Hans Becking and José Días are once again the fastest and win stage 5 of the Cape Epic 2021
With 84 km and 2,900 metres of positive elevation gain, stage 5 was the day with the highest elevation gain of this edition. A stage in which the fight for the men's general classification was reactivated after the changes of the previous day and in which Hans Becking and José Días were once again the fastest. In the women's race, Sina Frei and Laura Stigger continued with their particular show and won again.
Hans Becking and José Días win stage 5
With clouds and some wind, the day began with a lively start in the men's race when the first pair of the Bulls team, formed by Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn neller, made an attempt to surprise and recover the minute they lost the previous day and that took them off the podium of the general classification. But they soon discovered that they had not yet recovered from their digestive problems and were once again lagging behind. Even the Australian Lachlan Morton wanted to ride in the lead and proved that he can do it during the first kilometres, who knows if it was just a warning for the next years.
But the truth is that after these first movements, the race took its own order and from kilometre 40 onwards the 4 strongest pairs in the general classification were in the lead. The Trek Pirelli team with Samuele Porro and Fabian Rabensteiner, the leaders of NinetyOne-songo-Specialized, Jordan Sarrou and Matthew Beers, the pair 2 of the Bulls team, Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn, and the winners of the previous day, Hans Becking and José Dias of Buff Scott. The first chasers in this group were again the Spaniards Enrique Morcillo and José María Sánchez, the second pair of the Buff Scott, who were 1 minute behind the leaders at the 48th kilometre mark.
The group of favourites stayed together until Dutchman Hans Becking launched an attack on the last climb of the day that could only be followed by his teammate José Días and one of the Bull pair, who gave up when he realised that his teammate was not following him. Once again the Buff Scott pair seemed to be the strongest of the day, opening a gap of almost 40 seconds on the climb, although there was still a long technical descent on singletracks to the finish.
The rain appeared in the final stretch, but the Becking-Días pace was still very high and they were already 01:18 minutes ahead of the chasing group with 11 km to go. The Buff Scott pair were proving to be very strong for yet another day.
Nothing stopped the Buff Scott pair, who took their second victory in this Absa Cape Epic 2021. Finally the chasing group reached 01:32 minutes with second place going to Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn of the Bulls. The podium was closed by Jordan Sarrou and Matt Beers.
With this result, Sarrou and Beers continue to lead the general classification with more than 6 minutes ahead of Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn. Trek Pirelli is almost 11 minutes behind them on the podium. Despite the good performance of Buff Scott in the last two stages, Becking-Dias are still suffering the loss of time of the first days, due to mechanical problems, and are still more than 2 minutes and a half away from the podium of the general classification.
Results Stage 5 Absa Cape Epic 2021 - Men
- Buff Scott MTB Hans BECKING (#6-1) José DIAS (#6-2) 03:56:04.0
- BULLS 2 Martin FREY (#5-1) Simon STIEBJAHN (#5-2) 03:57:36.9 +00:01:32.9
- NinetyOne-songo-Specialized - Jordan SARROU (#3-1) Matthew BEERS (#3-2) 03:57:39.0 +00:01:34.9
- Trek Pirelli - Samuele Porro (#2-1) Fabian Rabensteiner (#2-2) 03:57:43.1 +00:01:39.0
- Buff Scott MTB 2 Enrique MORCILLO VERGARA (#15-1) Jose Maria SANCHEZ RUIZ (#15-2) 04:04:43.6 +00:08:39.5
Absa Cape Epic 2021 overall ranking after stage 5 - Men
- NinetyOne-songo-Specialized - Jordan SARROU (#3-1) Matthew BEERS (#3-2) 19:00:39.0
- BULLS 2 (#5) Martin FREY (#5-1) Simon STIEBJAHN (#5-2) 19:07:19.0 +00:06:39.9
- Trek Pirelli - Samuele Porro (#2-1) Fabian Rabensteiner (#2-2) 19:11:33.4 +00:10:54.3
- Buff Scott MTB Hans BECKING (#6-1) José DIAS (#6-2) 19:14:16.1 +00:13:37.0
- Buff Scott MTB 2 Enrique MORCILLO VERGARA (#15-1) Jose Maria SANCHEZ RUIZ (#15-2) 19:26:11.4 +00:25:32.3
Sina Frei and Laura Stigger remain unbeatable at Cape Epic 2021
Once again the script was repeated in the women's race. The Faces CST pair of Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss, the Salusmed pair of Ariane Luthi and Mariske Strauss and the leading Songo-Specialized team of Sina Frei and Laura Stigger rode together in the early parts of the stage until the Salusmed pair started to drop off towards the middle of the day.
It was then that Faces CST began to lead the race with intermittent changes of Songo Specialized, which for the first time in these 5 stages was sensing a certain weakness.
But it was only appearances. Once again, Sina Frei and Laura Stigger were able to push the pace in the final part of the race and were able to stay alone in the lead. Although it didn't look as easy or with as many kilometres of advantage as in previous stages, Frei-Stigger managed to reach the finish line alone, thus achieving a new victory and maintaining their unbeaten record in this Absa Cape Epic 2021.
Second place went to the Faces CST pair who came in 01:43 minutes behind the leaders and the podium was closed by Salusmed at 11:27 minutes. With this result, the women's general classification becomes very interesting because if the leaders seem immovable, the Lill-Strauss pair could try to assault the second position, currently held by Salusmed, in the next few days.
Results Stage 5 Absa Cape Epic 2021 - Women
- Songo-Specialized - Sina FREI (#54-1) Laura STIGGER (#54-2) 04:51:16.7
- Faces CST Candice - LILL (#51-1) Mariske STRAUSS (#51-2) 04:52:59.8 +00:01:43.1
- Salusmed - Ariane LÜTHI (#50-1) Robyn DE GROOT (#50-2) 05:02:44.1 +00:11:27.4
Absa Cape Epic 2021 overall ranking after stage 5 - Women
- Songo-Specialized - Sina FREI (#54-1) Laura STIGGER (#54-2) 23:03:48.9
- Salusmed - Ariane LÜTHI (#50-1) Robyn DE GROOT (#50-2) 23:32:40.3 +00:28:51.4
- Faces CST Candice - LILL (#51-1) Mariske STRAUSS (#51-2) 18:41:01.1 23:34:00.9 +00:30:12.0