RECAP | Beers and Sarrou move into striking distance before Absa Cape Epic Final

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Simon Stiebjahn of Bulls 2 during stage 6 of the 2021 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race. (Photo: Nick Muzik/Absa Cape Epic)
Simon Stiebjahn of Bulls 2 during stage 6 of the 2021 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race. (Photo: Nick Muzik/Absa Cape Epic)

Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn won Stage 6 of the Absa Cape Epic in Wellington on Saturday.

It was the first stage win for the BULLS 2 pair at the 2021 event.

The stage win for Stiebjahn was his first in eight Absa Cape Epic appearances. Matt Beers and Jordan Sarrou (NinetyOne-songo-Specialized) finished second on the stage, retaining their healthy lead in the overall standings. They now have a 06:38 lead over BULLS 2 in the general classification, with one day of racing left.  

Trek-Pirelli’s Samuele Porro and Fabian Rabensteiner (fourth on Stage 6) sit in third overall, the Italian duo are nearly 14 minutes off the leaders.  

"It’s unbelievable, I have no words," said Stiebjahn.

"I must say thank you to the whole team and especially to Martin, who was so strong today. I am so happy with this win. I always had the feeling that I had the potential to win a stage and in the end, it is also about the right partnership and a bit of luck. We went at the right moment today and it worked out super well. I also want to say Matt and Jordan were strong and they really deserve that yellow jersey."

Past winner Stefan Sahm, riding with the leaders on the media e-bike, says the wet and muddy conditions suit Stiebjhan.

"When he sees the rain, he is smiling on the inside." Two-time Absa Cape Epic finisher Martin Frey was also comfortable in the wet and muddy conditions. "I knew it would suit us today," said Frey.

"I felt good right from the start and in the end, the conditions were an advantage for us. I really enjoyed that stage."

Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn of Bulls 2 win the
Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn of Bulls 2 win the stage during stage 6 of the 2021 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race. (Photo: Nick Muzik/Absa Cape Epic)

Women's Elite race

The Race That Measures All very nearly saw a new stage winner in the women’s race. But in the end, Sina Frei and Laura Stigger (NinetyOne-songo-Specialized) won a sprint finish to claim their seventh straight win (one Prologue and six stages). 

Mariske Strauss crossed the line first, but Frei and Stigger came in together, with Candice Lill just off the pace. It meant the Faces CST team had to be happy with second on the day, after an excellent ride.  

The final stage of the 2021 Absa Cape Epic, The Trail to Val de Vie, is a relatively breezy 68km from Wellington to Val de Vie.

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