Mixed Green jersey holder Laura Stark of TBR-Werner leads a group up a climb during stage 2 of the Cape Epic on Tuesday. Photo: Shaun Roy/Cape Epic

CAPE TOWN – Oak Valley Estate in Elgin is an icon of the Cape Epic, and Tuesday’s racing will once again be immortalised in the annals of the race’s history as Nino Schurter and Lars Forster completed a hat trick of stage wins.

While this is not the first time this feat has been accomplished, it is a first for the decorated Schurter.

The Scott-Sram MTB-Racing team won in a time of 3:37.41 to extend their overall lead over Cannondale Factory Racing to more than four minutes.

“I thought I could do well, but not this well,” Forster said. “This is amazing.”

The 25-year-old was visibly ecstatic with his debut Cape Epic performance to date.

“He will just get better,” his senior partner Schurter quipped. “This (stage win) was not planned, but we are very happy with the hat trick.”

Scott-Sram MTB-Racing didn’t have it all their own way, however.

As is tradition, by this point in the race the General Classification contenders have started to settle and tend to watch each other, leaving teams who have already lost time on GC to make moves for stage honours.

Kross-Spur – who eventually finished second on the day – along with both the Trek Selle San Marco teams clearly had that goal on Tuesday.

Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez of Kross-Spur said: “Yesterday we had some mechanical troubles. Now we will try for stage wins. Today we were very close, and we will keep fighting for that, because we felt good.”

Stage 2 Results

1 Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing 4-1 Nino Schurter (Switzerland) 4-2 Lars Forster (Switzerland) 03:37.41,3

2 KROSS-SPUR 14-1 Sergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spain) 14-2 Ondřej Cink (Czech Republic) 03:38.11,0 +29,7

3 Cannondale Factory Racing 3-1 Manuel Fumic (Germany) 3-2 Henrique Avancini (Brazil) 03:38.12,3 +31,0

Overall Results

1 Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing 4-1 Nino Schurter (Switzerland) 4-2 Lars Forster (Switzerland) 08:45.27,5

2 Cannondale Factory Racing 3-1 Manuel Fumic (Germany) 3-2 Henrique Avancini (Brazil) 08:49.31,6 +4.04,1

3 Trek Selle San Marco 10-1 Damiano Ferraro (Italy) 10-2 Samuele Porro (Italy) 08:53.43,9 +8.16,4

African News Agency (ANA)