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Christopher Blevins and Matthew Beers take hat-trick of Cape Epic stage wins

Canadians hold steady in South Africa

Photo by: Nick Muzik/Cape Epic

Racers are past the halfway point of the 2023 Cape Epic, but not breathing easy just yet. Christopher Blevins and Matthew Beers earned a third-straight stage win and managed to chip away at Nino Schurter and Andri Frischknecht’s lead. There’s still very little separating the top three men’s teams with three days of racing remaining.

On the women’s side, the Efficient Infinity Insure team earned a second stage win, but the top three continue a slow drift apart. There’s still only a hair more than 15 minutes between the three top teams on GC, though. As fatigue adds up, anything could happen.

Canadians hold stead in South Africa

The Pivot Cycles-OTE duo of Mark-André Fortier and Felix Belhumeur slide two spots to 31st after Thursday’s racing. The Quebec pair are still within striking distance of the top-30, and holding strong after getting a hint of the infamous Cape Epic stomach bugs. After a fifth day of racing, the pair are 1:50:28 back of Schurter and Frischknecht.

South African singletrack buffeted by wind on Stage 4. Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic

Beers and Blevins natural hat trick.

After winning the 2023 Cape Epic prologue, Matthew Beers and his American race partner Christopher Blevins (Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne) had an off-day on Stage 1. While that dropped them slightly down the GC standings, the pair haven’t put a foot wrong ever since. On Thursday, the Specialized duo earned a third-straight stage win.

After two days of close finishes, the Specialized team also finally managed to put meaningful time into the race leaders, Nino Schurter and Andri Frischknecht of Scott-SRAM. Specialized took two minutes out of the Swiss pair to move into third overall. They’re now just 5:16 off the lead.

It’s Germans Georg Egger and Lukas Baum (Orbea-Leatt-Speed Company), though, that are of most pressing concern to Scott-SRAM. The Cape Epic veterans and marathon specialists are just 1:11 off the leaders after Thursday’s racing. Willier Pirelli’s Fabian Rabensteiner and Wout Alleman are also within 10 minutes of the GC win. With so many teams in close range, the final three days of racing are sure to be hotter than the South African weather.

Kim Le Court and vera Looser hug after Cape Epic Stage 4
Kim Le Court and Vera Looser embrace after winning stage 4 of the 2023 Absa Cape Epic. Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic

Le Court and Looser win but Wakefield and Lill benefit

The women’s racing is no less exciting. In the first five days of racing, three different teams have earned victories. On Thursday, it was Kim Le Court and Vera Looser (Team Efficient Infinity Insure) that earned their second stage win of the 2023 Cape Epic.

Overall leaders Amy Wakefield and Candice Lill (e-Fort.net/SeattleCoffeeCo) finished second but will be happier to extend their lead over second-place team NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized. Sofia Gomez Villafane and Katerina Nash placed third on the stage and are now 10:42 back of the leaders. Looser and Le Court are still in striking distance, though, lying third at 16:26.

Three stages of racing remain in South Africa.

Full Stage 4 Highlights: 2023 Absa Cape Epic