Cape Town – Eight times national road cycling champion Anriette Schoeman has withdrawn from this year’s Absa Cape Epic, due to illness. Schoeman was admitted to hospital on Friday, suffering from severe dehydration due to gastro-enteritis. Set to cycle alongside team mate, rugby legend Joel Stransky in the Mixed Category, this would have been their second Absa Cape Epic challenge riding for team Liqui-Fruit.
Schoeman who also entered for the Cape Town Cycle Tour which took place on Sunday 6 March, started the race but had to retire half way through the event due to her illness. After a medical check-up back at home in Port Elizabeth and with very low blood pressure, doctors advised her to withdraw from this year’s Absa Cape Epic challenge.
“I initially thought it to be food poisoning as the symptoms were so severe, but the persistent flu-like symptoms, body ache and nausea, coupled with severe dehydration made me feel extremely unwell and weak”, explains Schoeman. “I’m really disappointed that I can’t cycle in this year’s Absa Epic Challenge. Not only is it a great event and experience to participate in the world’s premier mountain bike stage race, but Liqui-Fruit is an amazing sponsor. Everything is superbly organised with intensive attention to detail and they really look after our every need. I discussed my situation with Liqui-Fruit’s marketing team and with Joel, and they were very understanding and supportive. I look forward to working with them again in the near future and wish the other team members the best of luck”.
David Cooke will replace Schoeman and along with team mate Stransky, aims to add his tough competitive nature to the highly contested Masters Category at this year’s event. Cooke is no newcomer to the event having already completed three successful ABSA Cape Epic races under his belt, as well as a top thirty and multiple podium finishes in Marathon & Cross Country events. Having recently entered the Masters Category, the Gautenger is an avid road and mountain bike cyclist and aims to make his 4th ABSA Cape Epic a memorable and successful one for team Liqui-Fruit.
Liqui-Fruit’s marketing manager, Merlin Norman says, “We are disappointed at losing Anriette to the team and wish her a speedy recovery but at the same time we’re very happy to welcome a seasoned mountain bike cyclist of Dave’s calibre into the fold.”