Cape Epic 2022: Seewald-Stosek win stage 1, change of leaders, more problems for SCOTT SRAM
After only two stages, we can already say that this is one of the most exciting editions of the Cape Epic. The second day was considered the queen stage and we have seen important changes in the general classification and the SCOTT SRAM of Schurter and Forster practically said goodbye to the fight for the general classification. Andreas Seewald and Martin Stosek have signed a great victory and become leaders of the race. In the women's race, Sofia Gómez Villafane and Haley Batten won the stage and the yellow leader's jersey.
Canyon Northwave takes the lead as Nino Schurter and Lars Forster continue to struggle
With 92 km and 2850 metres of elevation gain, stage 1 of the Cape Epic 2022 once again gave us one of those tough days that are so characteristic of this event. After yesterday's time loss due to a flat tyre, it was easy to imagine that Nino Schurter and Lars Forster were going to go all out, and so it was until bad luck struck the pair again, but they were not the only ones with problems.
In the group of favourites at the start we found the Canyon Northwave of Seewald and Stosek, Nino Schurter and Lars Forster, the Specialized pair wearing the leader's jersey, Becking and Dias of the Buff Megamo or the German pair of Speed Company Racing, among others.
The Germans were the first to drop off with a flat tyre, while SCOTT SRAM followed by Canyon Northwave set the first changes of pace. But it was in the first half of the stage that problems began to multiply among several pairs and the first to suffer were Nino Schurter and Lars Forster. A new flat tyre left them on the side of the road and they completely lost contact with the race leader. They were going to have a tough day trying to reduce time.
For their part, the leaders of the general classification until then, Matt Beers and Cris Blevins also began to fall behind due to physical problems of the South African and their difference with the first ones began to be counted by minutes very quickly. When many thought it might be Blevins who would have the hardest time adapting to a race like the Cape Epic, it was the South African.
At the front, World Champion Andreas Seewald and his team-mate Martin Stosek made a hard change of pace to which only the Buff Megamo could respond at first, but Becking-Días also gave up and they could only hold their positions until the end.
At the finish, Andreas Seewald and Martin Stosek took the victory with 03:23 minutes ahead of the Buff Megamo to take the overall lead. The podium was rounded off by the Willier Pirelli of Wout Alleman and Fabien Rabensteiner, 03:49 minutes behind the winners, with Nino Shcurter and Lars Forster taking fifth place and adding another 5:12 minutes to their gap in the overall standings.
The Spanish SCOTT Calabandida duo of Sergio Mantecón and Francesc Guerra consolidated their position as one of the best in the race with another sixth place in the stage.
Men's overall classification after Stage 1
- Canyon Northwave MTB - Andreas Seewald/Martin Stošek 04:57.36,7
- BUFF-MEGAMO - Hans Becking/José Dias 05:02.41,0 +5.04,3
- Santa Cruz - Maxime Marotte/Keegan Swenson 05:03.33,8+5.57,1
- Speed Company Racing - Georg Egger/Lukas Baum 05:03.46,9 +6.10,2
- Wilier Pirelli - Fabian Rabensteiner/Wout Alleman 05:04.02,6 +6.25,9
- SCOTT Calabandida - Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez/Francesc Guerra Carretero 05:05.45,6 +8.08,9
- Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized - Matthew Beers/Christopher Blevins 05:05.51,5 +8.14,8
- SCOTT-SRAM Nino Schurter/Lars Forster 05:06.22,1+8.45,4
- Wilier-Pirelli Factory Daniel Geismayr/Cameron Orr 05:06.25,5 +8.48,8
- Insect Science Keagan Bontekoning/Arno Du Toit 05:08.29,9 +10.53,2
Sofia Gómez Villafane and Haley Batten revolutionise the Cape Epic 2022
After the victory of Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Robyn de Groot in the Prologue stage, things were very different on the second day. The Songo Specialized of Sofia Gómez Villafane and Haley Batten took the lead from the start followed by the South African pair of Faces Rolas, and 1 minute behind BMC MTB Racing in the leader's jersey.
But after dominating much of the first half of the stage, Batten-Gómez Villafane saw Switzerland's Ariane Luthi and South Africa's Amy Wakefield come from behind and overtake them after setting a pace that neither pair could keep up with.
Luthi-Wakefield led solo for much of the stage, but a flat tyre in the last 20 kilometres ruined their goal of winning the stage and taking the lead.
An opportunity that American Haley Batten and Argentinian Gomez Villafane of Songo Specialized took advantage of to take the lead of the race, winning the stage and becoming the new leaders of the Cape Epic 2022. Luthi-Wakefield came in second at 01:49 minutes behind, with Candice Lille and Mariske Strauss closing the podium at 03:42 minutes.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Robyn de Groot were fourth, more than 10 minutes behind, losing the leader's jersey and almost out of contention for the overall victory.
Women's overall classification after Stage 1
- NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized Sofia Gomez Villafane/Haley Batten 06:00.39,5
- Symbtech ZA Ariane Lüthi/Amy Wakefield06:02.24,8 +1.45,3
- Faces Rola Candice Lill/Mariske Strauss 06:03.33,0 +2.53,5
- BMC MTB Racing Pauline Ferrand Prévot/Robyn De Groot 06:09.53,9 +9.14,4
- Private Client Holdings Mari Rabie/Hayley Preen 06:23.08,2 +22.28,7