Cape Epic stage 5 - Giant win for Du Toit and Joubert

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Marco Joubert and Pieter Du Toit added an overall win to their African leader jersey status on stage 5. (Photo: Nick Muzik/Cape Epic)
Marco Joubert and Pieter Du Toit added an overall win to their African leader jersey status on stage 5. (Photo: Nick Muzik/Cape Epic)
  • Another day with new winners, on the Cape Epic, as the event moves from Greyton to Stellenbosch.
  • A big stage saw the Imbuko {Type} DEV team take overall honours. With a bold breakaway.
  • Barring a mechanical issue, the women’s and masters categories are all but won.  

After a comparatively easy stage 4, the route returned to authentic Cape Epic suffering for stage 5.

Ranging 115km from Greyton to Stellenbosch, stage 5 of the Cape Epic totalled 2400m of climbing. Including iconic ascents such as the Rusty Gate climb and Franschhoek pass.

It started badly for pre-event favourites, Scott-SRAM. The Swiss team of Nino Schurter and Lars Forster have suffered a series of punctures and to make things worse, Forster crashed heavily, only a few kilometres into the stage.

Swiss MTB
Lars Forster on the ground. The Swiss rider and his celebrated teammate, Nino Schurter, have endured terrible luck at the Cape Epic. (Photo: Cape Epic/Twitter)

Spirited performance from local riders 

Stage 3 winners, Speed Company Racing, set the early pace, leading the men’s field at the 29km marker. But nobody expected the South African duo of Pieter du Toit and Marco Joubert to launch a strong attack around 69km.

The Imbuko {Type} DEV riders defended their breakaway and completed a famous win. The first overall victory for an all South African team at the 2022 Cape Epic.

Canyon Northwave MTB’s Andreas Seewald and Martin Stošek were second, 02:06 adrift. In third place was defending Cape Epic champion and stage 4 winners, Matt Beers and Christopher Blevins (Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized).

Du Toit and Joubert’s audacious stage 5 win was a proud moment for South African riders on their Giant bikes

Overall race rankings for the penultimate stage have Canyon Northwave MTB’s Andreas Seewald and Martin Stošek with a 06:54.4 lead ahead of Beers and Blevins. The defending champion and his American teammate have moved up from third place in the general classification.

Speed Company Racing’s George Egger and Lukas Baum are third overall.

womens MTB
Sofia Gomez Villafane and Haley Batten have made the orange women’s jersey their own. (Photo: Gary Perkin)

A North and South American dream team 

The women’s race saw two South African teams on the podium, but the international duo of NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized remained dominant.

Haley Batten and Sofia Gomez Villafane crossed the Stellenbosch finish only 00:05.7 ahead of Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss (Faces Rola).

The NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized women pulled away on the last climb, winning by a slim margin. Mari Rabie and Hayley Preen (Private Client Holdings) finished third.

Batten and Gomez Villafane take a 15:49.9 women’s category advantage into stage 6. The American-Argentine team appear almost guaranteed for an overall win.

Christoph Sauser
Christoph Sauser and Karl Platt. With ten Cape Epic overall wins between them, the dream team has delivered on expectations. (Photo: Dom Barnardt)

Two legends powering away in the masters 

The Cape Epic’s most successful champions also carry an almost unassailable lead into stage 6. Karl Platt and Christoph Sauser are clearly enjoying the novelty of riding as a team, instead of as rivals. They lead the masters general classification by 33:29.6.

Stage 6 is short on distance (76km) but has more singletrack trail riding than any other day at the Cape Epic.

Navigating the most rewarding Stellenbosch trails, riders will be tested with 2700m of climbing. Those lacking confidence on fast and tight technical descents could experience an anxious day on the bike.

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