Songo Specialized team wins the queen stage of the Absa Cape Epic 2021

Mountain bike 19 oct. 2021 12:10 Migue A.

With 96 km and 2100 metres of positive elevation gain, the third day of the Absa Cape Epic 2021 held the queen stage of the race. A route between Ceres and Saronsberg in which Jordan Sarrou and Matt Beers were once again the fastest in the men's race. Sina Frei and Laura Stigger took their third victory in the women's race with a great stage finish.

Sarrou-Beers win stage 2 of the Absa Cape Epic 2021 and consolidate their lead

If in stage 1 we saw movements almost from the first kilometres, this time the group of favourites rode close together for more than 3 hours until after the 70th kilometre of the day. The group was almost always led by the Canyon Northwave MTB duo of Andreas Seewald and Martin Stosek, but also included the leaders Sarrou-Beers of NinetyOne-songo-Specialized, Samuele Porro and Fabian Rabensteiner of Trek Pirelli, Urs Huber and Simon Schneller of Team Bulls and Hans Becking and José Dias of Buff SCOTT.

It was just at the final part of the last big uphill of the day that Sarrou and Beers again decided to take the initiative and attack. The Specialized pair quickly managed to open up a gap on the chasing group before the top of the climb, but there was still a long, technical descent where it looked like the stage was going to be decided.

Sarrou's technique was working in his favour and the Frenchman flew through an endless singletrack where his team-mate Matt Beers was following the former XCO world champion's line. Behind, only the Canyon Northwave MTB pair were fighting to close a gap to the leaders that was already 22 seconds at kilometre 85.

The NinetyOne-songo-Specialized team's strategy had worked to perfection and Jordan Sarrou and Matt Beers reached the finish line alone with a time of 3:56:02. The pair won their second stage and consolidated their lead in the overall.

Andreas Seewald and Martin Stosek came in second place 26" behind the Specialized pair and Urs Huber and Simon Schneller closed the podium of the stage at 01:46 minutes.

The Spanish BUFF SCOTT pair of Enrique Morcillo and José María Sanchez were the protagonists of one of the comebacks of the day when, after breaking the chain in the first kilometres, they managed to pull themselves together and climb from 30th position to finish in 9th place.

José María suffered a broken chain a few kilometres from the start.

The Orbea Factory, after the mechanical problems of the first stages, was able to perform well in the queen stage and came in 22nd position with the pair formed by Ibón Zugasti and Oliver Avilés.

The legendary Alban Lakata and Karl Platt had to end their Absa Cape Epic 2021 while leading the Masters category due to Platt's stomach problems.

Karl Platt on the ground, digestive problems prevented him from continuing.

Results Stage 2 Absa Cape Epic 2021 - Men

  1. NinetyOne-songo-Specialized - Jordan SARROU (#3-1) Matthew BEERS (#3-2) 03:56:02.4
  2. Canyon Northwave MTB  Andreas SEEWALD (#4-1) Martin STOŠEK (#4-2) 03:57:38.3 03:56:28.5 +00:00:26.1
  3. BULLS Urs HUBER (#1-1) Simon SCHNELLER (#1-2) 03:57:48.9 +00:01:46.5
  4. Buff Scott MTB - Hans Becking (#6-1) José Dias (#6-2) 04:00:51.1 03:58:04.2 +00:02:01.8
  5. Trek Pirelli - Samuele Porro (#2-1) Fabian Rabensteiner (#2-2) 03:58:04.5 +00:02:02.0

Absa Cape Epic 2021 overall ranking after stage 2 - Men

  1. NinetyOne-songo-Specialized - Jordan SARROU (#3-1) Matthew BEERS (#3-2) 08:37:07.9
  2. Canyon Northwave MTB  Andreas SEEWALD (#4-1) Martin STOŠEK (#4-2) 08:39:21.8 +00:02:13.9
  3. BULLS Urs HUBER (#1-1) Simon SCHNELLER (#1-2) 08:41:12.4 +00:04:04.5
  4. BULLS 2 (#5) Martin FREY (#5-1) Simon STIEBJAHN (#5-2) 08:42:51.2 +00:05:43.3
  5. Buff Scott MTB - Hans Becking (#6-1) José Dias (#6-2) 08:45:04.2 +00:07:56.3 

Sina Frei and Laura Stigger give no choice and win the queen stage of the Cape Epic 2021

In the women's race the tone of the stage was also very different to what we saw in previous days and the group of favourites rode together for most of the day. But Sina Frei and Laura Stigger had prepared an explosive finish.

The Songo Specialized pair chose to ride in a group for much of the day alongside Ariane Luthi and Robyn de Groot of the Salusmed team, South Africans Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss of Faces CST, and the Computer Mania MTB pair of Adelheid Mortath and Cherie Redecker.

But the leaders used the last climb, which started at kilometre 70, to impose a pace that left them alone in the lead after just a few metres despite the efforts of Switzerland's Ariane Luthi to make contact with them.

After riding the last climb and the final descent alone, Sina Frei and Laura Stigger arrived at the finish line as winners of the queen stage of this Absa Cape Epic 2021. Three victories in three stages and the Songo Specialized women's duo is more of a leader than ever.

Results Stage 2 Absa Cape Epic 2021 - Women

  1. Songo-Specialized - Sina FREI (#54-1) Laura STIGGER (#54-2) 04:49:12.7
  2. Salusmed - Ariane LÜTHI (#50-1) Robyn DE GROOT (#50-2) 04:50:14.9 +00:01:02.1
  3. Faces CST Candice - LILL (#51-1) Mariske STRAUSS (#51-2) 04:53:47.7 +00:04:35.0
  4. Computer Mania MTB - Adelheid MORATH (#60-1) Cherie REDECKER (#60-2) 04:55:29.0 +00:06:16.2

Full results and standings.

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