Skip Navigation

Langvad / Van der Breggen Increase Their Absa Cape Epic Lead

Press Release / 18.03.2019
Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen
Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen / © Absa Cape Epic

There was a tacit admission from their nearest rivals that the mountain biking-road riding combination of Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen have already almost done enough to ensure their rivals are racing for second in the Women’s category at the Absa Cape Epic.

After just two days of racing at the Absa Cape Epic, the Investec-songo-Specialized duo have already opened up a massive five-minute 42-second lead over Kross-Spur Racing’s Ariane Lüthi (Switzerland) and Maja Wloszczowska (Poland).

After crossing the line following the gruelling 111km Stage 1 that started and finished in Hermanus on Monday, Wloszczowska made it clear their strategy for the day was aimed more at defending second place rather than closing the gap on the leading pair.

“We did not even try and stay with (Langvad and Van der Breggen),” said the 2010 cross country World Champion. “If we had tried to go with them at the beginning we would have killed ourselves.”

Langvad, a five-time mountain bike marathon world champion, and her equally proficient road-riding specialist partner Van der Breggen, were allowed to ride away from their rivals on the early climbs out of Hermanus. They built such a big gap so early that the only other riders they saw for almost 100km were the male riders they caught and passed from the elite male batch which started 10 minutes earlier.

At the finish, after five hours, nine minutes and 11 seconds of riding, the Danish / Dutch combination had extended their stage lead to 3:07 with a controlled ride.

While the overall lead grew alarmingly for their rivals, their ride was not completely faultless as Van der Breggen arrived at the finish with a trickle of blood down her left shin.

“On the gravel road I took a tumble,” she said. “It is so slippery everywhere out there. The technical stuff is okay, it is just difficult because you have to pay attention all day.”

Van der Breggen also found the overhead conditions difficult on Monday and despite their growing advantage was wary about making predictions going forward.

“It was hot today … it was really hot out there. On a MTB you have to go hard from the beginning so it is more than five hours of going fast which is tough for the body of course. First we get some recovery after today and then we see what happens tomorrow. I am so tired at the moment” she added with a smile. “But we are really happy with how it has gone so far.”

Wloszczowska was pleased with Stage 1 despite a tough 111km ride where they struggled to hold off the third-placed- Summit Fin team of Candice Lill and Adelheid Morath.

“I have a huge back pain, but otherwise it was all good,” said Wloszczowska. “We tried to keep the pace steady so we can reach the finish without hitting the wall on the way, but it was a hard stage.

“The Summit Fin girls were pushing super hard almost all the time. First we got a pretty big advantage and then they closed the gap again, so we had to push hard again – it was a crazy battle today.”

“If we had tried to go with (Langvad and Van der Breggen) it would have been quite risky with 111 kays, so I hope they enjoyed the ride. I am happy we are still only three minutes back. I think for five hours of racing it is not really a lot … I was expecting a lot more so I think it is still close.” Wloszczowska added.

Close is a relative term, but Van der Breggen’s minor tumble will also serve as a warning that although Investec-songo-Specialized are clearly a step above their rivals, the nature of mountain biking means victory is never guaranteed and a mechanical or a fall can shake up the leader board at any time.

In the race for the African Women’s jersey race, the dormakaba Ladies team of Samantha Sanders and Amy Mcdougall added 13 minutes to their advantage over the Galileo Risk pairing of Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill and now lead the jersey by 42 minutes.

Tuesday’s Stage 2 is relatively short in kilometres, but with 2 250m of climbing packed into the 86km stage from Hermanus to Oak Valley, the day will still be a tough test likely to be remembered by the riders for the brutal six kilometre Wildekrans Tokoloshe that gains over 500m in one tough climb.

[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

High Fives for Annika and Anna

Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Cruise to Overall Honours

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

Loitering within Tents

Locals Woo the Queen

SA rider is Queen of Queen Stage

Even a Crash Cannot Stop Investec-songo-Specialized

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

Drama on Stage 3 Sees Yellow Jerseys Change Hands

Anna and Annika Keep Their Perfect Record Intact

Hat trick for Schurter and Forster

Swiss Pair Consolidate Overnight Lead

Langvad and Van der Breggen Quickly Take Control

Cross Country Specialists Make Intentions Clear At Prologue

Untold Stories of the Absa Cape Epic

Last Lions Roar On in 2019

Battle Lines Drawn for 2019 Absa Cape Epic

Iron Cowboy Prepares To Tackle The Untamed African Mountain Bike Race

Mixed Aspirations for Triple World Champ, Óscar Freire

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

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

Effervescent Hermida and Rodriguez Return to Master the Absa Cape Epic

Espargaró Swaps Leathers for Lycra at the Absa Cape Epic

ABSA Cape Epic

Support Adventure Racing

SleepMonsters Patreon


like us on facebook

Adventure Racing Tags

Eco-Challenge Fiji Islands, Rogue Raid, Wenger Czech Adventure Race 2020, The 25th Corsica Raid, Swiss Epic, PARS Turbo 2020, Lapland Wilderness Challenge, ÖTILLÖ World Series Engadin, The Lockdown, Sea to Sea Expedition Race, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Adventure Racing, Expedition Racing, Adventure Racing World Series, Eco Challenge, Adventure Racing European Series

Our Patrons

Adventure Race Croatia

Adventure Race Georgia

Danish AR Union

Open Adventure

Rootstock Racing


SleepMonsters Patreon

Thank you to all our

adventure racing


Adventure Race Croatia

Adventure Race Georgia

Danish AR Union

Open Adventure

Rootstock Racing

Tanz Navigation

-- -- --

Brian Gatens

-- -- --

Adventure Enablers

Chipp Dodd

Celia Nash

David Ellis

Erik Sanders

Graham Bird

Jakub Malik

Josh Hayman

Liam St Pierre

Magnus Foss

Nicola MacLeod

Strong Machine AR

-- -- --

Adrian Crane

Barbara Campbell

Dejna Odvody

Ivan Park

Klaus Mygind

Lars Bukkehave

Marco Ponteri

Nigel Davison

Rob Horton

Semyon Yakimov