At the end of Cape Epic, the riders shine under the sun!
After seven tough days, the final day of Cape Epic was on the menu today. From the Cape Peninsula University Campus in Wellington, yesterday's finishing point, the riders set off over 68 kilometres and around 1800 metres elevation towards Val de Vie. Not an easy task after the exertions of the past few days. Fortunately, the weather was on side for the Grand Finale and the course had everything that Cape Epic stands for.
But before the race could start again, there was still a lot of work waiting for the support staff and mechanics after yesterday's heavy rain. "We really had a lot to do yesterday!" reports mechanic Mario Lexmüller. "After the rainy stage we had to check everything thoroughly and changed the steering bearings, brake pads and of course the chains. It's crazy how the tracks here stress the material. Fortunately, the weather seems to be good for today, so we changed the tyre set-up a bit again."
The BORA-hansgrohe duo was well prepared for the final section. "We were really up for it today and really pushed hard, particularly at the beginning. It was really fun!", reports Lennard Kämna about the start of the last stage.
After the start signal was given, it was time to leave the camp for the last time, and so the staff also went with the campers towards Val de Vie, where they were waiting for the riders.
"Once the boys were on the track, we packed up the rest and set off as well. The finish line will only be a small stopover for us, as we are already heading to Stellenbosch tonight to finish Cape Epic with the other Specialized teams at the bike manufacturer's headquarters," Lexmüller continued.
The Specialized teams have a lot to celebrate after the successes of the past few days. "The women won again today and the men were also able to bring home the victory in the GC. It was really cool that we were able to celebrate with the other teams at the finish line," said Kämna about the successes of his Specialized colleagues. "Of course, it was also a nice feeling for us to cross the finish line after our efforts over the last few days!" the two BORA-hansgrohe riders agreed.
"I’m really happy that we reached the finish line today. I think we can both be proud of ourselves. I was told I was the first rider to finish Cape Epic and a Grand Tour in one year and I think Lenni is the first rider ever to be a Cape Epic finisher without any mountain bike experience. I think we deserved the beer today," Ben Zwiehoff reported enthusiastically.
However, the two had to work hard for the finisher's beer again today, because Zwiehoff’s flat tire threw the two riders off their rhythm over the last section. The mechanical was quickly repaired, however, and so nothing stood in the way of a successful conclusion to Cape Epic.
"We now have to clear the entire camper before we can hopefully celebrate with the other riders!" concluded Ben Zwiehoff.
After a cosy evening with the other teams and the entire staff, the BORA-hansgrohe duo have a hansgrohe social ride on the agenda tomorrow before heading back to Germany on Tuesday.