Cycling News

Nino Schurter seizes win, but not lead in heat-shortened Cape Epic stage

Nino Schurter seizes win, but not lead in heat-shortened Cape Epic stage

The 2024 Cape Epic passed the half-way mark Thursday and the race leaders are feeling the heat in South Africa. Literally and figuratively. Stage four had to be shortened from 88km to 73km due to soaring temperatures above 35-degrees Celsius. That didn’t stop Nino Schurter and teammate Sebastian Fini from pouring on the pressure. The World Bicycle Relief team just edged out the Specialized duo in a sprint finish after an intense day of racing.

The women’s race was even more hotly contested. A trio of teams arrived in the finish area together for a six-rider sprint finish. Ghost Factory Racing continue to show steely resolve, refusing to bend to pressure from rivals or extreme weather.

Terpstra leads Koller during Stage 3 racing. Photo: Sam Clark/Cape Epic

Stage 3 – Canyon Sidi steal podium while Ghost continues to haunt women’s field

Before Thursday’s sweaty epic, Stage 3 saw Canyon Sidi’s Andreas Seewald and Marc Stutzmann strike for their first stage win of ’24. Behind, more mechanical difficulty saw Schurter and Fini lose more time. So did Stage 2 winners and race leaders Hans Becking and Wout Alleman of Buff Megamo, but not enough to relinquish their zebra jerseys.

While the men’s lead is under pressure, Ghost Factory Racing remain unassailable. Despite the efforts of an elite field, Anne Terpstra and Nicole Koller kept an undefeated streak going winning a fourth-straight day of racing to remain undefeated. Specialized-NinetyOne and Cannondale Factory Racing continue to fight it out for the places, with Cannondale taking second place on Stage 3.

Endless switchbacks and epic views. Photo: Sam Clark/Cape Epic

Stage 4: Schurter steals sprint while Specialized take GC lead

Shortening Thursday’s Queen stage from 88 to 73km didn’t make racing any less intense. Canyon Sidi, riding high off of momentum from a stage win the day prior, attacked again on Stage four. It took most of the day for Nino Schurter and Sebastian Fini (World Bicycle Relief) to reel in the leaders.

“Canyon went super hard from the start and we had to hang on,” said Schurter after the stage. “We eventually found our legs and we knew the last climb would suit us quite well, so we went to the front and then also on the downhill we tried to force the pace a bit. It was nice, a good race.”

Schurter and Fini did eventually catch and pass Canyon Sidi to arrive at the finish with Specialized-NinetyOne-Songo’s South African/U.S. combo of Matt Beers and Howard…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…