Nico Bell and Matt Beers of NAD Pro will start the final stage of the Berg and Bush Decent with a two-second lead after sprinting to a narrow victory on stage two today.
Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes (Pyga-Euro Steel), who won stage one in a similarly close finish, placed second on the stage to drop back to second in the overall standings.
NAD Pro’s second combination, Wessel Botha and Gawie Combrinck, are 11 seconds down after claiming third ahead of Shaun-Nick Bester and Andrew Hill (TIB).
The 62km stage, which was characterised by lots of single-track and short, steep climbs, started and finished at Em’seni camp just outside Winterton in KwaZulu-Natal.
The leading four teams were all on the same time at the start and it was no surprise that the pace was hard from the gun with lots of attacks as the teams tried to eke out an advantage.
Buys and Beukes were the main instigators throughout the day, but they were unable to split the leading group of four teams as they headed toward the finish.
With about three kilometres to go, Bell and Beers and Buys and Beukes opened a small advantage on the final short climb and in the final kilometre Bell and Beers got into the two leading positions which enabled them to win the sprint.
Samantha Sanders and Amy Beth McDougall (dormakaba) lead the women’s race over Hayley Smith and Christie Hearder (Bell Equipment) while Yolandi du Toit and Ben and Melt Swanepoel (Team Garmin) extended their overall lead in the mixed event.