Cape Epic 2023: SCOTT SRAM takes the lead after a first stage won by Rabensteiner-Alleman
Rabensteiner-Alleman have won the first stage of the Cape Epic 2023 after beating the pair Schurter-Frischknecht by only 2 seconds. The day has had several changes of leader, tentative breakaways, a lot of equality between the top teams and a very close finish between these two formations.
Wilier Pirelli Factory takes the first stage by 2 seconds after a final duel with Scott-SRAM
The Cape Epic 2023 started yesterday with the prologue of 27 kilometers against the clock. Today was the turn of the first of the seven stages that the riders will complete uninterruptedly until Sunday. A first round that would already be a real challenge for almost any of our quadriceps: 98 kilometers and no less than 2,550 meters of elevation gain.
The route has been through the Hemel valley in Aarde - close to the southernmost point of the continent - and the Overberg plains.
Egger-Baum, last year's surprise winners, took the lead in the early stages, followed by the prologue winners, the team of Beers and Blevins.
The race was shaken up soon after when Nino Schurter made a move. The Scott-SRAM legend took over the lead and Blevins was in his wake. Egger-Baum followed behind, while Frischknecht and Beers did the same behind the Germans.
The riders reached the 17.5 km with maximum equality in the lead. Then came the Egger-Baum attack, which was answered by Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne. Meanwhile, Rabensteiner-Alleman and Schurter-Frischknecht lost time and were somewhat behind.
As the kilometers went by, Rabensteiner-Alleman cut the gap until they managed to catch the two breakaway pairs. At that moment, a strong wind picked up, forcing the riders to be patient to resist the strong winds, which were blowing at speeds of up to 90 km/h.
Egger-Baum suffered a setback due to a possible tyre problem. Blevins-Beers, Rabensteiner-Alleman and a rejoined Schurter-Frischknecht were moving up a gear and pulling away.
The situation changed at km 74. With a good part of the race already in the bag, the Orbea x Leatt x Speed Company arrived with a lead of 33 seconds. The chasing group was formed by SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing, Wilier Pirelli Factory and Canyon Northwave.
As he did at the start, Nino Schurter went on the attack, this time with the aim of catching Egger-Baum.
The effort paid off and the chasing group caught the escapees. Seewald launched an attack on the leading pair, although his Canyon Northwave teammate -Stosek- could not join him in the attack. Scott-SRAM and Wilier Pirelli Factory were able to replicate the attack.
Shortly after, it was Schurter-Frischknecht who took the lead and gained a 30-second cushion over Wilier Pirelli Factory.
Just as the Scott-SRAM pair were beginning to taste victory, a sensational Rabensteiner-Alleman pair came up with a better pace to overtake them, cross the finish line in first place and win the first stage of the Cape Epic 2023 by the narrowest of margins.
Egger-Baum crossed the finish line in third place and confirmed that Egger's crash earlier in the day was resolved without apparent negative consequences for him.
Cape Epic 2023 Men's Category Results - Stage 1
- Rabensteiner/Alleman (Wilier Pirelli Factory) 4:01:44
- Schurter/Frischknecht (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing) +2"
- Egger/Baum (Orbea x Leatt x Speed Company) +21"
- Seewald/Stosek (Canyon Nothwave MTB) +34"
- Vakoc/Stutzmann (Canyon Northwave) +4'17"
- Buys/Miller (PYGA Euro Steel) +5'52"
- Porro/Nibali (Italian Friends) +5'56"
- Huber/Schneller (Bulls Heroes) +6'36"
- Valero/Rodríguez (BH Coloma) +6'39"
- Lakata/Roudil-Cortinat (Bulls Mavericks) +6'53"
Overall classification men's category Cape Epic 2023 - Stage 1
- Schurter/Frischknecht (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing) 5:04:55
- Egger/Baum (Orbea x Leatt x Speed Company) +57"
- Seewald/Stosek (Canyon Nothwave MTB) +1'27"
- Rabensteiner/Alleman (Wilier Pirelli Factory) +1'32"
- Vakoc/Stutzmann (Canyon Northwave) +6'12"
- Buys/Miller (PYGA Euro Steel) +7'34"
- Porro/Nibali (Italian Friends) +7'54"
- Beers/Blevins (Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne) +7'59"
- Valero/Rodríguez (BH Coloma) +9'37"
- Huber/Schneller (Bulls Heroes) +9'45"
Wakefield-Lill win with authority and take the overall lead
The women's stage started as a continuation of the prologue when the three fastest teams from yesterday led the start of the race. Wakefield recovered from a crash and the top teams reached the 17th kilometer close together.
That's how the stage continued until almost halfway through the course. Gomez-Nash pushed harder and managed to cross the 45 km detection point with a lead of 25 seconds over Wakefield-Lill. Le Court-Looser were 47 seconds behind, while further back the gap to the lead was already very large.
The solo lead came to an end when Wakefield-Lill gave chase to Gomez-Nash. The e-Ford.net riders continued with their effort and managed to open a gap of more than 2 minutes at km 78.
The advantage increased and they crossed the finish line in first position with a difference of almost 6 minutes. A demonstration of strength and endurance to take the first stage and the overall lead.
Cape Epic 2023 Women's Category Results - Stage 1
- Wakefield/Lill (e-FORT.net) 4:57:46
- Gómez/Nash (NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized) +5'54"
- Le Court/Looser (Efficient Inifity Insure) +11'08"
- Steinburg/Calderón (Cannondale Vas Arabay) +24'
- Hill/Harmzen-Pretorius (She Untamed) +25'54"
- Keep/Preen (Valley Electrical) +26'20"
- Keseg Stevkova/Krahulcova (8capital) +30'25"
- Wohlters/De Villiers (Bester Performance) +41'23"
- Venter/Johnson (Deeka Vivo Vita) +47'18"
- Povey/Hanekom (Echo Pentest) +1:02'27"
Overall classification Women's category Cape Epic 2023 - Stage 1
- Wakefield/Lill (e-FORT.net) 6:17:14
- Gómez/Nash (NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized) +5'24"
- Le Court/Looser (Efficient Inifity Insure) +10'45"
- Keep/Preen (Valley Electrical) +31'49"
- Steinburg/Calderón (Cannondale Vas Arabay) +32'16'
- Hill/Harmzen-Pretorius (She Untamed) +33'16"
- Keseg Stevkova/Krahulcova (8capital) +35'30"
- Wohlters/De Villiers (Bester Performance) +51'04"
- Venter/Johnson (Deeka Vivo Vita) +1:00'17"
- Povey/Hanekom (Echo Pentest) +1:16'58"