NEWS & EVENTS
CAPE EPIC NEWSStage 2:
Stage 2 of this year's Absa Cape Epic was known as the singletrack stage. Riders crossed farmlands, descended rocky scrub and navigated forest paths. The narrow, steep and rocky climbs split the race apart.
Early on in the race, Trek World Racing's Lukas and Mathias Flueckiger launched an attack, pushing hard during the singletrack sections in order to build up a lead of up about five minutes. Due to the weather and terrain conditions of the day (including sun in the riders’ eyes and dust) many of the leading riders did not even notice the breakaway. But then Lady Luck had her own ideas on how the events of the day would play out with Lukas encountering a mechanical which meant he had to run/walk for 2km to the next vantage point to our mechanic Oli Kaderli. Unfortunately he lost quite a lot of time and had to dig deep to catch up. The Scott-Swisspower MTB-racing team (Nino Schurter and Florian Vogel) then saw the chance to escape and built up a lead of more than three and a half minutes. Lady Luck was not on their side either as they had a flat tyre and had to change their wheel at water point 3. As the spare wheel did not have enough air, they had to pump the tyre and lost a lot of time. Shortly after on a tar section of the stage, they had yet another flat. Ultimately it was the Trek-Bart Brentjens team that took the win.
For Stage 3 of the Absa Cape Epic riders experienced fast open roads taking the field to a short section of smooth, flowing singletrack. Riders were relieved to reach water point 1 after a leg-trashing 3km climb out of the Ceres bowl and up onto a plateau. A rough dual track then headed through some rare fynbos. Riders needed to stay alert on the challenging downhill section. Almost half of the day’s climbing was done within the first 40km.
The Flueckiger brothers, winners of last year's final stage, finished in second place today, their first podium finish in this year's event. Says Mathias, who was still in school in Switzerland last Thursday: "We had very good legs today. Around 5km before the finish, we took the wrong turn and lost about 4 minutes. We were riding at a good pace today and are very happy with the results. It's just very hot – I've come from a very cold Switzerland and my body is still acclimatizing." Lukas adds: "It's a pity that we took the wrong turn. Our legs and heads were good today, and our bikes perfect. It was a good technical ride."
1. Sauser/Stander - 4hrs 36m 59.8secs 2. Lukas and Mathias (Trek World Racing) - 4hrs 41m 09.5secs 3. Platt/Sahm - 4hrs 41m 50.6secs 4. Brentjens/Pietersma - 4hrs 41m 51.2secs
The brothers took the wrong turn with 2 other teamns after being sent that way by race officials. There is a pending protest toi have 4mins deducted from their GC time.
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