Hanlie Booyens racing at the Cape Epic
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Participation in ladies and mixed categories grows
The Absa Cape Epic is celebrating Women’s Day today (August 9) by paying tribute to its fairer sex participants who have conquered the most televised mountain bike stage race in the world. The seven-day race saw 85.57 percent of women who participated cross the finish line in 2012, along with 87.49 percent of the male participants respectively.
Hanlie Booyens sets the bar in the ladies category, with the most stage wins in the history of the race. This year she secured her 17th stage win in the race.
“I’ve won it twice with Sharon Laws in 2004 and 2009. I’ve completed five Cape Epics. Beside the two wins, I’ve finished in second, third and fourth place – maybe I must try for fifth in 2012.”
“It’s been amazing to see the race grow from a far-fetched dream to what it is today. The increase in the ladies prize purse since last year is a very positive step as well,” said Booyens. “This is a super tough event – I think even more so for women! There are no shortcuts. It’s just hard, hard work.
“Day 7 of all of my Cape Epics has been tougher than any of the other crazy things I’ve done. It has caused me many a tear in anguish and despair and hate and joy, all at once. The reward lies in crossing that finish line and the amazing sense of achievement that it brings. You hate yourself for doing it, you love yourself for completing it. Competing in such a challenging mountain bike stage race teaches you commitment, perseverance, patience and teamwork. Above all, respect for your body, your mind, your partner and your support structures such as family and sponsors. It’s a humbling experience!”
The number one position in the 2012 Cape Epic Ladies category was won by Sally Bigham and Esther Süss of team Wheels4Life. The team achieved a time of 38:34.12 and were placed 29th overall. They were followed by the Biogen Britehouse team of Theresa Ralph and Nina Gässler in 39:23.39 with Karien van Jaarsveld and Jane
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