The Absa Cape Epic began and first stage winners are Kevin Evans and his teammate Alban Lakata.
The time stamp for their win was 4:35.52. Team MTN Qhubeka/Topeak Ergon duo was ahead Christopher Sauser and Burry Stander by 3 minutes and 26 seconds. Songo-Specialized by DCM finished at 4:39.17. Emil Lindgren and Fabian Ginger of Team Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team came in at third place at 4:40.05. Bulls 1 came in fourth at 4:40.27. Karl Platt and Stefan Stahm were last year’s overall winners. In fifth place, Team Trek World Racing with the Flückiger brothers Lukas and Matthias, finished at 4:41.53.
Evans recalls their win, “Normally my first day is not a good one, but obviously we got a few things right today. It was a roller coaster ride, and I even had a puncture, but we kept it together with Alban saying it’s never over until it’s over.”
On the other hand, Stander bemoans the day didn’t go well for him. “I felt ill. It was difficult to hang on to the guys in front. I also had cramps in my legs on the railway line, but luckily a bad day is normally followed by a good one. I hit a very fast pace from the beginning as riding in a pack in the technical sections with lots of sand and gravel is particularly difficult.” the U23 champion said.
The Absa Cape Epic Stage 2 will finish and start in Ceres. It will be a 90km and a climb of 1625m.