Words by Flow | Images by Flow

‘Right now, because the pain is over,’ replied one rider with a wry grin and a wink when asked about his favourite moment of the 2016 Cape to Cape.

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A total cracker of a day greeted riders on the final day, from Thursday to Sunday it just kept getting sunnier and warmer.

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Peta knew she only had to beat Samara by a mere 15 seconds, was she to do it?

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Beaches, vineyards and rural scenes are so lovely over here.

Despite this event challenging all participants, regardless of ability, the tangible sense of achievement at the finish made it more than worthwhile.

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The smell of bacon and chamois cream filled the air.

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Cycling and coffee, it goes without saying. John Carney gets a cup of muddy heart starter into him before setting off.

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Morning sun and potassium on a stick.

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Not only was there coffee, it was good coffee!

As the riders rolled in, so did the stories. Perhaps the best summary of the event came from Samara Sheppard, winner of the elite womens category who said ‘everything from the diversity of the trails, the huge field and the locations make this event so special’.

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The fastest of four days, a day to find a bunch, work together and munch down the miles.

The day’s racing was as exciting as expected. Tasman Nankervis had a two-minute lead coming into the stage, which he held onto seemingly effortlessly, with his Torq troops keeping the lead bunch under control. The camaraderie amongst the Torq team was clear to see, with Nankervis’ teammates riding hard to support ‘Tas’.

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It wasn’t going to be Brendan Johnston’s day, plagued with a few small mechanicals, the National Marathon Champ was always close and won a stage, but missed the overall title he came for.

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Odams loving his first Cape, riding comfortably and stylishly through the turns as he does best.

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Local Craig Cooke hot on the heels of the top four, taking fifth overall with a consistent four days of hard yakka.

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You could get lost in here if it wasn’t for the course markings! The trails of Middle Earth are a labyrinth of berms, turns, log-rides and fast descents.

‘This race has been one of the easier stage races I’ve done. The Torq boys worked so hard for me at the front that I almost never touched the wind, and I just enjoyed the singletrack,’ said Nankervis. We’re excited to see more of this humble young man.

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Sarah McLachlan held onto eighth on the day and seventh overall, clearly stoked with her time in the singletrack today.

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Jo Bennet is a classy rider, her pedalling style is so easy and effortless and her smiles are huge, it’s always nice to see her fluidly weaving her way through the trails. Fourth on day four, and fourth overall.

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Yeoooo, legend wheelie guy strikes again! His front tyre must be in mint condition after this week.

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The unique landscape of Middle Earth was fun to walk through, and everyone was quite chirpy to be riding through it!

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Grass trees, banksias, burnt logs and pea gravel.

With no change in the overall standings due to the tactical racing of the Torq squad, the race was animated by Reece Tucknott, who was accompanied initially by none other than Paul van der Ploeg.

The pair attacked early in the stage, and were building a dominant lead in the singletrack before disaster struck for van der Ploeg, who suffered a mechanical that left him unable to continue.

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Oooooooh, micro fairy floss balls!

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Twisty goodness.

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Spotto!

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TAKE THE A-LINE.. YEAHHHHHHH!

The fighting spirit all the competitors showed today was embodied by the effort of Reece Tucknott at the front of the field. Alone, deep in the pain cave, the media vehicle tracked Reece battling on the long straights that made up large parts of stage four. The West Australian showed the fight that every finisher of the Cape to Cape showed by never giving up.

With his father Tony on the microphone calling the event, the crowd waited nervously to see if Reece could hold his advantage to the line. When Reece came across the line solo, the emotion was obvious. Today’s win was a very classy performance indeed, kudos Reece.

‘I won a stage in the Port to Port, but to take the win today with all of the riders that are here and the awesome crowd is huge for me,’ said Reece.

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Swim?

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The wind in the willows as wheels whoosh by.

Reece also worked on the event, organising the Sundown Shootout, which was an event highlight: ‘It’s been a real eye opener for me this year working on the event, seeing just how much work goes into it all. I’ve got so much respect for everyone involved.’

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After four days of racing, it was nice to have a faster day to spin out the legs.

The women’s race ended with similarly exciting scenes. It was neck and neck between Sheppard and Mullens all day, before Sheppard again demonstrated her strength, dropping Mullens and crossing the line solo. Sheppard has now completed the Port to Port and Cape to Cape double in the same year- a first in the elite female category. When asked about whether she would return, Sheppard asked ‘How could I not defend the pink jersey?’.

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“Some days you just gotta do, what you gotta do”

‘This race has been so hard because Peta (Mullens) is so strong. I was trying to make an attack stick from the first day, so when I finally got a break yesterday I was almost in disbelief. Winning this amazing event, and just being a part of the atmosphere makes all the training worth it,’ said Sheppard.

