VERA Looser, Tristan de Lange and Mannie Heymans made their country proud with great performances at Cape Epic, one of the toughest MTB marathons in the world.

With this year’s event covering 620 kilometers over eight days and over 15,000m of elevation gain, it was once again a grueling affair, attracting the world’s best professional mountain bike riders, who will compete in teams of of them.

In the senior women, Looser and her South African partner Sarah Hill finished the first stage in sixth place, but fell to seventh place in the second stage at Ceres.

They finished fifth in the next two stages at Tulbagh to maintain their sixth place overall, but after falling to seventh in the fifth stage in Wellington on October 22, they made a comeback to finish fourth overall in of the sixth step. .

They finished the seventh and final stage last Sunday in sixth place to finish sixth overall in 33:36:16.

The winners, Sina Frei from Switzerland and Laura Stigger from Austria finished almost three hours faster in 30:39:52, while South African duo Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss finished second in 31:20:51, and Ariane Luthi of Switzerland and Robyn de Groot of South Africa, was third in 31:32:38.

Then a relieved Looser thanked everyone who supported her.

“Thanks to everyone who made this possible and who were a part of it. Conquering the Cape Epic doesn’t just take a team of two. Ten days ago I first met Sarah – we were the game. perfect for this run and I definitely made a lifelong friend. Thank you Sarah, ”she posted on Facebook.

In the elite men’s race, De Lange and his South African partner Marco Joubert finished the first stage in 12 place, but gradually improved as the race progressed. By stage three they had moved up to 10th place overall and third place in Africa, and although they finished 13th on stage six they remained ninth overall. They finished seventh in the final stage on Sunday to finish ninth overall in 26:48:27, while they were also the second African team to finish the race.

Matthew Beers of South Africa and Jordan Sarrou of France won the race in 25:17:28, followed by German duo Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn in 25:26:27, while Hans Becking of the Netherlands and Jose Dias from Portugal finished third. in 25:32:02.

South Africans Pieter du Toit and Philip Buys were the first African home team, finishing sixth overall in 26:22:23.

Heymans, who made history in 2004 by winning the first Cape Epic with the German Karl Platt, put in a fine performance to finish third overall in the Grand Masters category with his German partner Carsten Bresser.

They finished the marathon in 31:26:25, to finish more than an hour behind the winners, Bart Brentjens from the Netherlands and Peter Vesel from Slovenia (30:15:36), while Swiss pair Barti Bucher and Hans Juerg finished second. in 30:21:16.