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Prologue winners Matt Beers and Christopher Blevins set a scorching Cape Epic pace

Riders negotiate the 100m long extraordinary thirstiwater floating bridge during Sunday's prologue in the Lourensford Dam. Picture: Supplied

Riders negotiate the 100m long extraordinary thirstiwater floating bridge during Sunday's prologue in the Lourensford Dam. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 21, 2022

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Cape Town - Defending Absa Cape Epic Champion Matt Beers, racing with American debutant Christopher Blevins for team Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized, romped home in a time 58:06,7 to claim the first yellow leader jerseys of the event.

They blitzed out of the start chute at the 2022 Prologue and tore into the hot, dry trails of Lourensford Wine Estate on the 24km day of racing on Sunday.

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Second place on the Prologue went to German newcomers Georg Egger and Lukas Baum (Speed Company Racing), while Andreas Seewald and Martin Stošek (Canyon Northwave MTB) finished third.

Beers and Blevins, despite the fine performance of Egger and Baum, had it all their own way thanks to the perfect execution of their gameplan and determination to nab the yellow jersey at the Prologue.

"This was a good Prologue for us," said Blevins. "We planned to go out there and chase the yellow jersey. We wanted that wind in our sails going into stage 1. We were highly motivated right from the start, and it all came together."

In the women's prologue, debutant Pauline Ferrand-Prévot of France and South African partner Robyn de Groot (BMC MTB Racing) won with a commanding performance.

Ferrand-Prévot, a multi-discipline World Champion in road racing, cyclocross, and XCO (her last MTB World Championship title coming in 2020), set the pace on the 24km prologue and De Groot followed.

The South African rider matched her partner where it mattered most with an impressive ride of her own. The BMC MTB Racing duo, partnered together for the first time, finished the course in a time of 01:09.5,9.

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Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss (Faces Rola), the 2021 Absa Cape Epic runners up in the women's category, claimed second place, while Amy Wakefield and previous winner Ariane Luthi (Symbtech ZA) crossed the line in third. BMC MTB Racing take a 42-second lead into Monday's Stage 1, the Queen Stage, over Faces Rola.

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Like the scorching Cape weather that was dished up for the teams by a mischievous Mother Nature, the racing in the women's category was hot, so much so that Ferrand-Prévot was taken by surprise when told she had won the stage.

"Who won? Did we win?" she asked with genuine astonishment on the finish line. "I felt really good out there; it was hot, but I felt strong. Robyn was a great partner; she was really good out there. It was nice to push hard on the route and get the blood pumping; we are one stage win in and we're very happy with that. It's a long stage race to come, so we will just take each day as it comes.”

IOL Sport

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Related Topics:

Cape TownCycling

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