Gerben Mos and Ramses Bekkenk 25th in the Cape Epic

With a 34th place in the prologue at the Meerendal Wine Estate, Mos and Bekkenk had a solid start to the eight-day stage race Cape Epic in South Africa. With this they placed just behind teammates Tim Smeenge and Teus Ruijter (30th). In Hermanus the following days two long stages of 98 and 116 kilometers were on the program in which Ruijter and Smeenge came in 17th and Mos and Bekkenk came in 25th and 34th.

Unfortunately Ruijter, like many other participants, already had stomach problems in the second stage and therefore had to take it easy in the third stage from Hermanus to Oak Valley Estate of 116 kilometers because he had not been able to eat much after the second stage. Together with Smeenge he still came in 36th, one place ahead of Bekkenk and Mos. A time trial was scheduled for the next day in Oak Valley Estate, but now it was Smeenge who did not feel fit when he got up. Riding calmly, the duo managed to reach the finish while Mos and Bekkenk rode full throttle to a solid 29th place.

It had rained heavily the night before stage five and the course of the queen stage from Oak Valley Estate to Lourensford Wine Estate had turned into a mud bath. The utmost was demanded of both man and material. Mos and Bekkenk, who in the meantime also had stomach problems, safely reached the finish in 31st place. For Smeenge it was no longer possible halfway through the stage and he left the race. Ruijter continued his way solo to Lourensford Wine Estate.

The sixth stage took place entirely on the Lourensford Wine Estate and due to the rain and strong gusts of wind it became a tough stage with large time differences over 78 kilometers. Mos and Bekkenk took no risks and came in safely in 30th. Ruijter also managed to complete the stage solo, but of course did not participate in the classification anymore. Fortunately, it cleared towards the end of the day so that the last leg from Lourensford Wine Estate to Val de Vie took place in sunny conditions. Mos and Bekkenk immediately got into their rhythm on the first climb, but unfortunately went wrong in a descent, so there might have been a bit more to it than 27th place in the day’s results. Ruijter also came in a little later and thus completed his first Cape Epic, albeit solo.

The victory in the race was decided in the last stage in which the Toyota Specialized team of Matthew Beers and Christopher Blevins managed to remove the leader’s jersey from the Swiss duo of Nino Schurter and Andri Frischknecht. The Swiss were also passed by the Germans Georg Egger and Lukas Baum and had to settle for third place in the final standings. Mos and Bekkenk finished 25th and third Dutch duo.