Absa Cape Epic - Stage 4

Mars 19 — 2015 | Worcester, South Africa

Buys And Beukes Surprise With Stage Win, GC Leaders Stay On Top

A quick glance at the leaderboard might suggest that the 2015 Cape Epic was settling into a 'business as usual' theme; the GC leaders stayed where they were, and Ariane Kleinhans and Annika Langvad put ever more time into their rivals. However, South Africans Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes (Scott Factory Racing) took off within the first hour, and at one point were over six minutes ahead of Sauser and Kulhavy. That gap was ultimately reduced to three and a half minutes, but puts the Scott team in the red jersey for best-placed African team. 

The course today was thorny and rocky enough to warrant even the speediest of teams to increase tire size and thickness (and likely sealant!) to avoid punctures. Race leader Sauser said, "At one stage I could see more thorns in my tire than tire,” and RECM's Ariane Kleinhans added, "It was also real Karoo riding out there today, so you had to watch for thorns and sharp stones.” Tomorrow's 75 mile stage features over 8000 feet of climbing, including the infamous Full Monty, sure to continue to separate the strongest teams and challenge everyone's ability.  If you've been reading along, you know that we're following former rugby star John Smit, as well as the first lower-limb amputee to finish a Cape Epic, Reuben Van Niekerk. We're very happy to report that both finished within the time limit today and will continue tomorrow. Scroll on for some beautiful photos from #PapaYankeeEcho triggerman Gary Perkin.

 

All photos copyright Gary Perkin, used with permission. 


Bunches formed early leaving Worcester in the early morning light.

 


We headed towards the big mountains today, but thankfully for the tired riders they didn't head up them - just around them. A 'mere' 2000m of vert over the 111km today.

 

Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes played their breakaway card to perfection today, and took the African Leaders Jersey in the process.

 

Flats, cuts and general tyre malaise were a big part of today's stage in the rough countryside around Worcester.


Check out our coverage of previous stages by following the links below:
Prologue
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3

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