Stage 2 of the 2018 Cape Epic saw some hopes of taking the lead dashed as many teams suffered mechanicals.
The 2018 Cape Epic continues to churn on, a huge machine of riders, support staff and event crew. Thousands of people are involved in the event. It's not just the 600 or so teams, but people to build the tent city, cook, clean, work on bikes, and do all sorts of tasks to make this mammoth race operate.
And this high-energy environment, with well over a thousand athletes on their limit, can chew people up and spit them out. Or the course and conditions can attack riders with the best preparation.
Stage 2 say the Cannondale Factory Team win the stage, in a tight sprint finish with Canyon Topeak Factory Racing and Centurion Vaude. While the Specialized duo of Jaroslav Kulhavy and Howard Grotts had put the leaders to the sword, big Jaro suffered punctures that cost them time, and they are now almost 2 and a half minutes back from the leaders.
In the women's race, Annika Langvad and Kate Courtney continue to power on, breaking away from the leading group of women in the final 30km. But behind, a sprint between Team Spure and the Silverback Team saw Ariane Luethi and her Belgian team mate Githa Michiels just edge out Silverback's Mariske Strauss and Annie Last.
The Master's lead of Massimo Debertolis and Ondrej Fojtik has been built on, but Australian duo Brad Clarke and Rohin Adams (Mornington Cycles/Total Rush) are on the ride of their lives, with another 2nd place, consolidating their 2nd place on GC.
The race hasn't treated other Australians so kindly. While Wayne Dickonson and Briony Mattocks were on the podium in mixed in the Prologue, a heavy crash early in Stage 1 saw Mattocks obliterate her collarbone. She's out of surgery with a plate and a large collection of screws.
Team Onya Northside with Garry James and Mike Israel won't be continuiing as a team, as Garry James has withdrawn. Israel will continue solo.
Peter Selkrig, among many other Australians, continue in their teams with their partners.