Speed Company Team conquers and wins the Absa Cape Epic 2022 on the last stage
An intense Grand Final was expected and it didn't disappoint. The excitement of the Absa Cape Epic 2022 continued until the final stage when a highly motivated Speed Company Team turned the race around to take the victory.
Speed Company Team wins the Absa Cape Epic 2022 in style
The stage started with the first places in the general classification very close and the Speed Company Team, second at 02:45 minutes behind Canyon Northwave, still had a chance to turn the result around and try to win the Absa Cape Epic 2022. It's true that the stage, with only 68 km and 2000 metres of elevation gain, didn't seem the best to open big gaps, but everyone was willing to give it a go.
The day started with an attack attempt by Canyon Nortwave, for the reason that the best defence is a good attack, but it soon became clear that Andreas Seewald could not follow his teammate Stosek. The Speed Company Team responded with a change of pace that allowed them to get away with SCOTT SRAM and the Santa Cruz pair.
Within a few kilometres, the leading group opened up a gap of 40 seconds, which increased to 01:20 minutes on the first few uphill climbs. Behind, Canyon Northwave could only hang on in the chasing group, trying to ensure that the time gap did not endanger their first place in the overall standings. In this group were Toyota Ninety Specialized and Wilier Pirelli.
Before kilometre 42, the time gap was critically close to 2 minutes and it was at that point that Canyon Northwave moved into action and jumped out of the group to the front to try and contain the time loss.
At the front of the race, Baum and Egger of the Speed Company Team had a lot to gain and little to lose, so they looked ready to go all the way.
By kilometre 47, things were not looking good for Canyon Northwave, who were already down by more than 3:30 minutes and were chasing alone in a lead group that was now riding very tightly together. At the front we saw Nino Schurter relieving Georg Egger and Lukas Baum until the SCOTT SRAM got a puncture for the umpteenth time in this Cape Epic.
It seemed unbelievable, but the Speed Company Team's determination was not exhausted, nobody could hold their pace and they even released the pair from the Santa Cruz team in the last kilometres.
In an epic performance, Georg Egger and Lukas Baum reached the finish line first to take the final stage win and claim the Absa Cape Epic 2022. For the Germans, this was their first Absa Cape Epic.
The day's podium was completed by SCOTT SRAM and Santa Cruz. Finally, Canyon Northwave came in fifth, almost 6 minutes behind Speed Company Racing, giving the final victory to the Germans.
Absa Cape Epic 2022 Grand Final Results - MEN
- Speed Company Racing - Georg Egger/Lukas Baum +02:46:34
- SCOTT-SRAM Nino Schurter/Lars Forster +00:01:44
- Santa Cruz - Maxime Marotte/Keegan Swenson +00:01:45
- Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized - Matthew Beers/Christopher Blevins +00:05:43
- Canyon Northwave MTB - Andreas Seewald/Martin Stošek +00:05:48
Men's overall rankings Absa Cape Epic 2022
- Speed Company Racing - Georg Egger/Lukas Baum 27:44:06
- Canyon Northwave MTB - Andreas Seewald/Martin Stošek+00:03:02
- Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized - Matthew Beers/Christopher Blevins +00:10:38
- BUFF-MEGAMO - Hans Becking/José Dias +00:29:59
- Bulls - Urs Huber/Simons Schneller +00:42:47
- Wilier Pirelli - Cameron Orr/Daniel Geismayr +00:52:46
- Wilier Pirelli - Fabian Rabensteiner/Wout Alleman +00:54:15
- Imbuko Type Dev - Pieter Du Toit/Marco Joubert +00:58:57
- SCOTT-SRAM Nino Schurter/Lars Forster +00:58:57
- Trek Vaude - Sascha Weber/Jaco Venter +01:20:04
Haley Batten and Sofia Gomez claim victory in the Absa Cape Epic 2022
In the women's race, the overall classification was not as tight and that allowed for a slightly more relaxed final stage for the leaders. The South African riders of Faces Rola, Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss, took the lead of the stage from the first kilometres together with Songo Specialized. But Sofia Gomez and Haley Batten seemed unwilling to take any risks on the final stage and held on to a comfortable second position that allowed them to secure the final victory. Some 12 minutes behind, the BCM MTB Racing team of Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Robyn De Groot was a little further back.
So without any more attacks or surprises, the victory of the last stage went to Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss who arrived first at the finish line with almost 4 minutes of advantage over Songo Specialized.
Haley Batten and Sofia Gomez came in second place with the excitement of knowing they had won the Absa Cape Epic 2022. For Batten this was her debut in the race, while Gómez had already participated in 2021 for the first time. The pair have been the most consistent of the edition with three stage victories and having been on the podium every day except for the Prologue stage.
Absa Cape Epic 2022 Grand Final Results - WOMEN
- Faces Rola - Candice Lill/Mariske Strauss 03:23:22
- NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized Sofia Gomez Villafane/Haley Batten +00:03:57
- BMC MTB Racing - Pauline Ferrand Prévot/Robyn De Groot +00:12:53
- Private Client Holdings - Mari Rabie/Hayley Preen +00:15:58
Women's overall rankings Absa Cape Epic 2022
- NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized Sofia Gomez Villafane/Haley Batten 33:41:11
- Faces Rola - Candice Lill/Mariske Strauss +00:12:31
- BMC MTB Racing - Pauline Ferrand Prévot/Robyn De Groot +00:47:06
- Private Client Holdings - Mari Rabie/Hayley Preen +01:24:14
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