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  • Writer's picturedirtyheart


The buildup to the Momentum Health Cape Pioneer Trek presented by Biogen is swiftly rising to a climax. Elite riders hoping to etch their names into the illustrious list of event winners have now entered the tapering phase. The mental warfare, however, is just about to begin. With seven arduous days in the saddle looming, riders will be mustering up all the willpower they need to overcome not only the testing, unpredictable conditions but a field of riders oozing with class.

Team Dormakaba has sent a highly experienced and formidable women’s pairing to the race. Samantha Sanders and Amy McDougall are in hot form and resume their partnership after going head to head at the third race of the Trailseeker Western Cape Series in July. Sanders edged out McDougall for the win just one week after she claimed the title at the SA XCM Championships. The two riders have a ton of experience between them but could their internal rivalry open the door for one of the other teams sure to be snapping at their heels?

Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill of Team Galileo Risk are the reigning Cape Epic African Women’s jersey winners after Team Dormakaba failed to finish this year’s edition. The team will surely be looking to claim another victory against the highly established Dormakaba Team and possibly cement their status as the queens of South African mountain biking.

Another women’s team to look out for are the Seattle Coffee Ladies made up of Nicky Giliomee and Cherise Willeit. Willeit certainly has the legs to get the job done after her win at the Cape Town Cycle Tour earlier this year. She has a strong teammate in Giliomee, who was part of the winning mixed team at the 2018 Cape Epic. Giliomee has an interesting past at the Cape Pioneer Trek after being unable to finish on her last attempt and will no doubt be seeking retribution.

A final women’s team not to be counted out is Oakley 3, made up of fierce competitors Mari du Toit and Janine Muller. The pair were a relatively late entry and will be looking to take the rest of the field by storm.

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