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Blevins and Beers; Ferrand-Prévot and de Groot jump to the front in opening stage of Cape Epic

An exciting first day of racing sees South African race veterans and race newbies claim the yellow jersey.

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Cape Epic newbie Christopher Blevins had a good first day at the race.

U.S star Blevins and his South African partner Matt Beers, who are riding as Toyota-NinetyOne-Specialized at the marquee MTB stage race, won the prologue stage at the Cape Epic today. The stage was 24 kilometers with 700 meters of climbing, and the duo completed it in 58:06.

In the women’s elite field, another rookie Cape Epic rider had a good day with a South African race veteran — Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Robyn de Groot won the women’s race in 1:09.

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The Cape Epic’s course changes yearly, and this year’s prologue stage began and ended at Lourensford Wine Estate.

In the men’s race, favorites Nino Schurter and Lars Forster finished 4:39 back from Blevins and Beers after a puncture and then a rear wheel change for Schurter cost them time.

In the women’s race, the South African due of Candice Lill and Mariske Strauss were 42 seconds off the leaders. All of the American riders — Haley Batten, Sofia Gomez Villafañe, Serena Gordon, Crystal Anthony, and Kaysee Armstrong, finished in the top ten on day one.

Click here for a full list of men’s and women’s elite results.