Sunday, 25 March 2018
Remember when the last day at the Absa Cape Epic was a trundle home? No more. The climbing starts after just 3km on the Patatskloof (Sweet Potato Ravine). Concrete strips announce the beginning of the Beulah climb, which leads into the seemingly-endless Hawaqa climb, which together gain over 450m in around 6km. Once done with the Protea Climb, riders will be able to see the finish at Val de Vie, but have one last challenge: the Freedom Struggle Climb. The Bone Rattler descent is followed by a last 3km bump and a very loose and rocky descent where they will need to exercise caution. The final 6km is on purpose-built singletrack to the Grand Finale at Val de Vie Estate and the celebration of wearing an Absa Cape Epic finisher’s medal.
By now, it is likely the champions will have been already decided, but the final sprint to the Grand Finale at Val de Vie will be no roll to the line. Cannondale Factory Racing’s Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini worked hard for their win here in 2016, while Michael van der Heijden and Andri Frischknecht (Scott-Sram Young Guns) were unleashed on the final day and took a second stage win of the 2017 race, just 17 seconds ahead of Trek Selle San Marco’s Damiano Ferraro and Samuele Porro.
The race could split up at the start with some tough climbs, with a sprint to the line likely for the thousands of fans to enjoy. Robyn de Groot and Sabine Spitz (Ascendis Health) and Mariske Strauss and Annie Last (Silverback-BH) brought a South African favour to the final day as they had the closest of sprints to the line, with De Groot and Spitz winning by half a second. Expect more reworks on this final dash for glory.
These are most picked teams per category for the stage. Click on the team name to show detail.
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