For the Hansgrohe – Cadence Nutrition team, each day was one big interval, and the Grand Finale was no exception! It was another tense day for the team staff as news filtered in from out on course that Annie and Mariske were in the leading group, then had dropped back, and then were at the front again. As the final finish line approached, the top three teams on General Classification were wheel to wheel. After the mammoth efforts of yesterday, the ladies lost small chunks of time in the final five kilometres and were dangling dangerously off the back of the group. However, miraculously they clawed themselves back to the front so that as the race entered the final few hundred metres it was certain to be a full gas sprint to the line. Unfortunately riders ahead of the leading ladies, who had begun the day in earlier start batches, were anything but sprinting for the line. Annie and Mariske got caught up with the slower riders and, despite an incredible effort and some ninja style weaving through the traffic, could not get to the line ahead of Sabine and Robyn from Team Ascendis. Hansgrohe – Cadence Nutrition finished second by half a second! What a way to finish 691 kilometres!
Tinges of disappointment were soon overwhelmed by a huge sense of satisfaction and delight at a Cape Epic completed, and done so in fine style. Annie and Mariske have exceeded expectation in their first Cape Epic together, with six podiums in eight days of racing. What an incredible performance. Annie wraps up,
“It was so close for first! It was not the smoothest stage to be honest, but to come away with second place in the Grand Finale is pretty good, and second place overall is something I am really happy with. I’m looking forward to some rest and relaxation now but the whole experience has been amazing.”
Another year, another Cape Epic completed! We are very proud of everyone involved in making it happen, and especially of the riders who have performed so incredibly well both on and off the bike.
Stay tuned in the coming days for more reaction from the team. For now, it’s time for a nice dinner with the team from Silverback Bikes, and, finally, a lie in!