It’s a sensational result for the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team at the Cape Epic in South Africa. Robert Mennen and Kristian Hynek won the World’s toughest stage race. Sally Bigham and Esther Suess took second in the overall ranking.
With a total of 8 stages, covering 718km and 14.850m of ascent, the race is associated with blood, sweat, sun, dust, rain, fast flowing rivers and wild animals. They are conditions which face the competitors every year at the Absa Cape Epic in South Africa and the reason it is considered the hardest stage race in the World.
To win this event is a target for any of the elite professional mountain bikers, and even to take part is something which manydream of. For Robert Mennen (28) and Kristian Hynek (33) of the Topeak Ergon Racing Team, it is a dream which has now come true. After 4 days of riding as the lead team in the yellow jersey, our two heroes won the race on Sunday — a perfect result for the Koblenz based team.
”I can’t believe that Kristian and I came here, and won this thing!” Robert said after the race. ”Cape Epic was right at the top of my ?must win’ list. This is the biggest win of my career!” Kristian also didn’t hide his joy at the result: ”This means as much to me as my European 2012 Champion’s Title”, which shows precisely how important a result they think it is.
It is a result which wouldn’t have been possible without the Fair Play principles of Jochen Kaess and Markus Kaufmann, who twice helped our team — giving wheels twice sacrificing their own ambitions in order to allow Kristian and Robert to chase theirs. ”Without their help, it is unlikely that we would be stood here,” Robert said in tribute to the Team Centurion-Vaude competitors.
Amongst the jubilation at the Cape Epic win, there was another result to savor — Topeak Ergon’s Sally Bigham (35) and Esther Süss (riding as Team Meerendal) took 2nd place in the women’s race. A superb result in itself, and one that the team will continue to celebrate.
All of this success is only possible thanks to the whole team — not just the athletes. Particular mention should go to team mechanic Peter Felber, and the Team Manager Dirk Juckwer. A mention also should go to the sponsors, providing the equipment which is hard wearing enough to be able to take the punishment of this race. From the ergonomic advantages from Ergon’s grip and saddle program, minimizing fatigue, to the performance of the new Canyon 29er full suspension bikes. Everything plays its part.
This article was originally posted on topeak-ergon-racing.com.