Yesterday saw the start of HotChillee's Global Event Series in 2013. The first stage of the Cape Rouleur, a 7.6km Prologue saw Team Bulls, the German-based professional mountain bike squad, dominate the majority of the top 10 positions. They were followed by three South Africans and two cyclists from Norway, who held the remaining positions. The Prologue, a time trial used to seed riders into three speed groups for the remaining three groups of the Cape Rouleur, saw the riders travel from Franschhoek to the Berg River Dam.
In a close battle for the Pro-Yellow Leader Jersey, Simon Stiebjahn from Team Bulls, Germany narrowly beat his fellow team member, Swiss rider Huber Urs. At race start just before 18:00 and in the sweltering heat of 32 degrees Celsius, Steibjahn came in with a finishing time of 00:11:01, while Urs finished with a time of 00:11:02. Tim Boehme, also Team Bulls took third place, followed by teammates Stefan Sahm and Thomas Dietsch in fourth and fifth respectively.
Team Bulls gearing up for the Prologue on day one of the Cape Rouleur 2013
Tim Carter, who came in sixth overall, was the first non-professional rider over the finish-line and starts tomorrow in the Amateur Yellow Leader's Jersey. Carter (sixth), Nicholas Dlamini (seventh), and Neville Watt (eighth) did South Africa proud by claiming positions in the top 10. Ninth and Tenth place went to Norwegian cyclists Svein Hetland and Arne Rettedal. Vanessa Haywood starts in the Pink Leader's Jersey tomorrow.
"Given the soaring temperatures experienced in the Cape over the last few days there was no exception to the Prologue of the Cape Rouleur. The sunset and the scenery surrounding us was the perfect introduction to the race and a fitting indication of what we can expect over the next few days," said Stiebjahn.
With Team Bulls seeding favourably after the 11-minute prologue, teamwork and camaraderie were evident, setting the tone for the upcoming race stages.
Cape Rouleur' Prologue profile
Sven Thiele, founder of HotChillee's Cape Rouleur, said: "The slick organisation of Cape Rouleur's Prologue was a fantastic component of the event." He added, "The riders were well looked after and are confident now in knowing what to expect over the next few days."
Other recognisable faces included South African personality Vanessa Haywood, Triple Crown winner Maurizio Fondriest and Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde.
"Last year's Cape Rouleur inspired me to get back on my bike. This year I'll be riding all stages and I can't wait. This highly professional event allows riders the experience of a lifetime, whether they are legends, pros or enthusiasts," said Winde.
Riders battle it out for the Leaders Jersey on the Prologue of the Cape Rouleur
The 128km first stage will commence on Monday 04 March in the picturesque town of Franschhoek, the heart of gastronomy and wine in South Africa, circumnavigating Southern Paarl, and ending back in Franschhoek. The overall route takes riders through the stunning South African scenery in the Western Cape.
Historically, in the beginning of March each year, Cape Town becomes an oasis for cyclists from across the globe. As part of the entry to the Cape Rouleur, riders get a seeded entry to the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, the world's largest individually timed cycle evebts. This gives participants a full week of cycling.
Riders on the Cape Rouleur will also be raising money for HotChillee's three local charity partners, Christel House South Africa, JAG Foundation, and the LumoHawk Foundation. For a full set of results from the prologue, visit http://www.finishtime.co.za/index.php/2013-01-15-09-34-29