Tuesday, 20 March 2018
This will be like a 10-round world championship boxing match, with a series of climbs that will throw jabs and uppercuts at the riders all day. Learn the names of these bumps, because you’ll remember them well. The Balboa, the Cow Climb, Kat se Pad, Kat de Stert, Neil’s Folly, One-Two-Three Combo, Suckerpunch Climb and, when you think it is all over, the Counter Punch Climb. There will be some fun with the 10km Bosvark singletrack swoop after 82km, which for many will be the highlight of the day. Keep something in reserve for the last 40km.
This will be a day of non-stop action, with attack following attack. Nino Schurter and Matthias Stirnemann of Scott-Sram will revel in the short, sharp aggression of this day, with Schurter’s ability to power away on climbs perhaps being the deciding factor. Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek (Canyon Topeak) may take a fancy to this stage, while Karl Platt and Urs Huber (BULLS) will ensure they remain in touch with the leaders to stay in a favourable position for later in the race.
The racing should be close, which could allow for South Africa’s Mariske Strauss and her English partner Annie Last of Silverback-BH Pro to grab a win or a spot on the podium. With a World Cup cross country victory to her name in 2017, Last has shown the ability to roll with the punches on a day of climbing.
These are most picked teams per category for the stage. Click on the team name to show detail.
Keep up to date with all the latest Absa Cape Epic news on Bike Hub.