Skip Navigation

Even a Crash Cannot Stop Investec-songo-Specialized

Press Release / Photo : Absa Cape Epic - NickMuzik / 21.03.2019

The Investec-songo-Specialized train continues to rush toward Absa Cape Epic victory and such is their control of the Women's category that even when things go wrong they seem to be only temporarily derailed with no damage to their title prospects.

On Thursday Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen had their biggest drama so far at the 2019 Absa Cape Epic when Langvad had a fall due to a "lack of concentration", but luck certainly seems to be with the pair of world champions as she remounted quickly and the pair easily rode to their fifth win in five stages.

The 43km Time Trial on the trails around Oak Valley Estate simply provided another stage for the four-time winner and her debutant partner to show off their dominance, and it was no surprise they added one-minute 44-seconds to their lead over the second-placed Summit Fin team of Candice Lill and Adelheid Morath. Ariane Lüthi and Maja Wloszczowska (Kross-Spur Racing) ended third, two minutes further back.

The results did not change the top positions with Langvad and Van der Breggen extending their lead to over 25 minutes, while Summit Fin are now eight minutes clear of third-placed Kross-Spur Racing.

"It is a long race and we have been racing for many days in a row and I think I lost concentration a bit," said a dusty but otherwise unscathed Langvad after the finish. "Luckily it was in a safe spot.

"I fell on a sandy part and just slid off the edge. My bike was stuck in a small bush and I was pulling to get it back on the trail but it was not moving.

"This race is not easy at all. In this race you have to maintain concentration and focus all the time, and you are so tired all the time. That is the real challenge. It is so different going for a two hour ride and doing a course like today when you are well rested, and then going and doing it on the fifth day of the Absa Cape Epic."

And then in her first admission that the team is beginning to contemplate the overall victory, Langvad added: "I am glad to have made it through today … we are slowly starting to count down the days."

Van der Breggen said she was never worried, even when she heard her partner slid off the side of the trail: "I knew it was not too deep there and knew she would come out again. When I looked she was fine."

With five days of racing completed and just three more to go, it seems the only way Investec-songo-Specialized can be beaten is through a major mechanical. However, the race for second is still very much alive although Lill and Morath seem to be growing in strength.

"It was quite a cool Time Trial today," said a remarkably fresh Lill just after climbing off her bike. "It was a bit refreshing compared to yesterday's long open slog. There was some really nice singletrack today.

It was awesome, we went through the amphitheatre twice and there were a lot of people at Paul Cluver cheering for us.

"Our plan was not to smash it too hard today. You cannot win or make up significant time on a 43km Time Trial so we just wanted to protect our second place and ride smooth.

"We had no dramas. We are riding very conservatively. Our approach is to hold back a little and to not lose a lot of time with a mechanical.

"Tomorrow (Friday) is going to be a massive day. I think it is going to be the biggest day of the Absa Cape Epic."

Friday's stage is the Queen Stage and competitors face a tough 100km with 2 850m of climbing as they make their way from Oak Valley to the new race village at Stellenbosch University.

On Thursday Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill of team Galileo Risk added to their lead in the Absa African Women's race and are currently lying sixth overall.

2019 Stage 4 Women's Results
Stage Results
1. Investec-songo-Specialized 50-1 Annika Langvad (Denmark) 50-2 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) 02:02.01,4
2. Summit Fin 54-1 Candice Lill (South Africa) 54-2 Adelheid Morath (Germany) 02:03.45,7 +1.44,3
3. Kross-Spur Racing 53-1 Ariane Lüthi (Switzerland) 53-2 Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) 02:05.46,7 +3.45,3
Overall Results
1. Investec-songo-Specialized 50-1 Annika Langvad (Denmark) 50-2 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) 17:44.54,2
2. Summit Fin 54-1 Candice Lill (South Africa) 54-2 Adelheid Morath (Germany) 18:10.22,4 +25.28,2
3. Kross-Spur Racing 53-1 Ariane Lüthi (Switzerland) 53-2 Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) 18:18.27,3 +33.33,1
4. Silverback - Fairtree 52-1 Jennie Stenerhag (Sweden) 52-2 Mariske Strauss (South Africa) 18:36.54,3 +52.00,1
5. Meerendal WIAWIS Rotwild 51-1 Sabine Spitz (Germany) 51-2 Nadine Rieder (Germany) 18:52.34,8 +1:07.40,6
6. Galileo Risk 56-1 Theresa Ralph (South Africa) 56-2 Sarah Hill (South Africa) 19:49.55,0 +2:05.00,8
7. FreakShow SCOTT 57-1 Sonya Looney (United States of America) 57-2 Catherine Williamson (England) 20:25.53,9 +2:40.59,7
8. Land Rover Jaguars 46-1 Hannele Steyn (South Africa) 46-2 Katja Steenkamp (South Africa) 22:56.34,1 +5:11.39,9

[If you enjoyed this story and would like SleepMonsters to continue reporting on Adventure Racing then we need your help. Please support our Patreon campaign or make a donation via PayPal.]

