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ABSA CAPE EPIC 2019

ABSA CAPE EPIC 2018 ROUTE ANNOUNCED! 

Eight days, 624 km and 16 650 meters of climbing – the bare statistics tell less than half the story. Rugged mountain trails, bone jarring dual tracks, windswept gravel roads and, yes, sand lie between the Prologue at the University of Cape Town and the Grand Finale at Val de Vie Estate. This is a reflection of modern Africa, where urbanization spreads to the edge of wilderness – where riders will roll out of celebrated towns, straight into the hinterland where heaven and hades are the opposite sides of the same coin.

In 2019 three stages battle for the honour of being dubbed the Queen Stage. The remaining days are anything but easy however; true to form even the shorter stages pack a significant punch. Take the Stage 4 time trial for example, it is filled with Elgin’s best loved single tracks but each is linked to the next by a ferociously steep climb.

 

This will be an Absa Cape Epic where form, mental and mechanical preparation are rewarded. An Epic where each weakness will be magnified and luck will need to be made. For general classification contenders and riders seeking to challenge their own preconceived limits alike it will be a race to remember…

For more information on the route please click here

 

NEW BH Distributor – Roam Rooiberg

Roam Rooiberg

 

Roam Rooiberg is a nature venue situated on the Rooiberg mountain, on the R60, opposite Rooiberg Winery.

A spectacular part of the Rooiberg Breede River Consevancy are the various MTB trails that run through the property to suit any ability. They also offer a safe 150 m kiddies MTB trail, let your children have fun while watching them from the comfort of the deck.  Apart from the MTB trails, accommodation & restaurant, you will be surprised to find an expert cycling shop with a well-equipped workshop 1.5 km into the mountain.

Booking is essential. Contact Jacques 082 446 8764 or whats app 082 297 8592.

BH South Africa is excited to welcome Roam Rooiberg to the BH Family!

 

Team KMC EKOÏ SR Suntour – ABSA Cape Epic 2018

STAGE 7 – THE LAST STAND

All good things come to an end! Looking back on the past few days, 13 530 total meters of climbing, 653 km’s covered, 653 km’s covered overall, 13 530 total meters of climbing, 564 completing teams , 8 amazing days of racing & 5 different towns. The Cape Epic was intense, it had us on the edge of our seats at every turn! To sum up the race in one short sentence….expect the unexpected!

Well done to Annie Last and Mariske Strauss from Team Silverback KMC! They finished in 5th place but held on strong to the 3rd place in the grand overall! You both showed amazing team work and powered through everything that was thrown your way!

Jordan Sarrou and Victor Koretsky finished 31st in the grand overall. Victor had unfortunately fallen ill and we are really proud of them both for completing their very first Cape Epic! Gone are the newbie titles, they raced in the most epic race in the world….and they completed!

One last question remains! Will they be back?…..Well, we will have to see!

STAGE 6 – TRUE GRIT

Not only is the stage name grit but both our teams showed “true grit” in every possible way in today’s stage. Illness struck both our teams as Victor and Mariske had both fallen ill with a stomach bug that was currently going around. They both decided that they would continue with the race and go as far as they possibly could. The focus of both teams turned from winning to….finishing!

Victor and Jordan unfortunately dropped quite a few places but the fact remains that they were determined to finish! So much effort and perseverance was shown! Annie and Mariske also took it slightly easier and they only dropped by a couple of places and finished in 6th position.

Well done to both teams, today you both showed the true meaning of “Grit”!!!

“grit” (noun) – courage and resolve; strength of character.
synonyms: courage, courageousness, bravery, pluck, mettle, mettlesomeness, backbone, spirit, strength of character, strength of will, moral fibre, steel, nerve, gameness, valour, fortitude, toughness, hardiness, resolve, determination, resolution

STAGE 5 – AGAINST THE CLOCK

Flat out, but far from flat. The time trial is the race of truth, just you and your partner against the clock. It is supposed to be a short day, a day of recovery….it was everything but that. In true African style, temperatures soared to 40 degrees. Teams were tested by very dry and hot conditions which unfortunately was just too much for many!

Annie Last and Mariske Strauss showed fantastic team work and came in at a strong 3rd today.👌🏆 We are super proud of you both!

Victor has unfortunately not been feeling well, he is determined though to keep on going. Jordan Sarrou and Victor Koretzky had a hard and tiring race but are currently in 12th position overall. Well done guys!

STAGE 4 – THE QUEEN STAGE

The Queen Stage. The Tough Stage. This stage includes two of the toughest climbs of the 15th Absa Cape Epic and the terrain will leave riders exasperated at times. There was more singletrack than they could have wish for. The Slanghoek Traverse was a testing descent, while the Thudbuster was a loose and sandy climb that points to heaven but never seems to leave hell. The 9km of the historic Bain’s Kloof Pass is on tar, but felt like it is never-ending.

