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Kevin Evans wins 2011 Grape Escape MTB

Kevin Evans wins 2011 Grape Escape MTB

In a spectacular finish, Kevin Evans (Team 360life) emerged as the overall winner of the inaugural Columbia Grape Escape. David George (Team 360life) claimed the second position with  Karl Platt (Bulls) finishing third.
Commenting on the third stage, Evans said: “This stage suited us – it was a shorter route with steeper climbs. David (George) and I put on the pressure early. I had some brake issues, so I wasn’t as fast on the down hills, but I’m glad I could come back to win today’s race.”

Platt admitted that perhaps he pushed too hard on Friday and Saturday. “I’m a bit disappointed, having won the first two stages. I will need to do some more work before the Absa Cape Epic.”

“Hard,” is how Cherise Taylor (USN), female winner of the Columbia Grape Escape, described today’s stage.

Day 2

Karl Platt (Bulls) won the second stage the Columbia Grape Escape followed by Stander (Specialized USN) and Evans. Taylor, Stander’s fiancé, was the first lady across the finish line, followed by Hannele Steyn-Kotze (Attix5 Ladies).

“Today was an open race: nobody punctured, everybody was lucky. I knew it was going to come down to a sprint finish. I rode smart and in the finish I had the stronger legs,” Platt said.

Commenting on the race conditions, Stander said “the course was harder than day 1 and the terrain rougher, but it is the heat rather than the course which makes this race tough. The cyclists riding at the back would have had a hard time today.”

Just over 70 mountain bikers decided not to start the second stage of the Columbia Grape Escape due to the extreme heat conditions.

Day 1

Karl Platt (Bulls) won the first stage of the inaugural Columbia Grape Escape in a nail-biting finish. Hot on his heels was Kevin Evans, followed by team mate David George (both Team 360life).

Hannele Steyn-Kotze (Attix5 Ladies) was the first female to cross the finish, followed by Cherise Taylor (USN).

Winner of the 2010 Absa Cape Epic, Platt had the following to say about today’s race conditions: “Its Africa, it’s hot.” The German is nonetheless quietly hoping for a win. “I’d like to try and keep the leader’s position. If I have the opportunity, I’d like to win the Columbia Grape Escape.”

Approximately 730 mountain bikers departed from Eden on the Bay this morning, traversing an 85km route to Nelson Wine Estate just outside Wellington.

MTB Challenge

A total of 5,100 riders participated in the Columbia Grape Escape and the Cape Argus Pick n Pay MTB Challenge on Saturday and Sunday.

Philip Buys (Garmin Adidas) clinched the first position in the 52km MTB Challenge. “Those of us who did the MTB Challenge today got lucky with the weather. I’ve been supporting my team mates on the Grape Escape, and they have been experiencing very hot conditions. The 55km route was a great race with some nice single track – I enjoyed it.”

OVERALL TOP RESULTS GRAPE ESCAPE

Men:
1st – Kevin Evans (08:26:33)
2 nd – David George (08:26:43)
3rd – Karl Platt (08:27:51)

Women:
1st – Cherise Taylor (10:02:29)
2nd – Hannele Steyn-Kotze (10:10:19)
3rd – Hanlie Booyens (10:54:28)
Stage 1 – Race Results

Top results: 52km MTB Challenge

Men:
1st – Philip Buys (02:02:40)
2 nd – Renay Groustra (02:05:19)
3rd – Dominic Calitz (02:05:52)

Women:
1st – Mariske Strausss (02:25:09)
2nd – Ischen Stopforth (02:29:34)
3rd – Tandi Kitching (02:42:13)

Top results: 32km MTB Challenge

Men:
1st – Johann De Bod (01:15:04)
2 nd – Paul Rautenbach (01:15:05)
3rd – Edward Best (01:20:25)

Women:
1st – Marie Heatlie (01:32:43)
2nd – Nicole Erasmus (01:33:59)
3rd – Cheri Richett (01:46:39)