racing] were so fast, the route suited them and they’re very strong; but they don’t have a support team, and anything can happen. We’re laid down a marker today for the Bulls and Topeak Ergon Racing.”

 

“I was very happy with our time and also my legs. I didn’t want to go out too fast because two years ago Jaro was so strong and it took me three days to get onto his level, but today he struggled a bit with the heat so were quite even” he stated.

Dorstberg

 Jaroslav Kulhavý leads Christoph Sauser up the Dorstberg climb, while Cape Town, Signal Hill and Lion’s Head appear tranquil in the background. Photo by Ewald Sadie/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS.

Looking at his rival’s times Sauser was pleased to note the strength of the Investec-songo-Specialized support team, NAD Pro MTB and surprised by the performance of the Kansai Plascon team. “I’m very happy for Nico [Bell] and Gawie [Combrinck of NAD Pro MTB], it’s their first time in the red Absa African jerseys so let’s hope for no mechanicals so they can stay there. Maxie [Max Knox, riding for Kansai Plascon with Leonardo Paez] was very strong today, so they’ll be a team to watch.”

Cheering kids

Two children from the songo.info programme cheer on their Investec-songo-Specialized heroes. Photo by Mark Sampson/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS.

With the traditionally tough Stage 1 now looming large Sauser was already thinking of how to approach the next day. The singletrack climb up the Haarkappers Roete could be decisive to the stage and entering the singletrack first will be key. The 101 kilometre long stage starts and finishes in Hermanus; and features a climb up the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley to the first spectator point at Newton Jonson Wines, before turning east towards Tesselaarsdal where the Haarkappers Roete and Barber’s Cut trails await, then it’s a blast west along the foothills of the mountains with the Kleinrivier Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean should provide cooling air on the rider’s backs as the summer South Easter wind picks up from the mid-morning.

 Heads downOne of the Absa Cape Epic media helicopters hovers low to get the perfect shot of Jaroslav Kulhavý and Christoph Sauser in action. Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS.

 

Follow all the Absa Cape Epic the action live on www.cape-epic.com or watch the day’s highlights on SuperSport 2 at 21:30 tonight. You can also engage with the team by following @songoinfo on Twitter or liking the songo.info Facebook page.

 

 

2017 Absa Cape Epic | Selected Results

Prologue | Men

1) Cannondale Factory Racing XC: Manuel Fumic & Henrique Avancini (1:01:52.4)

2) SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing: Nino Schurter & Matthias Stimemann (1:03:28.8 | +1:36)

3) Trek-Sella San Marco: Samuele Porro & Alexey Medvedev (1:03:35.8 | +1:43)

4) Investec-songo-Specialized: Christoph Sauser & Jaroslav Kulhavý (1:03:39.6 | +1:47)

5) Kansai Plascon: Max Knox & Leonardo Paez (1:03:42.3 | +4.38)