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  • Writer's picturedirtyheart

Leader jerseys change hands after Stage 1 of 2023 Absa Cape Epic



In the CM.com Women’s category, Amy Wakefield and Candice Lill (e-FORT. net | SeattleCoffeeCo) claimed Stage 1 while moving into the Women’s orange leader jerseys at the same time.


The CM.com Women’s category Prologue winners Sofia Gomez Villafane and Katerina Nash (NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized) seemed to battle in the latter parts of Stage 1 and eventually finished second, five-and-half minutes behind Lill and Wakefield.


For the first half of the CM.com Women’s race, the three leading teams were all together. Kim le Court and Vera Looser (Efficient Infiniti Insure) dropped off the pace before halfway, while Villafane and Nash opened up a small gap on Lill and Wakefield.


They were able to get away from the all-South African team when Wakefield had a seemingly innocuous collision with a tree. The post-race footage, however, showed that a branch had pierced her upper arm, with Lill looking on in shock. With no medics nearby, Wakefield tended to the wound as best she could with what the pair had available. “I could see muscle and fat in the gash, but didn’t see any blood, so I just taped it up and got back on the bike,” said Wakefield.


“I actually asked Amy if she wanted to abandon the race,” said Lill. “It was really bad, but Amy is so tough. She just took my duct tape, wrapped it around her bicep and carried on.”


Undeterred by the drama, the pair rode on, caught Villafane and Nash at 70km and then surged ahead.


“I can’t actually believe we won,” said a delighted Lill at the finish line. “I said to Amy after the crash, ‘let’s not worry about anything else, let’s just ride our own pace.’ Eventually, we caught Sofia and Kate and we just kept going.”



CM.com Women’s category:

1. e-FORT. net | SeattleCoffeeCo.: Amy Wakefield, Candice Lill – 04:57:46.4

2. NinetyOne-songo-Specialized: Sofia Gomez Villafane, Katerina Nash – 05:03:41.3 (+00:05:54.9)

3. Efficient Infiniti Insure: Kim le Court, Vera Looser – 05:08:55.2 (+00:11:08.8)


2023 Absa Cape Epic General Classification After Stage 1:


CM.com Women’s category:

1. e-FORT. net | SeattleCoffeeCo.: Amy Wakefield, Candice Lill – 06:17:14.1

2. NinetyOne-songo-Specialized: Sofia Gomez Villafane, Katerina Nash – 06:22:38.8 (+00:05:24.7)

3. Efficient Infiniti Insure: Kim le Court, Vera Looser – 06:27:59.7 (+00:10:45.6)

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