Cape Epic 2022: Schurter-Forster attack, get a flat tyre and win stage 2 in the sprint

Cape Epic 2022: Schurter-Forster attack, get a flat tyre and win stage 2 in the sprint

Mountain bike 22 mar. 2022 15:48 Migue A.

After an intense first stage, the longest day of the race arrived with 123 km and 2350 metres of elevation gain. A second stage in which the spectacle was assured with the great amount of crossed interests that there were between the favourites.

Nino Schurter and Lars Forster attack, get another flat tyre and win the second stage of the Cape Epic 2022 in a sprint

For much of the first half of the stage there was a strange and tense calm that kept a large group of favourites riding together at the front. There were about 15 pairs and no one was missing. The mechanics had been working for everyone so far, and the physical problems that some had suffered the previous day, such as Matt Beers of Specialized, seemed to have disappeared.

Some portage at the beginning of the stage

Before the last big climb and with still a long way to go, there was an important movement when after 73 kilometres the SCOTT SRAM pair Schurter-Forster launched a first attack, breaking the group for the first time and taking several pairs forward, including Beers-Blevins of Specialized.

For their part, the Canyon Northwave leaders seemed unfazed by any movement and were only concerned with keeping up with their immediate pursuers in the general classification, the Buff Megamos pair formed by Becking-Días.

But the move that many were waiting for came around kilometre 92, in the middle of the last big climb, the one known as the Jacques Climb. There Nino Schurter made a hard change of pace that even his team-mate Lars Forster struggled to reach, nobody else was able to respond. It looked like an attack aimed at cutting time in the general classification and in a short time he was 50 seconds ahead of the chasing group with Canyon Northwave, Buff Megamo, the second pair of SCOTT SRAM and the pair of Specialized.

There were still about 30 km downhill to the finish and, incredibly, Nino Schurter had another flat tyre and had to stop to repair it. Schurter has one flat tyre every day.

The stop caused them to lose the advantage they had gained on the climb and the chasing group reached Schurter-Forster, which presaged a massive finish. And so it happened.

Despite several attack attempts by Nino, the stage was decided in a sprint between SCOTT SRAM, Buff Megamo and the Specialized pair, which started almost in the last kilometre and left Nino Schurter and Lars Forster as stage winners. Second were Chris Blevins and Matt Beers, and the podium was closed by José Días and Hans Becking. 

Results stage 2 MEN'S Cape Epic 2022

  1. SCOTT-SRAM Nino Schurter/Lars Forster 05:17:04
  2. Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized - Matthew Beers/Christopher Blevins 
  3. BUFF-MEGAMO - Hans Becking/José Dias +0.01"
  4. Canyon Northwave MTB - Andreas Seewald/Martin Stošek +0.11"
  5. Speed Company Racing - Georg Egger/Lukas Baum +2.10´

Overall classification MEN after stage 2

  1. Canyon Northwave MTB - Andreas Seewald/Martin Stošek 
  2. BUFF-MEGAMO - Hans Becking/José Dias 
  3. Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized - Matthew Beers/Christopher Blevins 
  4. Speed Company Racing - Georg Egger/Lukas Baum 
  5. SCOTT-SRAM Nino Schurter/Lars Forster 
  6. SCOTT Calabandida - Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez/Francesc Guerra Carretero 
  7. Santa Cruz - Maxime Marotte/Keegan Swenson 
  8. Wilier Pirelli - Fabian Rabensteiner/Wout Alleman 
  9. Bulls - Urs Huber/Simons Schneller
  10. Imbuko Type Dev - Pieter Du Toit/Marco Joubert

Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Robyn de Groot take their second victory

The women's race started with Haley Batten and Sofia Nieto wearing the orange leader's jersey, and as such, they led the group of favourites for much of the first 85 kilometres.

Unlike the previous day, the four favourite pairs - Hill-Strauss of Faces Rolas, Batten-Nieto of Songo Specialized, Luthi-Wakefield and Ferran Prevot-De Groot of BMC - were riding together until the last 40 kilometres when the group began to break up.

 

De Groot and Ferrand Prevot win again © Gary Perkin 2022

After a bad day in the previous stage, Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Robyn de Groot were showing that they had not yet said it all in this Cape Epic 2022 and from kilometre 85 they increased the pace and began to open a gap with the rest of the favourites.

For their part, the Specialized pair were forced to stop several times due to a problem with Haley Batten's dropper seatpost. Despite this, they held on to second place and continued to fight to keep the leader's jersey at the end of the day.

In the front, Robyn de Groot and Pauline Ferrand Prevot continued unstoppable to the finish line for their second stage win after winning the Prologue on the first day. The BMC MTB Racing pair were first almost 3 minutes ahead of Haley Batten and Sofia Nieto. The podium was closed by the Symtech ZA pair of Ariane Luthi and Amy Wakefield. 

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