This 4th stage was about 113km of mountain biking and 1880m of total climbing. Annie Last and Mariske Strauss from Silverback-KMC won the Hot Spot and crossed the line in 2nd position, taking 2nd place overall as well! Jordan Sarrou and Victor Koretzky worked well together again and enjoyed the technical course. They took 12th place today and still moved up in the overall ranking, taking the 11th spot!

STAGE 3 – THE LONGEST DAY

While South Africa enjoyed the day off in celebration of Human Rights day, riders faced the longest stage of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic. This stage proved not to be the most challenging in terms of terrain but they were in thorn country, so this stage was not to be taken lightly! The first 20km included three climbs, but it is Penn Hill that was the main challenge of the day, a 3.5km brute of a climb that comes after 12km of uphill graft. This stage is 122km in total with 1800m elevation.

Jordan Sarrou & Victor Koretzky finished are now 13th overall after finishing 15th! Annie Last and Mariske Strauss proved to have a tough day. After 4 days of pushing your body to its limit, it sometimes does not respond the way you hoping it would. Annie had a small fall and Mariske suffered today with stiff legs which combined, cost them a little time. Today is a clear indication of the team spirit that these two ladies share, they face the good and the bad as a solid and strong team! They came in at 4th place which is fantastic considering the challenges that they had faced earlier! Congratulations ladies, we are super proud!

STAGE 2 – AGAINST THE ROPES

Today was like a 10-round world championship boxing match, with a series of climbs that threw jabs and uppercuts at the riders, all day long.

Victor Koretzky & Jordan Sarrou took the 19th place today on a tough and fast stage. “It was a a 106 km race with 2000 m of total elevation! It was a course for marathon specialists!” said Jordan. Our guys are saving energy for the days to come! They are currently 13th overall.

Annie Last and Mariske Strauss decided to play it safe and rather conserve their energy for the stages that lie ahead. Together they make a very strong team and they work, inspire and motivate each other to keep going! Mariske and Annie claimed an impressive third place with less than 1 second behind second position. Well done ladies!

STAGE 1 – NO WHERE TO HIDE

Stage 1 is never easy at the Absa Cape Epic, although this first day will welcome riders with a hard smile that will become a grimace of effort and endurance. A roll around district and farm roads to start is followed by some sharp kickers and the rock ’n roll descent on the rocky, rutted descent of Con’s Singletrack. Hey, this is Robertson. Everything is rocky in Robertson. And… this is the Cape Epic!

Jordan Sarrou & Victor Koretzky came in 9th place today with an average speed of 26.1 kmph and they are now 5th overall. Annie Last and Mariske Strauss arrived at the finish line with big smiles all round, taking third place. This after all, is not their first rodeo!

PROLOGUE – THE MOUNTAIN

The Prologue was held at the University of Cape Town and against the slopes of Table Mountain. The riders were sent up the most vicious climbs of Table Mountain, just 100m long with sections ramping up to unforgiving, steep gradients. Short and oh-so-very sharp!! This trail sent many experienced riders over their handle bars and right onto the dusty path.

Jordan Sarrou and Victor Koretzky crossed the line in 8th position in their category, it was not easy to pass the riders in the final descents. Annie Last and Mariska Strauss paired up for the Epic (Silverback-KMC) and came in 4th!

 

OVERVIEW

The 15th edition of the Absa Cape Epic takes place between the 18th and 25th of March 2018 and it is the largest full-service mounatin bike stage race in the world! The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike race in the world and the only eight-day mountain bike stage race classed as hors catégorie by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). This official UCI status makes it a highlight on the professional racer’s calendar.

The Absa Cape Epic must be completed by both members of a two-person team with only 650 teams allowed to ride the race. What is guaranteed each year is a challenging traverse of the area’s iconic fynbos valleys, majestic mountains, deep ravines, indigenous forests, spectacular coastlines and flourishing vineyards. The terrain is as varied as it is harsh – dusty and demanding gravel roads, strenuous rocky climbs, thrilling technical descents, refreshing river crossings and fast forest single tracks.

 

 

Jordan Sarrou and Victor Koretzky crossed the line in 8th position this afternoon, not easy to pass the riders in the last descents.
They will have plenty of time to overcome riders in the next few days

Wild Ride – Transkei – Kei River to Fish River Challenge

Recently a group of friends extended their annual “wild ride” from Trenney’s to Mngazi  (normally takes 4 days) to finish in Port Edward in 6 days. Sadly the flooding river became too risky to cross and the trip ended at the Mkhasibe River  Drifter Camp, only 30km from the end.

