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Time bonuses spice up Cape Epic

Competition at the Cape Epic stage race scheduled to begin on Friday will be made more interesting this year with the addition of time bonuses for the first time. Leading teams will race for time bonus advantages at various hotspots in the race. While time bonuses are common in road stage races, the Cape Epic is the first major mountain bike stage race to introduce the concept to mountain biking. The addition of the bonuses is expected to make the racing more strategic.

"In the first few years of the race, when typically one team dominated the race from start to finish, time bonuses would have made the race less exciting, since this dominant team would end up even further in the lead," said race founder Kevin Vermaak on www.cape-epic.com.

"However, as more and more world-class teams enter the race, time bonuses now make the racing even more exciting and will introduce more strategy and tactics amongst the teams racing for the GC podium. In last year's race, no fewer than five different teams won a stage, and the leader jerseys changed hands four times."

Racing kicks off Friday with a prologue that will decide seeding for stage one. In addition to riding out of Knysna in yellow, the winners will have the benefit of starting the day with a time bonus. Time bonuses will also be offered for a sprint during stage six and for winning the shorter stage seven as well as for a king of the mountains win during stage two. The top three for each earn 60, 30 and 15 seconds respectively.

Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage of the Cape Epic. In the meantime, read the preview.

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