“It’s a horse!”: Beers and Blevins begin the reconquest

Last year Matt Beers and Christopher Blevins (Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne) closed out the Cape Epic with a score to settle. They were third, but they aspired to the maximum. They started off strong and ended up falling victim to the ruthless test. Beers, champion in 2021, fell ill and his promising start faded before the power of the Andreas Seewald-Martin Stosek couple and, finally, before the bombing of Georg Egger-Lukas Baum, who sealed their victory on the last day of competition. The same thing can happen, because there are few scenarios more unpredictable than the Cape, but Beers and Blevins have started again doing their part, with what they can control. With a time of 01:03:01.9, they took command of the race on the first day, a 17-kilometre time trial with a 750-meter drop in altitude that shaped the prologue.

“It is a horse! He should be in a stable with those other animals we saw today. He has destroyed the roads with his pedal strokes ”, Blevins dedicated to Beers after crossing the finish line. In 2022, he was a rookie; now, he is already a veteran. A Cape is a lot of Cape. “It is very special to be here and compete on South African soil. I am just a boy who likes to ride a bicycle, so the support of the public is a lesson in humility, ”he added, showing off that experience that he now has. “It’s a long race and we don’t take anything for granted. We have many stages ahead. We will stay focused and try to resist”, completed Blevins. It’s all to do. Behind them, just seven seconds behind, are world champion Nino Schurter and Andri Frischknecht of SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing. At a valuable distance (45″), the current champions, Egger and Baum (Orbea x Leatt X Speed ​​Company); more than a minute away (1:02), Steewald and Stosek (Canyon Nothwave MTB). The names are repeated; now, Beers and Blevins will try to prevent history from doing so.

Valero and Pablo Rodríguez, best Spaniards

Just over three minutes away (3:07), eleventh in the standings, the number one in the MTB ranking, David Valero, and Pablo Rodríguez, representatives of the BH Coloma Team. The best Spanish couple (Enrique Morcillo, together with the Frenchman Hugo Drehou, was 10th) ahead of Sergio Mantecón and José María Sánchez (SCOTT – Cala Bandida), 4:06 behind the leaders. “We have run quite a few races together, we know each other and we know the pace at which we have to go. Facing the general classification, I think we have the capacity to be in a top-5″, Mantecón told AS during the preview. It’s time to come back Tomorrow, in the first online stage, 98 kilometers around Hermanus, first chance. In the female category, Sofía Gómez and Katerina Nash (NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized) will start at the head, with seven seconds over Le Court and Looser (Efficient Inifity Insure). Beers and Blevins will try to continue riding in their reconquest, which involves avoiding déjà vu.

Classification Cape Epic (M) | Foreword

1st Beers/Blevins (Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne) – 01:03:01

2nd Schurter/Frischknecht (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing) – 7″

3rd Egger/Baum (Orbea x Leatt x Speed ​​Company) – 45″

Classification Cape Epic (F) | Foreword

1st Gomez/Nash (NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized) – 01:18:57

2nd Le Court/Looser (Efficient Infinity Insure) – at 7″

3rd Wakefield/Lill (e-FORT) – 30″

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