Wednesday, 21 March 2018
The transition day will be the longest stage of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic, but will not be the most challenging in terms of terrain. Well, except for the Porcupine Trap, a flat-out section through sandy fynbos trails toward the Saggy Stone Brewery that has porcupine dens that could swallow a man whole. The first 20km includes three climbs, but it is Penn Hill that is the main challenge of the day, a 3.5km brute of a climb that comes after 12km of uphill graft. This is thorn country. Look after your tyres on the run in to Worcester.
The longest day of the Absa Cape Epic will need diesel engines as it rolls to Worcester with the challenge of Penn Hill to shake things up a bit. There are other tough moments, but being able to ride hard for long periods of time will be key. It could belong to Robyn de Groot and Sabine Spitz (Ascendis Health), while the experience of Esther Süss and Jennie Stenerhag (Meerendal CBC) will be a factor as they work to defend the title they won last year. It will also be a day for luck, with thorns prevalent.
Investec Songo Specialized’s Jaroslav Kulhavy has been described by Karl Platt as a powerful train when it comes to long-haul riding, blessed with an ability to lay down power on the front of the bunch. If he takes a notion to drive a break, anyone with ambitions of winning the stage or being in contention for the overall honours, had better jump on the train, otherwise, as Platt would put it, you will get left at the station. This could be a day for Kulhavy and partner Howard Grotts, although one of the more unsung teams could pull off a surprise.
These are most picked teams per category for the stage. Click on the team name to show detail.
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