CAPE-EPIC: DUST! DUST! MORE DUST!

Alban Lakata and Kevin Evans build their lead in the overall classification.

Alban Lakata and Kevin Evans from Qhubeka Topeak Ergon Team finished third in day two of the Cape Epic stage race, building their lead in the overall.

The second stage involved a course that saw the riders circling the town of Ceres, about 130km north of Cape Town.  The 90km course took in some 1625meters of climbing all at temperatures in excess of 30 degrees Celsius.  It was extremely dusty.  “By the end of the day, we looked like we’d been battered and fried”, explained Lakata, giving us no doubt about the conditions.

After a good start to the race, in a nod to the brutal course conditions, the pair suffered a puncture.  It put them back a bit, as they sorted it out.  Alban explained “In the tech zone, my spare wheelset just wasn’t there.  I had to grab a different wheel, but it didn’t work correctly in my setup.  It meant I had to put in yet more effort to make up the gap.”

The advantage in the overall classification however was defended and extended – despite the pressure that the leaders jersey brings.  Team Qhubeka Topeak Ergon now have around 5 minutes lead over Team Bulls 1 and 8 minutes over Team Trek-Brentjens.

Riding in the mixed pairs, Sally Bigham and Nico Pfitzenmaier, riding under the name of Adidas Big-Tree Team, matched their performance from yesterday, finishing 3rd on today’s stage.  This was despite the two flats that Nico suffered, and saw them also hold their position of 3rd overall.

The third stage tomorrow will also be centred around Ceres, however the planned course has been substituted with something new.  A 120km long day with 1600 meters of climbing will actually be a little easier than planned.

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