The 2015 Prologue of the legendary Absa Cape Epic started for the first time from the University of Cape Town. 1200 riders took on the challenge on the slopes of Table Mountain for day one.

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Swiss riders Fabian Giger and Martin Gujan (Novus OMX Pro) sprung something of a surprise as they swept into the yellow zebra jersey in Sunday’s Absa Cape Epic Prologue.

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Most of the big guns kept their powder dry on a day that favoured cross country specialists, but four-times winners Karl Platt and Christoph Sauser were second and third with their teammates.

The 12th edition of the Absa Cape Epic take place from March 15 to 22, 2015. With 739 km of distance and 16,000 m of climbing the route of this “Untamed African Mountain Bike Race” is as challenging as ever.

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STAGE 1 of the Absa Cape Epic took place in Oak Valley yesterday: In a day of drama and heavy rain, Christoph Sauser (SUI) Monday laid down a significant marker in his bid to become the first person to win the Absa Cape Epic five times.

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The Swiss master and his Czech teammate Jaroslav Kulhavy (Investec-Songo-Specialized) showed great form on the 113km Stage 1 as they overcame a puncture to finish the day almost a minute ahead of Sauser’s great rival, Karl Platt of Germany, who is riding with Swiss strongman Urs Huber.

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Bad luck struck another of the pre-race favourite teams, Topeak Ergon’s defending champion Kristian Hynek of the Czech Republic and Austrian Alban Lakata, when they had to repair two punctures and swop a wheel at a tech zone. They managed, however, to recover and finish fourth, some four minutes behind Sauser and Kulhavy.

The Women’s category continued to be dominated by the Swiss/Danish combination of Ariane Kleinhans and Annika Langvad (RECM), who already have a 20-minute gap over their closest challengers.