Cape Epic 2022: Speed Company Racing takes stage 3 and assaults the overall ranking
Stage 3 of the Cape Epic 2022 was a 101 km stage with 2250 metres of elevation gain in which the favourites flew. A very different stage in sporting terms to previous days where the Germans of Speed Company Racing shone.
Speed Company Racing shines to win stage 3 at Cape Epic 2022
From the first kilometres of the stage, movements began to be seen that presaged a change of protagonists in the fight for the stage.
The Speed Company Racing pair of Georg Egger and Lukas Baum showed their intentions early and formed a breakaway group that was joined by the Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized and Santa Cruz pair. SCOTT SRAM also tried to do the same, but Forster was not having the day and struggled to catch the wheel of teammate Nino Schurter.
Bad luck befell the top-ranked Spanish pair in the general classification. Sergio Mantecón of SCOTT Calabandida, suffered a broken chain at the start of the stage when the group was riding the fastest and had to ride alone for the rest of the day.
Speed Company Racing did not seem to want to have any travelling companions and by kilometre 30 they were already leading alone with a 30-second advantage over the Santa Cruz team. A gap that continued to increase to more than 03:30 minutes at kilometre 70.
With less than 20 km to go, Matt Beers and Chris Blevins were fighting with the Santa Cruz pair for the rest of the stage podium, while behind them, almost 5 minutes behind the race leaders, there was a larger group with the overall leaders, Canyon Northwave, accompanied by the two Wilier pairs, the DMT Racing pair of Tiago Ferreira and Miguel Muñoz, the Imbuko pair and the Bulls team.
Nino Schurter and Lars Forster were clearly paying for the effort of the previous day and were lagging behind, close to the Buff Megamo pair, about 06:30 minutes behind the leaders.
After a brilliant prologue stage where they set the second fastest time, Speed Company Racing suffered a flat tyre on stage 1 and lost the pace of the group of favourites in the last kilometres of stage 2. So on stage 3 they took a much more aggressive strategy from the start and it worked out perfectly.
Georg Egger and Lukas Baum took the stage 3 victory with 02:15 minutes over the Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized. The podium was completed by the Canyon Northwave leaders after a great stage finish.
Results Stage 3 Cape Epic 2022 - MEN
- Speed Company Racing - Georg Egger/Lukas Baum
- Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized - Matthew Beers/Christopher Blevins +2.15
- Canyon Northwave MTB - Andreas Seewald/Martin Stošek +3.27
- Wilier Pirelli - Fabian Rabensteiner/Wout Alleman +5.36
- Bulls - Urs Huber/Simons Schneller +5.37
Apart from the fight for the first places of the stage, today's race has left big changes in the general classification. The leaders remain the same, but Speed Company Racing is now in second position and with a chance to fight for the victory.
Overall ranking after stage 3 - MEN
- Canyon Northwave MTB - Andreas Seewald/Martin Stošek 14:06:53
- Speed Company Racing - Georg Egger/Lukas Baum +00:04:42
- Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized - Matthew Beers/Christopher Blevins +00:06:52
- BUFF-MEGAMO - Hans Becking/José Dias +00:09:05
- SCOTT-SRAM Nino Schurter/Lars Forster +00:14:33
- Santa Cruz - Maxime Marotte/Keegan Swenson +00:15:59
- Bulls - Urs Huber/Simons Schneller +00:19:56
- Wilier Pirelli - Cameron Orr/Daniel Geismayr +00:20:00
- Imbuko Type Dev - Pieter Du Toit/Marco Joubert +00:28:00
- Wilier Pirelli - Fabian Rabensteiner/Wout Alleman +00:30:19
Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss win their first stage
The women's race also saw new faces fighting for the top places in the stage. Or at least that was the case at the start of the day when Mari Rabie and Hayley Preen of Private Client Holdings attacked to take a solo lead of up to two minutes over the leaders Batten-Nieto.
But the race changed with 30 kilometres to go and victory now looked much more tightly contested with Sofia Gomez Villafane and Haley Batten (NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized) leading alongside Lill-Strauss' Faces Rola. Private Client Holdings could not hold on to their good start and were now trying to close the 30-second gap that separated them from the front.
BMC MTB Racing's Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Robyn de Groot seemed to be paying for the previous day's effort to win the stage and were in fourth place. Ariane Luthi and Amy Wakefiedl, third overall, were not having their best day either, fighting not to lose too much time from fourth place.
Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss came in ahead to take their first win and move up a few places in the overall standings. Haley Batten and Sofia Gomez were second and consolidate their leadership. The podium was closed by Mari Rabie and Hayley Preen.
Results Stage 3 Cape Epic 2022 - WOMEN
- Faces Rola - Candice Lill/Mariske Strauss 04:50:35
- NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized Sofia Gomez Villafane/Haley Batten +00:00:02
- Private Client Holdings - Mari Rabie/Hayley Preen +00:02:37
- BMC MTB Racing - Pauline Ferrand Prévot/Robyn De Groot +00:05:55
- Symbtech ZA -Ariane Lüthi/Amy Wakefield +00:09:42
Overall ranking after stage 3 - WOMEN
- NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized Sofia Gomez Villafane/Haley Batten 17:14:57
- Faces Rola - Candice Lill/Mariske Strauss +00:10:07
- BMC MTB Racing - Pauline Ferrand Prévot/Robyn De Groot +00:12:19
- Symbtech ZA -Ariane Lüthi/Amy Wakefield +00:16:26
- Private Client Holdings - Mari Rabie/Hayley Preen +00:44:36