Cape Epic stage 3 - German winners and strong SA riders

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After struggling on stage 1, Matt Beers had found his pace with two second-place finishers. No doubt helped by a powerful teammate in American, Christopher Blevins. (Photo: Michal Cerveny)
After struggling on stage 1, Matt Beers had found his pace with two second-place finishers. No doubt helped by a powerful teammate in American, Christopher Blevins. (Photo: Michal Cerveny)
  • The first of two days of racing in Greyton, has seen new stage winners, including a South African team victorious in the women’s category.
  • Defending champion Matt Beers and his American teammate rode to another strong second place on stage 3.
  • It was a bad day for stage 2 winners, Nino Schurter and Lars Foster.

Stage 3 of the Cape Epic featured a loose and fast route around Greyton. Riders who adapted to sharp climbs, dusty corners and a higher tempo prevailed.

Germany's Speed Company Racing delivered a strong performance in the men's race. George Egger and Lukas Baum powered to the stage 3 overall win by 02:15.2. A commanding margin.

mountain bike
Speed Company Racing won comfortably, after controlling the pace all day on stage 3. (@muzikstation/Cape Epic)

A very fast pace at the front

The German team pulled away in the last portion of the 101km route, with its dusty conditions and 2250m of climbing. After two very challenging days, the leading men set a terrific pace on stage 3, passing the 33km marker in only an hour.

Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized claimed another second-place finish, keeping Matt Beers in contention for his Cape Epic defence. Overall event leaders, Canyon Northwave MTB, finished third, with Andreas Seewald and Martin Stošek.

The Cape Epic overall classification after stage 3 sees Canyon Northwave MTB in the lead by 04:42.1, from Speed Company Racing. South Africa's defending Cape Epic champion, Matt Beers, is in third overall, with his teammate Christopher Blevins, trailing by 06:52.2.

The most surprising feature of stage 3, was Nino Schurter and Lars Forster finished in 12th place. The Swiss team, who powered to victory on a brutal stage 2, finished nearly ten minutes off the winning stage 3 time. 

women's MTB
Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss powered to their first win of the 2022 Cape Epic. (Dom Barnardt/Cape Epic)

A strong showing by South African women 

Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss (Face Rola) took the women's victory by a slim margin of 2.9 seconds, from Haley Batten and Sofia Gomez Villafane (NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized).

Despite a strong start and leading for a significant portion of the stage, Mari Rabie and Hayley Preen (Private Client Holdings), could not convert their initial ascendancy into a stage 3 win. Finishing third.

Haley Batten and Sofia Gomez Villafane lead the women's race by 10:07.6, from Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss. Stage 2 winners, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Robyn de Groot are classified third overall, 12:19.0 behind the leaders, as the Cape Epic prepares for stage 4.

With the race reaching its midway point, riders will embark on another lap of Greyton and its surrounds, on Thursday.

Stage 4 appears tame, at 82km of distance and only 1650m of climbing. It might provide some respite for mid-field riders and backmarkers, who suffered through the week's early stages.

A highlight of stage 4 will be Bakenskop, which starts after the 40km marker. This 9km ascent, ridgeline traverse and descent is shale singletrack - typical of the Greyton area's renowned mountain biking terrain.

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