Sarrou-Beers and Frei-Stigger win the Prologue and take the lead in Cape Epic 2021
The Absa Cape Epic 2021, the most important mountain bike stage race in the world, has started with the classic timed prologue stage starting and finishing in Cape Town. The women's pair Frei-Stigger and the men's pair Sarrou-Beers were the fastest of the day and became the first leaders of the race.
Sina Frei-Laura Stigger and Sarrou-Bers win the Prologue stage of Absa Cape Epic 2021
At 07:30 in the morning the first riders were scheduled to start this 20km time trial stage with 600m of elevation gain around the iconic Table Mountain National Park. After a few minutes delay the race started with cool weather and some threatening rain that had already wet the course. After more than 2 years a new edition of the Cape Epic was finally on.
Frenchman Jordan Sarrou and South African Matthew Beers, the NinetyOne-songo-Specialized duo, were the fastest riders of the day, which allowed them to take the leaders' jersey with a lead of just over a minute and a half over the second placed riders. It was a short stage that benefited them and the Specialized riders were able to take advantage of it to gain a small time cushion that could quickly disappear when specialists in the discipline, such as the Seewald-Stosek pair, take control from tomorrow onwards.
In an incident and crash-free stage, the Swiss pair of Filippo Colombo and Italian Juri Zanotti took second place. The podium was rounded off by the Canyon Northwave MTB pair of World Champion Andreas Seewald and Czech rider Martin Stosek.
The first Spanish pair was formed by Enrique Morcillo and José María Sanchez, from BUFF SCOTT, who made a great stage finishing in 6th position just 02:35 minutes behind the first ones. The Orbea Factory with Ibón Zugasti and Oliver Avilés arrived in 24th position just ahead of the Australian EF rider, Lachlan Morton who participates in a pair with the Kenyan Kenneth KARAYA.
Results Prologue stage Absa Cape Epic 2021 - Men
- NinetyOne-songo-Specialized - Jordan SARROU (#3-1) Matthew BEERS (#3-2) 00:43:24.5
- BMC - KTM - Filippo Viero COLOMBO (#29-1) Juri ZANOTTI (#29-2) 00:45:04.4 +00:01:39.9
- Canyon Northwave MTB Andreas SEEWALD (#4-1) Martin STOŠEK (#4-2) 00:45:14.8 +00:01:50.3
- BULLS 2 - Martin FREY (#5-1) Simon STIEBJAHN (#5-2) 00:45:36.2 +00:02:11.7
- BULLS Urs HUBER (#1-1) Simon SCHNELLER (#1-2) 00:45:48.2 +00:02:23.7
In the women's race, the young Songo-Specialized duo of Switzerland's Sina Frei and Denmark's Laura Stigger arrived at the Cape Epic as one of the favourites, although it remains to be seen how they will cope with such a long race. But of course this prologue stage seemed made for two XCO specialists like them. They did not fail, they took the victory and allowed them to wear the first leader's jersey of the edition.
Just behind them, 01:33 minutes behind, was the Faces CST pair of South Africans Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss. The podium was completed by Switzerland's Ariane Luthi and South Africa's Robyn de Groot.
Results Prologue stage Absa Cape Epic 2021 - Women
- Songo-Specialized - Sina FREI (#54-1) Laura STIGGER (#54-2) 00:54:08.6
- Faces CST Candice - LILL (#51-1) Mariske STRAUSS (#51-2) 00:55:41.7 +00:01:33.1
- Salusmed - Ariane LÜTHI (#50-1) Robyn DE GROOT (#50-2) 00:55:47.3 +00:01:38.6
- Computer Mania MTB - Adelheid MORATH (#60-1) Cherie REDECKER (#60-2) 00:57:04.0 +00:02:55.4
- Fairtree - Jennie STENERHAG (#52-1) Amy MCDOUGALL (#52-2) 00:59:41.7 +00:05:33.0