Day 1: Trennery’s to Kob Inn (approx hours)

Day 2: Kob Inn to The Haven (approx hours)

Day 3: The Haven to Coffee Bay (approx 5 hours)

Day 4: Coffee Bay to Port St Johns (approx 7 hours)

Day 5: Port St Johns to Port Grosvenor (approx 10½ hours)

100mm of rain fell in the space of 24hrs

Day 6: Port Grosvenor to Port Edward (approx 10km in hours)

We stopped 30km short at Mkhasibe River due to the flooding.

The Wild Coast is ideal territory for Mountain Bikers as there are long sandy beaches, challenging single tracks and gravel roads in abundance.
We enjoyed seeing unique sights such as waterfalls that drop into the ocean and cattle chilling in the surf which provided fantastic spectacles along the way.

G6 Pro Review

The G6 frameset is “built from the inside out” using BH’s Hollow Core Internal Molding Technology. BH says it prevents bubbles and imperfections to improve strength and weight. The G6 is constructed with the company’s highest-grade carbon fibre, designated F1 grade to further reduce the weight of the frameset.

BH introduced more aerodynamic features. The integrated seatpost now has a Kamm tail to keep the frame UCI legal and bring the overall weight of the bike right down. The fork is tucked part of the way into the headtube, while a broad aero downtube continues to dominate the frame. In contrast, the seat stays are very thin, designed to reduce road vibration.

The forks have a tapered steerer, with all cables internally routed. One has the option for both mechanical and electronic groupsets and the oversized bottom bracket utilises the new bottom bracket, being the 386 that was developed in partnership with FSA. This increases frame stiffness and increases power transfer.

Bold logos announce the brand name and they fit comfortably on the massive aero tubing. The overall presentation is clean and sharp with some pleasing lines.

The G6 is a bike that must be raced! It rides beautifully once you get in the drops, flatten your back and go. It is also a bike one can sit up on and relax to take in the surroundings. It’s smooth, fast and sure footed.

All of the fat aero tubing plus a measure of BH’s engineering made for a stiff and efficient bike. It was easy to ride this bike fast and it responded nicely to any acceleration, in or out of the saddle.

The G6 is a race-day bike that is light, stiff and fast. The stiff chassis is perfectly suited to powerful riders that enjoy attacking; indeed, this bike is bike that likes to be ridden aggressively. Medium size without pedals, 7.2kg

BH G7 DISC

BH G7 DISC

I’ve tested lightweight racing bikes that had so much bottom bracket flex that I kept looking at the rear tire to see if it was flat. I’ve tested Di2-equipped bikes where the whole frame would shudder when I shifted the rear derailleur under load. There were others that couldn’t hold in a straight line and some that would put up a fight in every turn in a criterium race. Several had handling so bad that I wouldn’t trust going downhill and others that were so heavy that it made climbing a real challenge.

So what’s changed? I think manufacturers finally figured out how to design and build a carbon bicycle. For example, when road disc brakes first came out, manufacturers just modified the lower part of the fork to accept a caliper. These first bikes had horrible braking characteristics. The forks would flex inward feeling as if they would fold underneath the frame. A fork that is designed for a disc brake needs to be engineered completely different than a rim-based brake caliper. The forces applied to the fork under braking load are completely different to rim brake. I am happy to see that starting in 2016, many manufacturers have designed a special purpose road disc fork. The first bike that I tested with a special purpose fork was the BH G7 disc. The front fork on this bike is rock-solid!

Bikes change from year to year and mostly for the better. This is great news for the consumer since there are more options of higher quality and great pricing. Over the last several years, I have seen quality increase while prices decrease. Thus more choices, more options and more value.

My initial impressions of the BH G7 is a rock-solid, stiff, compliant aero road bike that does everything well. The G7 Disc’s steering is quick, lively, but not to the point of being out of control. The G7 Disc makes for a great handling crit bike. It goes where you point it and gets there fairly quickly.
So far I have ‘put the hammer down’ on this bike and have experienced absolutely NO bottom bracket flex, NO rear end flex nor any fork flex. I am impressed.

I have really hammered this bike;

1. Up hills – Sitting down as well as standing up on hills as much as 17% gradient. When seated, my weight is rearward and the steering is very light. When transitioning to standing, I start rocking the bike without giving much input to the steering. Bike stays straight and perfectly under control. Because the bike is stiff, hills are a breeze. For rollers, I just keep the power on and since there is not much loss of power through the drivetrain, the bike pushes easily up and over.

2. Down hills – Some bikes are very quirky going downhill. Going up a 17% grade hill means, at some point, you have to go back down, and going back down a 14-17% grade hill, the speeds are upward of 81 kph. You want a bike that is stable, no shimmying and no shaking. Cresting the top of any hill, id clamp the downtube with my knees and hold on for a very stable and predictable journey back to the bottom.

3. Flats – I have been on other bikes that seemed to have a decided top speed regardless of how much more power you put into the pedals. There is none of that with this bike. The harder you push on the pedals, the faster you go! The advantage of having aero-shaped tubing is that a head wind isn’t much of a factor either. The G7 Disc slices right through it.

