It’s time for a remarkable anniversary in South Africa. Our swiss athlete Ariane Lüthi is riding the tenth time in Africa for a Cape Epic title! Together with the south african MTB rider Amy Wakefield, both riders teamed up as Team Symbtech ZA to fight in the heat and dust for this year’s title of the Cape Epic.
After a hot and dusty Prologue on a 24km course, both riders took the third place in the GC with 1:27 minutes behind the leaders. The race with the first stage of seven was kicked off in Lourensford.
Ariane and Amy provided a masterclass in pacing and keeping a cool head in the steep gradients and choking heat of South Africa. They proved a perfect teamwork, all the way from Lourensford to Val de Vie.
“Amy paced me so amazingly well, especially through the last stage. It is incredible how she knew exactly what pace I could manage. It’s an exceptional skill, to get a partner through this.”, Ariane said. The swiss rider was handicaped by her immune system, as the first two stages have been so brutal, that she suffered from a herpes virus.
On every stage, alongside the roads and trails, locals were cheering for the passing riders on the Cape Epic. This race has a very special attraction, not only for the athletes.
What goes up must come down – the descents were what Ariane and Amy were looking forward to. When it comes to sharp corners downhill, she could relay on her ten years of experience at the Cape Epic and even more in international races. And the trails around Stellenbosch on Stage 6 are known as South Africa’s trail Mecca. Let it flow Ariane and Amy!
As Ariane was handicapped and could not perform on her best level, Amy paced that they could hold their places in the GC. In the end the team was placed fifth with a gap of 1:52:25 h to the overall winner.
“It wasn’t where we wanted to be, in the latter part of the race, but It’s amazing that we made it. Thanks so much to our support team.” Ariane summarised. At the finish in Val de Vie, Ariane and Amy were surrounded by Soigneurs Andrea and Chanel, Mechanic Gert and Team manager Nic. Tired and exhausted faces looked into the camera at the finish line, but also proud and happy about the team effort of Team Symbtech ZA.
“I’m grateful for the support of Symbtech, who made this possible, as well as all the support from sponsors, staff and fans for keeping us going despite our race not going according to plan or what our potential is. I’m very happy to have finished.” Amy said.
During these harsh conditions, both riders were rolling on our R2.0 off-road wheels. When it comes to versatility without compromises, there is no way around these wheels. The wheels are based on our hookless rim design and combining light weight, lateral stiffness, comfort, and durability, these are the perfect choice for any XC track.