False turns and teamwork define Cape Epic Stage 5

Teamwork and wrong turns determined the fifth stage of the Cape Epic on Friday. This exciting 2022 edition of the South African stage race continues to deliver the unexpected.

Speed ​​Company Racing’s Georg Egger and Lukas Baum attacked early on Stage 5 only to get lost. Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic

Men: wrong turns and new opportunities

After a successful couple of days on the bike, Speed ​​Company Racing attacked from Friday’s opening climb. The German duo Lucas Baum/Georg Egger built up a solid lead over their pursuers. Unfortunately, that meant no one was around when they took a wrong turn. The pair chased back, but the effort would cost them later.

At the front, the South African duo of Pieter du Toit and Marco Joubert (Imbuko Dev) went on the offensive. The pair, 40 minutes down in the standings, held onto the stage win by two minutes.

Imbuko {Type} DEV’s Marco Joubert and Pieter DuToit win Stage 5 of the 2022 Absa Cape Epic. Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic

“It’s just a surreal feeling,” said Marco Joubert. “Halfway through the stage there were two climbs where I almost fell, but I managed to persevere and we kept going. It’s unreal and totally unexpected. I am so happy with this ride.”

Canyon Northwave crosses into second place, defending their overall lead from Cape Epic. Christopher Blevins and Matt Beers (Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized) follow close behind in third. After the early effort, the Speed ​​Company crossed the finish line in fourth, sacrificing second place overall to Specialized by just under eight seconds.

“It was a good ride. I’m happy for the boys,” Beers said of his compatriots’ stage win on Friday. “It’s important for South African riders to win stages of the Absa Cape Epic.”

Haley Batten and Sofia Gomez Villafane claim second win at Cape Epic 2022. Photo Sam Clark/Cape Epic

Women: a coordinated attack

With three big climbs that day, it was surprising to see the race leaders attacking from the start. Haley Batten and Sofia Gomez-Villafane (NinetyOne-Specialized-Songo) as well as Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss of Faces Rola worked together from start to finish. The effort distanced world-class pair Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Robyn de Groot (BMC)

Specialized would use an extra injection of speed to take the stage win, their second at this year’s Cape Epic.

“It was a great performance from the four of us,” said Batten. “After that it was like we were one four –
women’s team!”

“On paper this course looked pretty tough,” said Sofia Gómez Villafane, “but for some reason we held it pretty fast from the start. We don’t know the trails that well, so we kept thinking “where do we make our moves, where do we attack”. On the last climb we just gave it our all and persevered.”

Private Client Holdings attacked themselves and rode alone in third place for much of the stage.

Ferrand-Prevot and de Groot remain true to their pattern of alternating wins and fights. After winning a third Cape Epic stage on Thursday, the BMC duo faded on Friday. With a deficit of 15:52 on the day’s winner in fourth place, they slip from second place on Thursday to third place overall. They now need to catch up 11:10 to reclaim second place.

The French-South African duo weren’t the only pair to lose time on Friday. After a strong start to the week, Symbtech ZA’s Ariane Luthi and Amy Wakefield fought their way up to fifth, 19 minutes back. They now hold fourth place, just ahead of rising pair Private Client Holdings.

Highlights: Stage 5 – 2022 Absa Cape Epic

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