- The penultimate Cape Epic stage offered an abundance of singletrack riding.
- Stellenbosch reinforced its reputation as South Africa's mountain bike headquarters, hosting stage 6.
- South Africa's defending Cape Epic champion will enter the last day with a deficit of nearly eight minutes.
Fabian Rabensteiner and Wout Alleman (Wilier-Pirelli) rode a flawless race to win a rewarding sixth stage of the Cape Epic.
Speed Company Racing (Lukas Baum and Georg Egger) finished second – and managed to eat into the overall lead of Canyon Northwave MTB. Baum and Egger will start Sunday's final stage just 02:45 behind the yellow jersey leaders.
It is all down to Sunday
Wilier-Pirelli looked strong from the start, attacking the first climb, taking Speed Company Racing and Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized (Matt Beers and Christopher Blevins) along. Beers and Blevins soon dropped off the pace.
The yellow jersey leaders Canyon Northwave MTB (Andreas Seewald and Martin Stošek) appeared to be struggling, particularly Andreas Seewald, who is battling a rib injury.
From the 40km mark, Wilier-Pirelli could pull away from the chasers, riding to the finish without much pressure for the final 30km.
With one stage to go, Canyon Northwave MTB sits on a total time of 24:54:46.6, with Speed Company Racing on 24:57:32.2. Beers and Blevins are third in the general classification, almost eight minutes behind the leaders.
Another win for the Specialized women
The NinetyOne-songo-Specialized team of Sofia Gómez Villafane and Haley Batten won their third Cape Epic stage. They now lead Faces Rola (Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss) by more than 16 minutes in the general classification.
"That was crazy today," said Haley Batten. "It was a real battle of the trails; there was so much singletrack. From that point of view, it was probably the hardest stage we have done at this year's Absa Cape Epic."
The final Cape Epic stage is a 68km route from Stellenbosch to Val de Vie Estate.