skip navigation

Cool Temperatures, Hot Racing

By Absa Cape Epic , 03/23/24, 4:15AM HST


A damp, cool morning in Stellenbosch provided a welcome respite from a week of blistering temperatures for riders on the penultimate stage of the Absa Cape Epic. Stage 6 was a testing challenge over 87km with 2400 metres of climbing featuring some of the spectacular singletrack trail network in the Stellenbosch Winelands. The route saw riders pass twice through Muratie Wine Estate in the Knorhoek Valley on the slopes of Simonsberg Mountain. From there it took in some of Dirtopia’s best riding, before heading for Stellenbosch along Morgenhof’s new singletracks. The Idas Valley trails provided a last treat before the final test up the steep Botmaskop climb before they came home to the spectacular race village in the natural amphitheatre that is Coetzenberg. 

Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne and GHOST Factory racing once again dominated their categories, winning the stage and extending their leads in the overall general classification at the same time, while there were loads of punctures and mechanicals behind them. The attrition continued further back in the field proving just why this race is not over until you roll over the line at the Grand Finale.

“The day just worked out perfectly,” said Grotts. “We wanted to play it safe, minimise the risks and just ride a steady race today. The plan worked and towards the end, we were able to pull away for another stage win. This race is far from over though and we have to stay focussed going into the last day.”

Another team that had another storming ride was Latvian Wannabe Pro Cycling. The pair of Oskars Muiznieks and Lauris Purnins finished the Stage in 23rd overall and continued their clean sweep of stage wins in the men’s Amateur category.  Said Muiznieks, after the finish in Stellenbosch: “The trails were so awesome. And it is really special finishing here in Stellenbosch - there are so many spectators cheering us on!” They will look forward to finishing in the White Leader Jerseys, made by Ciovita, on Sunday, as will many of these Category and Special 

Toyota Gazoo Racing retain their commanding lead while Resicon moved up into second and Toscana (Felipe Egues Espinosa & Ana Idrovo) is now in third.

Latvian wannabe pro cyclists continue their unbeaten streak and remain in first, with Alilililili in second ahead of the Grand Finale.

Ar&Co (Paula Lopez and Alejandra Cristina Tattenbach Arias) still hold a commanding lead over RoadexEMU with Carli Cooke and Mikayla Benkenstein of AbsaSheUntamed in third overall.

The Bulls Masters (Karl Platt and Tomás Misser) extended their lead over Unimed/fourlab to more than an hour going into the Grand Finale with CzechRocket & SwissDiesel in third.

Asterix & Cleopatra maintained their lead after Stage 6 followed by Absa LastLioness.

While Pedal Maintain their lead, Truls & Vidar - Vidar Olsen move up into second ahead of LGE Midas.

Toyota Memory Keepers still hold a commanding lead while Rola Motor Group move up into third.

The situation in the overall GC remains unchanged after Stage 6, with Multiple Absa Cape Epic category winner Barti Bucher and Meerendal teammate Peter Furrer, holding onto a commanding lead ahead Forestiére & C&C and Toshiba Namibia.

Following the withdrawals of both Wessel Botha (Imbuko A) and Toyota Specialized,  Philip Buys and Pieter Du Toit (PYGA Euro Steel) remain in the Ciovita Red Special Jerseys with ValleyElectrical Titan Racing (Matthys Beukes and Rossouw Bekker) moving into second and Insect Science (Arno du Toit and Herman Fourie) moving into third.  

In the women’s special jersey competition, #SheUntamed (Sarah Hill and Hayley Smith) put in a big effort to move ahead Efficient Infiniti Insure (Steph Wohlters and Danielle Strydom) with Cape Classic (Tarryn Povey and Kylie Hanekom) in third. "The cooler day has played more to our strengths, Hayley and I are really good on the singletrack, we've got good handling skills. We started feeding off each other’s energy and going faster and faster. We were back racing!” An elated Hill said after the stage.

The Coopetto (Halalisani Njabulo Ndebele and Siyanda Gumede) extended their lead over Fairtree DPworld Cannondale (Kusaselihle Ngidi and Damon Terblanche), with Exxaro Tamela 2 (William Sello Majapholo and Obvious Khorommbi) still in third. In the women’s race with Fairtree NTT 1 (Yomelela Mfazwe and Ongezo Mini) in the women’s green special jersey.