The overnight leaders, Cornércard and Faces Rola, wrapped up their Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek, presented by Biogen, titles with stage wins on the final day. Nino Schurter and Filippo Colombo underlined their dominance in the Koue Bokkeveld with a comfortable victory. While Sunday, 6 February, saw Mariske Strauss and Candice Lill complete their clean sweep of stage honours.
“We got away from the rest of the elite women’s field pretty early on and decided to just race the last stage as hard as we could” Lill revealed. “The last stage was anything but easy though. The climbs were punchy and there were a few long sandy stretches. But like a lot of the riding around here there were some amazing rocky trails too. It was tricky, technical and rocky. Which we love!”
“You don’t get riding like this anywhere else and it’s impossible to replicate in training” the South African XCO Champion added. “It’s a great boost for the rest of the year to start the season with a victory here at the Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek, presented by Biogen.”
Lill and Strauss’ four stage wins ensured that they finished well up on their general classification rivals. After a fiercely contested battle for second, on the opening stage, Sarah Hill and Theresa Ralph steadily rode themselves into a convincing second position overall. “It was great racing with Sarah again. She’s on terrific form at the moment and really took good care of me this weekend” Ralph praised.
With Liv Cycling South Africa standing on the second step of the podium, below Faces Rola, the final spot was claimed by Efficient Insure Infinity Racing. Making her comeback from nearly a year off racing Samantha Sanders finished the four days stronger than she started and can use the event as a solid base from which to launch her return to competitive form. She and Kim le Court proved a dynamic partnership, which is sure to grow in confidence and results as the year progresses.
Stage 4 | Women:
1. Faces Rola: Mariske Strauss and Candice Lill (3:11:54)
2. Liv Cycling South Africa: Sarah Hill and Theresa Ralph (3:25:36 | +13:42)
3. Efficient Insure Infinity Racing: Kim le Court and Samantha Sanders (3:29:47 | +17:53)
General Classification after Stage 4 | Women:
1. Faces Rola: Mariske Strauss and Candice Lill (13:49:11)
2. Liv Cycling South Africa: Sarah Hill and Theresa Ralph (14:49:35| +1:00:24)
3. Efficient Insure Infinity Racing: Kim le Court and Samantha Sanders (15:11:30 | +1:23:19)
Images by www.zcmc.co.za and Ewald Sadie/Shift Media Co