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Blevins Beers complete hat trick at Absa Cape Epic

Duo wins fourth stage in five days, moves into third in GC
Durangoan Christopher Blevins leads the charge during the Stage 4 Time Trial on Thursday at the Absa Cape Epic. Blevins and his Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne partner Matt Beers won the stage. (Courtesy Specialized Factory Racing)

Christopher Blevins and Matt Beers (Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne) won the Stage 4 Time Trial of the Absa Cape Epic on Thursday, scoring their fourth stage victory in five days.

The short, punchy 47-kilometer stage played to the strengths of Blevins, and the Durangoan set the pace from the word go.

“I felt amazing,” Blevins said. “I don’t know why, but today was just one of those days when I felt great. The wind made it tricky, but I had a lot of fun out there. I hope the legs I had today stick around for the next three days because that’s where this race will be won. We’re happy with these stage wins, but we definitely want that yellow jersey.”

“We went out really hard but I realized very quickly that I wasn’t feeling so great,” Beers said. “Chris was amazing though. He just pushed on and got me through it. That’s where teamwork is essential at the Absa Cape Epic.”

The win on the stage in 1 hour, 45 minutes, 9.5 seconds, pushed Beers and Blevins pushed up to third in the men’s general classification. They now sit five minutes behind race leaders Nino Schurter and Andri Frischknecht (SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing).

Schurter and Frischknecht were also happy with their efforts on Thursday. “Our goal was always to go out at a good pace and not work too hard on the stage,” Schurter said. “We are still in the lead and I think we didn’t leave as much out there today as some of the other riders. We have three days of good racing to come and we’re ready for it.”

Vera Looser and Kim le Court (Efficient Infiniti Insure), meanwhile, won in the CM.com women’s category.

Starting ahead of Sofia Gomez Villafane and Katerina Nash (NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized) in the Time Trial, the Mauritius-Namibia team looked comfortable throughout.

Villafane and Nash, meanwhile, appeared to struggle as the stage wore on. They finished third on the stage and sit second overall in the women’s GC, more than 10 minutes behind Amy Wakefield and Candice Lill (e-FORT. net/SeattleCoffeeCo).

Sophia Gomez Villafane, left, and Katerina Nash finished third on Stage 4 of the Absa Cape Epic for NinetyOne-songo-Specialized. The duo head into the race’s final three stages in second overall. (Courtesy Specialized Factory Racing)