- Multiple World Champion and defending Cape Epic champ show their true form on stage 2.
- After struggling on Monday, a big day in the saddle, from Lourensford to Greyton, saw a terrific recovery from defending champion Matt Beers.
- After winning the prologue, stage 1 was not a happy one for Beers and Christopher Blevins, finishing outside the top ten. But they carried no misfortune into stage 2.
With slightly cooler conditions in parts of stage 2, the leading Cape Epic riders delivered a tremendously exciting race, with a sprint finish in the very last meters of the 123km route.
Defending champion, Matt Beers, was unable to gun for the line with teammate Blevins, resulting in a win for Nino Schurter and Lars Foster – by a margin of only half a second.
This Cape Epic route is testing bikes and components
It was a remarkably close finish. And even more notable because Beers had a minor crash on a singletrack section, only 10km from the finish.
Nino Schurter had to stop to repair a flat tyre (again), deep into the stage. The Swiss multiple World Champion and former Cape Epic winner, has suffered a spate fo punctured during the race.
Third place in the men's went to Hans Becking and José Dias.
A French and South African team win - in the women's
Robyn de Groot and her French teammate, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, powered to the win in the women's race. Stage 1 winners Haley Batten and Sofia Gomez Villafane finished second after stopping to repair the Argentine rider's dropper seatpost.
Completing the women's podium was Ariane Lüthi and Amy Wakefield. The women's race will enter day three of the Cape Epic with Batten and Villafane (NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized) as overall leaders, followed by De Groot and Ferrand-Prévot in second and the Lüthi/Wakefield combination in third.
Beers back in contention
In the overall classification, Andreas Seewald and Martin Stošek retain their lead by just under five minutes, over Hans Hecking and José Dias.
A huge effort from Matt Beers and Christopher Blevins helped them ascend the Cape Epic ranking from eighth to third, for stage 3.
For riders toward the back of the pack, stage 2 was another torrid affair. Many riders went beyond the scheduled ten hour stage cut-off time, which was extended in the late afternoon.
Wednesday's route starts and ends in Greyton and stretches for 101km and totals 2250m of climbing.
There are precious few trees along the stage 3 route and heat will undoubtedly be a factor. Mountain biker's familiar with Greyton's trails will know how dusty they can be – and the caution required on some of those shale switchback descents.