April 4th, 2011

The Flueckiger Brothers Win Final Stage of Absa Cape Epic

The Swiss brother team of Lukas and Mathias Flueckiger wrapped up their third Cape Epic campaign yesterday with a win on the final 65km stage into the Lourensford estate in Somerset West, just outside of Cape Town. In front of a huge crowd in perfect sunny conditions the brothers crossed the line on their Trek Top Fuel 9.9 SSL full suspension race machines, to be greeted soon after by team mates Willow Koerber and Neko Mulally, in town for the start of the team's training camp.

On Saturday, the day prior, the 128km stage took its toll on older brother Luk who really suffered in the last 5km of the stage and was completely out of gas at the finish, not even able to speak:

"It was the worst I've been. I was riding like a drunk man and could hardly hold my head up when I got off the bike - but my recovery was key to the win today". After the tough Saturday stage, Luk ate straight away with Isostar recovery drink, took a nap, then lunch, then a 3pm massage, followed by another nap, then later had dinner, then a good sleep. It worked well as both boys attacked from the start on the final stage. Their first attack on the first climb was to see how the peloton was reacting and when they saw they had a great chance to get away, attacked again and by 10km into the stage, were away and building a good lead. By the water station the Trek World Racing team had more than a 3 minute lead, and settled into a good rhythm. Closer to the finish they eased back a little to ensure they took the win, and eventually won in a time of 2hr 33min 18secs, 2min 19secs clear of 2nd place.

Full results: http://www.cape-epic.com/live/results2011.php

Mathias said: "This is always a tough race for me, coming out of the Swiss winter and my military service this time, it's my first race of the year, so it was very tough the first few days, but by the end I started to feel I was in good shape. It's with great pride that we cross the line here as brothers, and the crowd here is so amazing, it's makes the week very special."

The brothers have now won at least one stage each of the 3 times they've entered the event, a record not held by many other teams.

With the first round of the UCI World Cup in 3 weeks, in Pietermaritzburg, the brothers now join the rest of their team in a training camp and then head to Pietermaritzburg on April 13 for the National Race on the World Cup course.

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