This the tenth edition of the world's biggest and best MTB stage race, there was considerable media attention paid to the 23km-long sprint session that made up the Prologue stage around the beautiful Meerendal Wine Estate in the Durbanville hills. With 700m of climbing, the overall winners dispatched this in a little over 55 minutes of sweating and teeth gritting to the cheers of thousands lining the singletrack twists and turns.
Momsen Bikes is the fastest growing bicycle brand in South Africa, and it has proven to be the fastest South African bicycle brand too. Nico Pfitzenmaier and Ann Harrison, two of the brave Momsen Bikes Factory Team racers, have entered this year's event and are win-hungry. Nico Pftizenmaier has teamed up with multiple Brazilian XC and Marathon champion Abraao Azevedo to form team Bridge with aims of winning the coveted Telkom Business Masters category. Ann Harrison has partnered with Marleen Lourens in team Dawn Wing in the Ladies Category, and are out for a podium result come 24 March at Lourensford Wine Estate at the conclusion of this grueling race.
Armed with the fastest hardtail MTB in South Africa that has recorded race victories around the country and been the first hardtail MTB across race finish lines, the SL929 was yet again at the forefront of a race. The racing pedigree of Momsen Bikes was underlined in last year's ABSA Cape Epic when it recorded FOUR stage victories and TENTH place overall, and it formed a pivotal role in the development and testing of the our race weapons. The aims are as clear in 2013 as they were last year: to not only claim trophies and race wins, but to bring our loyal and passionate customers even better bicycles in the near future thanks to the demanding and punishing trials of competition that serves as Momsen Bikes' ultimate development phase for new models.
The 2013 SL929 took to the 23km Prologue stage as Nico and Ann's weapon of choice. This is our unadulterated, undiluted and uncompromising speed machine: it features a Race Tech SL PLUS carbon frame weighing 1020g equipped with a Rockshox SID XX World Cup suspension fork, SRAM XX 2 x 10 drivetrain with XX gripshift, a Syntace X-12 thru-axle rear system, Schwalbe Racing Ralph Snakeskin tubeless tyres on Stan's NoTubes ZTR Arch EX wheels. This is the same SL929 you'll be able to buy from your nearest Authorized Momsen Bikes Dealer.
Taking to the Prologue stage in two-minute intervals, the two-person teams fought for the best possible seeding position for the rest of the ABSA Cape Epic. Ann and her race partner flew to SIXTH position in the Ladies Category, behind Olympic Games racers, former World Champions and World Cup Marathon professionals. Ann and Marleen Lourens were the second fastest all-South African pairing to finish to boot the stage.
Favoured for the Telkom Business Masters Category, and competing against former World Champions in a highly competitive category, Nico on his SL929 and race partner Abraao Azevedo blitzed the Prologue to finish it 19th fastest overall and SECOND in the Telkom Business Masters Category. With only 0.3 seconds between this pairing and category leaders Bart Brentjens/Rob Sim, the week ahead will be undoubtedly be a shoulder-to-shoulder thriller.
Today's Stage One is a 96km-long stage from that tests riders in the Citrusdal area under the Cedarberg Mountains on a route that took in 2350m of climbing. With snaking climbs and steep descents on slippery and sandy tracks, racers will be pushing hard from the word go. And, they'll have to be on the lookout: Nico is racing the all-new, full carbon, full suspension Momsen Bikes VIPA in its international competitive debut. A South African MTB in a South African race: "Inspired By The Mountain!"
Momsen Bikes is continually growing its footprint on the South African cycling marketplace as we increase our model range to offer bikes suited to every rider’s demands and those of the unique South African MTBing track and trail conditions. Our commitment to racing is a commitment to development of new bikes. Racing is at the core of what Momsen Bikes stands for, and each frame has been put through its paces in competition to better test its strengths and eradicate its weakness. Our customers will benefit from this: you will ride and race those very same bikes in the near future thanks to the development and test efforts in this race. YOU’LL share in the wins, the podiums and medals, as they will be sculpted into each frame’s curve. This is Momsen Bikes.
Telkom Business Masters Category:
02) Nico Pfitzenmaier/Abraao Azevedeo (Bridge) - 01: 01.14,8 (+0.3sec behind Category leaders)
06) Ann Harrison/Marleen Lourens (Dawn Wing) - 01: 16.37,4 (+08.15,8 behind Category leaders)