More About ABSA Cape Epic

Schurter and Langvad Guide Their Newbies Home

Schurter and Langvad Guide Their Newbies Home
Former winners Nino Schurter and Annika Langvad on Sunday completed their objectives of guiding two Absa Cape Epic newbies to victories in Read More


High Fives for Annika and Anna

High Fives for Annika and Anna
Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen (Investec-songo-Specialized) collected their seventh stage win at the 2019 Absa Cape Epic to give Read More


Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Cruise to Overall Honours

Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Cruise to Overall Honours
With 70km and 1800m of vertical gain standing between Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing and overall victory on the Champs-Élysées of Read More


Langvad and Van der Breggen back on top at Absa Cape Epic

Langvad and Van der Breggen back on top at Absa Cape Epic
The leaders in both the Men's and Women's categories at the Absa Cape Epic extended their leads and both look virtually certain of Read More


Loitering within Tents

Loitering within Tents
It is the most iconic image of all: the rider village at the Absa Cape Epic. 700 identical red tents, laid out to OCD perfection. For the Read More


Locals Woo the Queen

Locals Woo the Queen
Renaissance men Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys shrugged off a disastrous first five days to win The Queen Stage of the Absa Cape Epic from Read More


SA rider is Queen of Queen Stage

SA rider is Queen of Queen Stage
South African Candice Lill and her German partner Adelheid Morath became the Queens of the Queen Stage when they won the 100km Stage 5 from Read More


Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Storm Back Through the Time Trial

Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Storm Back Through the Time Trial
The scene is set for a spectacular Queen Stage into Stellenbosch on Friday, as Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing dominated the 43-kilometre Time Trial Read More


Drama on Stage 3 Sees Yellow Jerseys Change Hands

Drama on Stage 3 Sees Yellow Jerseys Change Hands
It's not over until it's over. A disastrous rear-wheel puncture saw Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing concede the Yellow Jerseys to Cannondale Read More


Anna and Annika Keep Their Perfect Record Intact

Anna and Annika Keep Their Perfect Record Intact
The Investec-songo-Specialized duo of Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen extended their lead during Stage 2 of the Absa Cape Epic Read More


Hat trick for Schurter and Forster

Hat trick for Schurter and Forster
Oak Valley Estate in Elgin is an icon of the Absa Cape Epic and today's racing will once again be immortalised in the annals of the Read More


Langvad / Van der Breggen Increase Their Absa Cape Epic Lead

Langvad / Van der Breggen Increase Their Absa Cape Epic Lead
There was a tacit admission from their nearest rivals that the mountain biking-road riding combination of Annika Langvad and Anna van der Read More


Swiss Pair Consolidate Overnight Lead

Swiss Pair Consolidate Overnight Lead
The all-Swiss pairing of Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing won the 111km Stage 1 of the 2019 Absa Cape Epic in emphatic fashion on Monday 18 March. Read More


Langvad and Van der Breggen Quickly Take Control

Langvad and Van der Breggen Quickly Take Control
Mountain biking World Champion Annika Langvad and her road riding World and Olympic Champion partner Anna van der Breggen put down a marker Read More


Cross Country Specialists Make Intentions Clear At Prologue

Cross Country Specialists Make Intentions Clear At Prologue
Team Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing won the Prologue of the 2019 Absa Cape Epic on the slopes of Table Mountain ahead of Cannondale Factory Racing Read More


Untold Stories of the Absa Cape Epic

Untold Stories of the Absa Cape Epic
With 650 teams set to start the 2019 Absa Cape Epic on the 17th of March, there are 1 300 individual stories of dedication, Read More


Last Lions Roar On in 2019

Last Lions Roar On in 2019
The Amabubesi Finisher Club celebrates all riders who have finished three or more Absa Cape Epics. That pride of lions grows year on year, Read More


Battle Lines Drawn for 2019 Absa Cape Epic

Battle Lines Drawn for 2019 Absa Cape Epic
The pre-race press conference, held just three days before the start of the Absa Cape Epic, set the assembled mountain biking media abuzz Read More


Iron Cowboy Prepares To Tackle The Untamed African Mountain Bike Race

Iron Cowboy Prepares To Tackle The Untamed African Mountain Bike Race
James Lawrence is no stranger to feats of ultra-endurance. Known as the Iron Cowboy, Lawrence hails from Calgary, Canada, and holds the Read More


Mixed Aspirations for Triple World Champ, Óscar Freire

Mixed Aspirations for Triple World Champ, Óscar Freire
As a former three-time World Champion whenever Óscar Freire pins a number to his kit he attracts a great deal of attention. Even if Read More


War Veterans to Battle Preconceptions By Taking On The Absa Cape Epic

War Veterans to Battle Preconceptions By Taking On The Absa Cape Epic
Jaco van Gass, British Armed Forces Parachute Regiment, and Stu Croxford, Duke of Lancaster's Infantry Regiment, are set to take on the Read More


Icon of South African Cycling to Ride his First Absa Cape Epic

Icon of South African Cycling to Ride his First Absa Cape Epic
From 2001 until he retired in 2013 there was no better known South African cyclist than Robbie Hunter. The former Rabobank, Phonak and Read More


Effervescent Hermida and Rodriguez Return to Master the Absa Cape Epic

Effervescent Hermida and Rodriguez Return to Master the Absa Cape Epic
Effervescent, quick with a joke or a laugh, Jose Antonio Hermida and Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez are two of the Absa Cape Read More


Espargaró Swaps Leathers for Lycra at the Absa Cape Epic

Espargaró Swaps Leathers for Lycra at the Absa Cape Epic
Though best known for his exploits around a race track, on two petrol powered wheels, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini MotoGP rider, Aleix Read More


ABSA Cape Epic

Support Adventure Racing

SleepMonsters Patreon

Facebook

like us on facebook

Our Patrons

Rootstock Racing

TanzNavigation

SleepMonsters Patreon

Thank you to all our

adventure racing

patrons


Rootstock Racing

Tanz Navigation

-- -- --

Brian Gatens

-- -- --

Adventure Enablers

Chipp Dodd

Celia Nash

David Ellis

Erik Sanders

Fiona McBryde

Graham Bird

Jakub Malik

Strong Machine AR

-- -- --

Adrian Crane

Barbara Campbell

Klaus Mygind

Marco Ponteri

Nigel Davison

Rob Horton

Semyon Yakimov