Becking and Dias win another Epic stage

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Hans Becking and José Dias climbing higher than the Cape Epic helicopter, on Stage 4.
Hans Becking and José Dias climbing higher than the Cape Epic helicopter, on Stage 4.
Nick Muzik

Holland’s Hans Becking and José Dias of Portugal of Buff Scott MTB, claimed another stage victory at the 2021 Absa Cape Epic on Friday.

The victory follows their Stage 4 triumph with an equally impressive display to claim the 84 km Stage 5 in Wellington, according to cape-epic.com

Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn (Bulls 2) finished second, with yellow-jersey-clad Matt Beers and Jordan Sarrou (NinetyOne-songo-Specialized) taking third on the day.

“That was rough,” said Becking. “The pace was really fast from the start. We just wanted to stay in the lead group at that stage, which we managed to do. We both felt good all day, so on the final climb, we said ‘let’s go’ and we went. It’s a great feeling when your legs do what you want them to. I’m also so proud of José, he is riding so well.”

A beaming Dias put the performance down to the Buff Scott MTB partnership.

“We have such a good connection on this race,” said Dias.

ALSO READ | Becking and Dias produce flawless display to take Stage 4 of Cape Epic

Stage 5 of the Cape Epic was fierce from the start.

First, Urs Huber (Bulls) pulled to the front, then Lachlan Morton (EF Education-Nippo) found himself leading. Bulls 2 were the next to attack, followed by a surge from Trek-Pirelli (Samuele Porro and Fabian Rabensteiner).

Around the 30 km point, the lead pack emerged from the melee: Bulls 2, Buff Scott MTB, NinetyOne-songo-Specialized and Trek-Pirelli all in their own race within a race. Like Stage 4, Buff Scott MTB made their break on the final climb up Aap d’Huez. None of the other teams could respond and they extended their lead to around a minute-and-a-half. They duly crossed the line for an exceptional Stage 5 win.

Matt Beers and Jordan Sarrou (NinetyOne-songo-Specialized) remain overall leaders with a 00:06:39 lead over Bulls 2.

Meanwhile, Laura Stigger and Sina Frei (NinetyOne-songo-Specialized) continued their incredible form in Wellington on Friday, winning their sixth stage (one prologue and five stages). Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss (Faces CST) finished in second place. Salusmed (Robyn de Groot and Ariane Lüthi) claimed third.

Stigger and Frei now enjoy a 29-minute lead overall.

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