The 266 kilometers and 5,540 meters difference in altitude were not easily put behind Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek from February 10th to 12th. It was for both a test with pitfalls. The first two days were afflicted with numerous technical malfunctions at high temperatures, which caused the vice world champion and the third in the world to be set back hopelessly in the overall rankings, when they went into the last leg of the day in Kaleo Manor.
They could catch a little conciliatory sense of achievement on the final 89 kilometers. Only 42 seconds behind the winners, Urs Huber and Karl Platt, they managed the jump onto the podium, 10 seconds behind the South African duo Hendrik Kruger/Waylon Woolcock. The Topeak-Ergon guys became fifth in the overall at the end.
“It certainly wasn’t what we expected. However, it got better and better from day to day and it was a good test for the Cape Epic,” says Kristian Hynek. “I’m sure we are on the right track.” Partner Alban Lakata complains about very different issues: “I could barely sleep for two days and I couldn’t get on with the conditions. Therefore I wasn’t able to show my current level,” says the Austrian.
The Tankwa Trek in the South African district Cape Winelands is the first showdown for the MTB professionals after a long winter break. Due to its geographic conditions the three-day stage race is regarded as the most important preparation to the Absa Cape Epic, which takes place barely five weeks later. The Cape Epic is the first great season highlight for the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team.