Saturday, 24 March 2018
And, on the seventh day, there was some small respite. This is the fun day of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic, but riders will still need to go up to earn the right to enjoy the downhills. So, before the 2km descent of the Rollercoaster, you will need to ride 2.5km of up. The Green Mamba climb is relentless, long and steep, but it comes with the reward of the Bain’s MTB Trails at Welvanpas. Fun times are to be had through the Handlebar Snatcher, Deadly White Climb and the Cheese Grater. There is just one more big climb at 58km, but the race village is not far away.
The shortness of the day will not fool the front runners. There is still time to be gained or lost on stages such as these. Again, this could be a day for Karl Platt and Urs Huber (BULLS), but the older riders would do well to keep an eye on the Scott -Sram Young Guns Michael van der Heijden and Andri Frischknecht, who proved they were more than just a back-up team to Nino Schurter and Matthias Stirnemann with two stage wins, including the Grand Finale at Val de Vie. Those teams who have not featured in the race thus far will look for some late stage glory, with Trek Selle San Marco’s Damiano Ferraro and Samuele Porro, Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes (Pyga Euro Steel) trying their luck on this “fun” day.
Mariske Strauss and Annie Last (Silverback-BH) were in top form near the end of the 2017 race, winning Stage 6 by just 30 seconds from Esther Süss and Jennie Stenerhag (Meerendal CBC), who by then had a substantial 35-minute lead overall. Watch out for a possible surprise from the South African pair of Carmen Buchacher and Samantha Sanders (dormakaba), who should be the top contenders for the Hannele Steyn Trophy for the winners of the Absa African Women’s competition.
These are most picked teams per category for the stage. Click on the team name to show detail.
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