RED-E Blend’s Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock, managed to put a poor Stage 1 behind them and were first home among the teams racing for the red Absa African special jersey, worn by the top all-African team to finish the event.
In doing so they closed the gap on Rourke Croeser and Travis Walker (USN), but the KwaZulu Natal youngsters will still be in red on Wednesday’s Stage 3.
Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes (Scott Factory Racing) are second in the race for the special jersey, only one minute and 32 seconds back.
The Absa African special jersey has become much sought after in recent years and Woolcock made it clear it was their objective for this year’s Absa Cape Epic: “Along with Philip and Matthys we put some pressure on Travis and Rourke, and did some damage,” he said. “Today was very windy and it was not always so easy out there. We are happy to be upright still and are feeling confident for the days ahead.”
The Dimension Data Masters category is also a tight affair, with South Africans Nico Pfitzenmaier and Robert Sim (Dorma/Robert Daniel) beating Masters leaders Bart Brentjens of the Netherlands and Brazil’s Abraao Azevedo (BETCH.nl-Superior) by five seconds on Tuesday. The South Africans are now less than two minutes behind Brentjens and Azevedo in the race for the blue category jersey.
Pfitzenmaier, who had struggled on Stage 1, said: “I felt way better than yesterday. Today was my favourite kind of racing. I feel at home here because we come and ride so much on these trails. I really wanted the victory on ‘home soil’, so I am very happy.”
Swiss/Austrian combination Barti Bucher and Heinz Zoerweg (Meerendal BIXS KTM) have taken a firm hold of the Grand Masters category and have a lead of almost 30 minutes over second-placed South Africans Greg Anderson and Andrew Mclean (Ascendis Health).
There was drama in the Mixed category when overnight leaders Rene Haselbacher and Sabine Sommer, both of Austria and riding for team ENS RH77, got lost towards the end of the stage and finished fourth in the category on the day – more than 12 minutes back.
“We took a wrong turn close to the finish at added some three kilometres to our stage,” said Haselbacher, a former Tour de France rider.
Slovenian Peter Vesel and his German partner Ivonne Kraft (ETIS) won the stage and took the overall lead, but only have a one-and-a-half minute cushion over Haselbacher and Sommer, which they may find difficult to defend over the remaining five stages.
“We’re not happy to lose the overall lead, but we still have time to get back in front,” said Haselbacher.
Masters category - Stage 2 results
17. Dorma / Robert Daniel; 61-1 Nico Pfitzenmaier (South Africa) 61-2 Robert Sim (South Africa); 4:35.27,9
20. BETCH.nl-Superior; 60-1 Bart Brentjens (Netherlands) 60-2 Abraao Azevedo (Brazil); 4:35.33,3 (Masters leaders)
24. GoldNutrition/Portugal; 487-1 Vitor Gamito (Portugal) 487-2 José Rosa (Portugal); 4:39.07,9
Grand Masters category - Stage 2 results
49. Meerendal BIXS KTM; 65-1 Barti Bucher (Switzerland) 65-2 Heinz Zoerweg (Austria); 4:59.22,2 (Grand Masters leaders)
60. Ascendis Health; 66-1 Greg Anderson (South Africa) 66-2 Andrew Mclean (South Africa); 5:03.55,7
66. Nampak; 67-1 Izak Visagie (South Africa) 67-2 Linus van Onselen (South Africa); 5:09.31,2
Mixed category – Stage 2 results
63. ETIS; 71-1 Peter Vesel (Slovenia) 71-2 Ivonne Kraft (Germany); 5:07.12,9 (Mixed leaders)
71. Asrin Cycling; 70-1 Nizaam Essa (South Africa) 70-2 Catherine Williamson (England); 5:12.04,6
86.Open - Kappius components; 75-1 Jean-Francois Bossler (France) 75-2 Coralie Redelsperge (France); 5:16.28,6