BH did a nice job marrying the best qualities of a lightweight road bike and aero road bike. The G7 Disc fits right in-between giving it climbing ability/agility but without sacrificing the speed of an aero bike.
Are there faster aero road bikes? Sure, but they are more difficult to climb with. Are there faster climbers, yes as well, but climbing bikes sacrifice speed due to their non-aero fat tubes. The G7 Disc fits right in the middle and does both climbing and aero very well.

Would I buy one? Yes, definitely

THE BH G7 WITH RIM BRAKE

The G7 Pro is unusual in that it’s a rim brake version of an existing disc brake bike. Things usually happen the other way around. The disc version of the BH G7 was first shown almost two years ago and there was no mention of a rim brake equivalent at the time.

Since then we’ve had the introduction, suspension and subsequent re-introduction of the trial of disc brakes in the pro peloton with various accusations of danger in a road race situation made against the technology. With the long-term position of disc brake bikes still uncertain, having a race bike available exclusively in a disc brake format doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, hence the BH G7 Pro.

Putting the brakes and thru axles to one side, the G7 Pro looks pretty much identical to the G7 Disc with a deep section down tube and a seat tube that’s cutaway around the rear wheel. That seat tube is extended with an aero profiled seat tube to accommodate up to 30mm tyres.
The seatstays join the seat tube very low to reduce drag, something that we see on the vast majority of aero road bikes out there.

The G7 Pro uses direct mount brakes front and rear. Without the need to accommodate a central mount bolt, the fork crown can be made lower for improved aerodynamic efficiency. As ever with all aero road bikes, the fork blades are deep to reduce drag.

BH have something special here in the BH G7 Pro.

On Your Bike reviews the BH Lynx 4.8 29” Carbon FOX

Thanks for the great review!

The Spanish evolution

 July 31, 2017

Chris Whitfield

As mountain biking evolves, so do the choices facing riders. One such choice – a pretty fundamental one – is the type of bike that best suits your riding.

If you’re a racing snake the choice is pretty simple: something ultra-light with aggressive geometry … the sort of thing that Nino Schurter races on the cross-country circuit or the top Cape Epic riders all use. Managing such bikes on technical sections requires some considerable skill, particularly when you opt for a hardtail, which may be super light but is not very forgiving in the tight and twisty stuff.

At the other end of the scale you are a wannabe Greg Minnaar (or even Greg Minnaar himself) and your weapon of choice will be a downhill bike with huge suspension and very relaxed geometry, so much so that the front wheel seems to be sitting impossibly far out front when you are in the saddle. These are perfect for descending, but are heavy as hell and a nightmare when the trail turns upwards.

Then there are the host of riders who want to have fun on the downhills but want to go uphill as well, if not at quite the same pace as the racing types. The evolution of trail and all-mountain bikes has reflected the increasing popularity of this style of riding (as has the advent of Enduro racing, where riders are timed over short downhill sections and ride at a chilled pace in-between them). Continue reading by clicking here...

Tour de France – Stage 20

Tour De France 2017
Stage 20: Marseille / Marseille 22.5 km

Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the biggest victory of his career Saturday in Marseille, riding to victory on the 22km Stage 20 individual time trial at the Tour de France.

However the biggest winner on the day was yellow jersey Chris Froome (Team Sky), who defended his lead and rode to an impressive third on the day, five seconds behind teammate Michal Kwiatkowski, who finished just one second behind Bodnar.

Froome now leads the general classification by almost a minute over Rigoberto Uran of Cannondale-Drapac, with only the processional stage into Paris remaining.

Bodnar’s win marks Bora-Hansgrohe’s second of the 2017 Tour after Peter Sagan’s Stage 3 win in Longwy. Sagan’s subsequent disqualification left the German team looking for another stage win, and Bodnar delivered on the seaside course in Marseilles.

There would be a GC shakeup between second and third place, as Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) had a tough day on course in Marseilles, succumbing almost 90 seconds to third place Uran, who overtook the Frenchman to take second on the general classification. Bardet nearly lost his podium spot, maintaining third on the classification by just one second over Froome’s teammate Mikel Landa, who finished 15th on the stage, 51 seconds back.

Uran had a strong ride on Stage 20 despite a final corner mishap that saw him narrowly avoid a crash. The Colombian took eighth in the time trial, 31 seconds down on Bodnar.

Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) also had an impressive showing on Stage 20, his individual effort awarding him sixth on the stage, 21 seconds back from Bodnar. The Spaniard’s result moved him above mountains classification leader Warren Barguil (Sunweb) in the general classification, to ninth.

Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) finished 1:34 down on the stage, successfully defending his white best young rider jersey, leading Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates) by 2:06.

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