Words by Flow | Images by Flow

Towering trees, snaking singletrack and great grapes all contributed to the perfect conditions riders were treated to on today’s 57km stage from Hamelin Bay to Xanadu Winery.

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Surfer’s Point was GOING OFF this morning!

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Yeah, surfers wear helmets around these parts. Must be something to do with the monstrous waves and gnarly reef.

We love coming back to Hamelin Bay for the stage two- the natural beauty this area has to offer is on another level. The bay’s picturesque reefs, untouched white beaches and Peppermint trees are a visual delight.

The bay is also known for its friendly stingrays. Some riders were lucky enough to witness these intriguing creatures next to the boat ramp, feeding on scraps left by fishermen.

‘It’ll probably go off right from the start,’ said Reece Tucknott when asked about how today would pan out at the front of the field. Spot on Reece!

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Hamelin Bay ain’t a big place, it was bursting at the dunes today with eager racers.

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No better way to warm up than to be thrown headfirst into a stinger of a climb up to the top of Sam Hill Downhill.

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Picture perfect singletrack, open turns, soft fluffy loam and clear vision. Worth ALL the pain getting to the top.

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Brendan Johnston leads into the first singletrack again with his calm and fluid riding through a very fast piece of trail.

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Reece Tucknott hot on the heels of the lead bunch.

For the elite men, the day began with Chris Hamilton teasing an attack on the road rollout, before Trek’s Michael Potter launched up the first climb in a series of race-animating moves that had the fans frothing.

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Rocky road surprise!

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Everyone wanted to be Sam Hill today, this guy railed the bottom turn just like him.

The rest of the race was all about the lead group of seven, who drove the race at a frenetic pace.

Early attacking from Potter kept himself and teammate Brendan Johnston together, whilst the ever-consistent Torq team surprised no one with Tasman Nankervis and Hamilton also in the lead group.

As the stage rolled into the snaking driveway past Xanadu Winery’s vineyards, Potter launched another ambitious attack. His valiant effort ended well short of the line with Kyle Ward pedal-mashing himself into pole position.

Eventually however, it was some wily racing from race leader Cam Ivory, who timed his move perfectly to take the win and retain the yellow jersey. A great comeback from Johnston, who was struggling earlier landed him second place, with Hamilton in third.

The elite women’s race was no less exciting. For the majority of the stage Peta Mullens and Samara Sheppard were neck and neck, with Jenny Blair also in the mix. On the tough ascent out of Contos Beach the determination of Mullens and Sheppard was plain to see- it was stage racing at its finest.

Like the men before them, the race came down to an exciting sprint finish. Mullens moved early, but held a long sprint over Sheppard, showcasing her power yet again. Jenny Blair rolled in just behind- the women’s race is thrilling and we can’t wait for more!

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Ducking the 29″ wheels through The Tunnel, a blissfully smooth and fast rolling piece of singetrack that forms a eye-bending tunnel through the forest, kinda like when they hit light spded mode in Star Wars, but with more trees.

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Day two is a feast of variety, fast and open to twisty and technical, it has it all.

The singletrack in Boranup forest is one of the highlights of the stage. Soft, tacky black soil means riders can trust the traction, and local Cape to Cape legend Michael Brookes from Bootleg Brewery had gone through the snaking lines with a rake and a leaf blower beforehand. Does it get any better?

Adding to the stoke levels, the local trail builders have been hard at work this year, adding more raw, flowing singletrack throughout the stage. From the whoops and hollers, it appeared riders appreciated the hard work. Today’s stage was an almost perfect mix of prime singletrack, scenic fire roads with high speed descents interspersed with the odd road section for riders to throw down some fuel.

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Chris Hamo leads the gang into the Lord Of The Rings jump, no wild cartwheels for this talented shredder.

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Light speed, the best way to tick off the miles.

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Number one plate wearing Kyle Ward pulling hard on the front along the coast, he spent plenty of time in this position.

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Samara and Peta stuck together today, minimising any more time losses and coming down to a sprint at Xanadu.

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Jayden Ward takes his turn on the front ahead of Andy Blair who is all smiles this week.

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For those riding Cape for the first time, it was loaded with challenges and surprises as the terrain changed about 590 times.

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Luke Skyshredder powers on towards the finish.

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Yeooooooo! No pedalling!

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This guy seriously went up the climb with no hands on the bars, someone scan his bike for a motor!

In the mens masters, Jon Gregg continued his utter dominance, rolling in with the second elite group and retaining a healthy lead in his category.

In the womens masters, Marie-Claude Baars also retained her lead with another strong ride.

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Chardonnay contemplation.

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Something about vines, the way they make you want to sit down under a tree with a chilled glass and….

Riders were elated to lie down on the grass outside the Xanadu Winery after the tough stage today, but for the elite men and women the day isn’t finished yet with the Sundown Shootout this afternoon.

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After they reeled in the attack from Michael Potter, Cam Ivory made his decisive move and nobody could match his explosive sprint.

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Peta jumped Samara in the final hundred metres for her second stage win.

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Fine racing between these two classy riders!

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The chill roll into a loud reception.

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The grounds of Xanadu Winery are pretty plush, worth spending a nice day there!

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Go for the sprint glory!

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The crowd was cheering for everyone! Riders were chuffed to be welcomed in after a long day under the sun.

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A sight for tired eyes!

There’s been talk traded amongst the top riders about who’ll take the cake on the technical Sundown Shootout course in front of a huge crowd- keep an eye out tonight for all the action!


RESULTS

FEMALE OPEN

1. Peta Mullens – 02:14:08

2. Samara Sheppard – 02:14:11

3. Jenny Blair – 02:14:48

4. Briony Mattocks – 02:19:04

5. Jo Bennett – 02:19:04

MALE OPEN

1. Cameron Ivory – 02:00:19

2. Brendan Johnston – 02:00:20

3. Chris Hamilton – 02:00:20

4. Tasman Nankervis – 02:00:20

5. Craig Cooke – 02:00:22
For a full list of results, click here!

 

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