Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn win a tight stage 6 at the Cape Epic 2021
The penultimate stage of the Absa Cape Epic 2021 came with the fight for the men's podium in full swing and once again it was a very intense day for the favourites. The Bulls pair, Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn , took the victory in the sprint.
The Bulls' Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn win the penultimate stage of the Absa Cape Epic 2021
After raining during the night, the cold and the mud were the protagonists in the first kilometres of a stage with 81 km of route and almost 1900 metres of elevation gain in which it seemed that there could be movements from the beginning.
The group of favourites was soon alone at the front with the Bulls team pair of Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn , Buff Scott's Hans Becking and José Días, Trek Pirelli's Samuele Porro and Fabian Rabensteiner, and NinetyOne-songo-Specialized leaders Jordan Sarrou and Matthew Beers.
Once again the Buff Scott pair were the strongest and on the first climb, between kilometre 30 and 40, they began to tighten the group and we saw Jordan Sarrou show some signs of not going well and was left behind. But everything changed when Hans Becking suffered a flat tyre on his rear wheel, which took a long time to repair. The Bulls team took advantage of the situation to take the lead and drop the Trek Pirelli pair first and then NinetyOne-songo-Specialized.
The race was changing by the minute, Jordan Sarrou regained a good feeling and that allowed him, along with his teammate Matt Beers, to get back in contact with the Bulls pair and ride again in the lead. At kilometre 48, the Trek Pirelli pair were 1 minute behind and the Buff Scott of Becking-Dias was 2 minutes behind.
With 10 km to go to the finish line, the lead was still signed by the Bulls pair and the two leaders of Specialized, and in the chasing group the Buff Scott and Trek Pirelli pairs were riding together, more than a minute and a half behind the leaders. Something that did not benefit the Buff Scott pair if they wanted to try to get onto the overall podium, which is 2 and a half minutes away from Trek Pirelli.
The stage victory was decided in an intense sprint between the leaders and the Bulls pair that finally went to Urs Huber and Simon Schneller.
Hans Becking and José días made another great finish to arrive in third position and above all to enter with 2 minutes of advantage over the pair of Trek Pirelli. With this situation, the third place in the general classification is only half a minute between Trek Pirelli and Buff Scott, so a great finish is expected tomorrow.
The other Buff Scott pair, formed by Enrique Morcillo and Jose María Sánchez, were once again the best Spaniards at the finish line in 10th position.
Results Stage 6 Absa Cape Epic 2021 - Men
- BULLS 2 Martin FREY (#5-1) Simon STIEBJAHN (#5-2) 03:27:15.1
- NinetyOne-songo-Specialized - Jordan SARROU (#3-1) Matthew BEERS (#3-2) 03:27:16.7 +00:00:01.5
- Buff Scott MTB Hans BECKING (#6-1) José DIAS (#6-2) 03:28:17.8 +00:01:02.7
- Trek Pirelli - Samuele Porro (#2-1) Fabian Rabensteiner (#2-2) 03:30:13.9 +00:02:58.7
- BMC - KTM Filippo Viero COLOMBO (#29-1) Juri ZANOTTI (#29-2) 03:37:41.4 +00:10:26.2
Absa Cape Epic 2021 overall ranking after stage 6 - Men
- NinetyOne-songo-Specialized - Jordan SARROU (#3-1) Matthew BEERS (#3-2) 22:27:55.8
- BULLS 2 (#5) Martin FREY (#5-1) Simon STIEBJAHN (#5-2) 22:34:34.2 +00:06:38.3
- Trek Pirelli - Samuele Porro (#2-1) Fabian Rabensteiner (#2-2) 22:41:47.3 +00:13:51.5
- Buff Scott MTB Hans BECKING (#6-1) José DIAS (#6-2) 22:42:34.0 +00:14:38.2
- BMC - KTM Filippo Viero COLOMBO (#29-1) Juri ZANOTTI (#29-2) 23:23:26.9 +00:55:31.0
Sina Frei and Laura Stigger continue their domination as Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss consolidate their second place
In the women's race, the fight for second place in the general classification has given us the most exciting stage of the whole edition.
The Faces CST pair knew they had to take the lead if they wanted to sneak into second place overall ahead of the Salusmed team. So South Africans Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss led the day almost from the start. They were joined by the unbeatable Sina Frei and Laura Stigger, and the Salusmed pair of Ariane Luthi and Robyn de Groot.
Luthi and De Groot were the first to drop off the pace, which gave the Faces CST a boost as they continued to push the pace and try to consolidate their comeback.
But the big surprise came as the kilometres went by and we could see that for the first time in this Absa Cape Epic 2021, the Specialized team did not try or could not leave behind the pair of South Africans from Faces CST.
In this way and for the first time, we saw a sprint stage finish in the women's race. A sprint where the Specialized Songo managed to enter first getting his seventh victory in this Cape Epic 2021, but that was enough for the Faces CST to place second overall. The Salusmed pair, Ariane Luthi and Robyn de Groot, closed the podium of the day.
Results Stage 6 Absa Cape Epic 2021 - Women
- Songo-Specialized - Sina FREI (#54-1) Laura STIGGER (#54-2) 04:14:13.1
- Faces CST Candice - LILL (#51-1) Mariske STRAUSS (#51-2) 04:14:13.7 +00:00:00.6
- Salusmed - Ariane LÜTHI (#50-1) Robyn DE GROOT (#50-2) 04:26:22.3 +00:12:09.2
Absa Cape Epic 2021 overall ranking after stage 6 - Women
- Songo-Specialized - Sina FREI (#54-1) Laura STIGGER (#54-2) 27:18:02.0
- Faces CST Candice - LILL (#51-1) Mariske STRAUSS (#51-2) 27:48:14.7 +00:30:12.6
- Salusmed - Ariane LÜTHI (#50-1) Robyn DE GROOT (#50-2) 27:59:02.7 +00:41:00.6