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DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!

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Yeoooooo, welcome to the finish buddy!

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Reece Tucknott made a mighty strong attack and rode a solo 40km to take the win, a courageous effort from the strong Trek Australia rider.

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It’s not easy to attack in the singletrack and stay away from the chasing pack, but Reece timed it to perfection today.

WINNER!

WINNER!

In the mens masters, Jon Gregg sealed back to back wins in the overall. An unbelievable result considering the depth of talent at this year’s event. We’re eager to see if Gregg can back up his unbelievable consistency next year.

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YES!

In the womens masters, Marie-Claude Baars also sealed the win. ‘I’ve loved the singletrack throughout the event. Stage three was simply amazing,’ said an elated Baars at the finish. Baars and Gregg’s domination of the masters’ categories has been fantastic to watch.

Scratching underneath the ‘race’ exterior however, it’s clear to see that the Cape to Cape is much, much more.

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Congratulations Samara! Winning the final stage and the overall, bloody excellent stuff mate!

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Plenty to smile about, it’s a mammoth effort to win here, especially with such a talented field.

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Peta is a champ, her racing and presence at the event made it all the better. Gracious in defeat on the final day, with the first three stage wins still in the bag.

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Don’t look too closely if you have a weak stomach…

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Sprint it home!

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Frothing fans galore! It’s so nice to see the faces on the supporters as their riders finish the event, warm and fuzzy stuff indeed.

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Not content on leaving anything out on course, this guy put it all on the line.

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Loud reception!

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Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, cooked.

For many riders today, simply finishing this gruelling course was an amazing achievement.

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Yeoooo local legends.

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The face of ultimate satisfaction.

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“You again!?”

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A proud mother and supporter wearing the shirt that her son made for her, so awesome.

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The event director Chris Heverin personally shaking hands of the competitors and presenting the finish medal.

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Straight to the pool room.

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‘I’ve loved the singletrack throughout the event. Stage three was simply amazing,’ said an elated Marie-Claude Baars at the finish.

Riders at the finish line were talking about just how well this event encapsulated not only the best mountain biking, but amazing scenery, wonderful venues like the Xanadu Winery and Colonial Brewery, and a unique atmosphere amongst the thirteen hundred plus competitors.

 ‘It’s good that the stages start so early, it means that you can go and explore this beautiful region after the race each day,’ ‘We’ve done lots of activities: visited a few wineries…’ ‘It’s good to get a few days away from the family with mates and ride together and just have a laugh,’

‘It’s good that the stages start so early, it means that you can go and explore this beautiful region after the race each day,’
‘We’ve done lots of activities: visited a few wineries…’
‘It’s good to get a few days away from the family with mates and ride together and just have a laugh,’

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‘This event is unlike nothing else in the way it melds riding with socialising, and the amazing sights,’

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Copped a high-speed podium cork, RIGHT in the head, cheers Samara!

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Bennet, Mullens, Sheppard, Mattocks and Simpson on the elite women’s podium.

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Tasman Nankervis loving his new yellow jersey, he rode superbly this week and with the support of his team he sealed the deal.

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Sweet sweet victory.

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Ward, Johnston, Nankervis, Hamilton and Cooke.

Entries for next year’s Cape to Cape, which features a layout change to focus more specifically on the exploding number of trail centres in the region open tonight. We’re already counting down the days, and you should be too!


RESULTS

FEMALE OPEN
1. Samara Sheppard – 02:21:13
2. Peta Mullens – 02:24:36
3. Briony Mattocks – 02:29:28
4. Jo Bennett- 02:33:07
5. Holly Harris – 02:33:25

MALE OPEN
1. Reece Tucknott – 02:15:23
2. Tasman Nankervis- 02:16:05
3. Brendan Johnston – 02:16:05
4. Kyle Ward – 02:16:22
5. Chris Hamilton – 02:16:34

FEMALE GC
1. Samara Sheppard – 08:38:22
2. Peta Mullens – 08:41:45
3. Briony Mattocks – 09:05:50
4. Jo Bennett – 09:14:00
5. Jessica Simpson – 09:21:11

MALE GC
1. Tasman Nankervis – 07:45:01
2. Brendan Johnston – 07:47:21
3. Chris Hamilton – 07:48:06
4. Kyle Ward – 07:48:33
5. Craig Cooke – 07:52:27

For a full list of categorised results, please click here!

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The other side of the Cape, the north end, Dunsborough and its insanely green and turquoise water.

And we're out! Cheers everyone, we've had a blast once again!

And we’re out! Cheers everyone, we’ve had a blast once again, see you for the big ten year anniversary next year!