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  • Writer's picturedirtyheart

New leaders in Women’s categories after dramatic Stage 6 at Absa Cape Epic

In the Women’s category, Kim le Court and Vera Looser (Efficient Infiniti Insure) claimed a hat-trick of stage wins by winning Stage 6, riding into the orange leader jerseys in the process. Amy Wakefield and Candice Lill (e-FORT. net | SeattleCoffeeCo) finished fourth on Stage 6, losing more than 30 minutes to the new category leaders.

Both the Men’s and the Women’s races were heavily impacted by mechanical issues for the leading teams, on a day of racing that many elite riders called one of the toughest ever. Rain fell throughout the 73km stage, turning climbs into sticky streams of clay and singletrack descents into treacherous mud baths.

Around 33km into the Women’s category race, Wakefield broke the rim on her back wheel after hitting a hole and was forced to ride 8km to the next tech zone without a rear tyre. Up until that point, Wakefield, Lill, Looser and Le Court were riding together comfortably.

The broken rim changed everything and from that moment on, Wakefield and Lill dropped further and further behind, eventually finishing 39 minutes after stage winners Looser and Le Court. The new orange leader jersey wearers will start the final stage with a 25-minute lead over Wakefield and Lill.

For Looser and Le Court in the Women’s category, the emotions of the stage win, moving into the Orange jerseys and just finishing the stage was almost too much, with Le Court fighting back the tears in the post-ride interview.

“I went through the same ditch as Amy,” said Le Court. “I was just lucky. It’s probably my hardest day on a bike. I just tried to keep safe the whole ride, but I still almost fell a few times. I think the tears might just be the mud coming out of my eyes, but I don’t know.”

Vera Looser said it was a dream come true to start the final day wearing the overall leader Orange jerseys. “To pull it off today was really special. It was muddy, sticky, bouncy, dodgy, windy - we really had to work hard out there.”

With a sizeable lead going into the 80km Stage 7, Looser and Le Court are taking nothing for granted. “It’s still a long 80km,” said Looser. “I won’t get too excited until we cross that finish line,” added Le Court.

Tune in to Stage 7 of the Absa Cape Epic live broadcast from 08:30 on Sunday 26 March on the Absa Cape Epic Facebook page or the Epic Series YouTube channel.

2023 Absa Cape Epic Stage 6 Results: Women’s category: 1. Efficient Infiniti Insure: Kim le Court, Vera Looser – 04:30:02.9 2. NinetyOne-songo-Specialized: Sofia Gomez Villafane, Katerina Nash – 04:43:00.7 (+00:12:57.8) 3. Cannondale Vas Arabay: Greete Steinburg, Monica Yuliana Calderon Martinez – 04:46:00.2 (+00:15:57.3) 2023 Absa Cape Epic General Classification After Stage 6: Women’s category: 1. Efficient Infiniti Insure: Kim le Court, Vera Looser – 29:08:28.7 2. e-FORT. net | SeattleCoffeeCo.: Amy Wakefield, Candice Lill – 29:33:41.4 (+00:25:12.7) 3. NinetyOne-songo-Specialized: Sofia Gomez Villafane, Katerina Nash – 29:35:48.7 (+00:27:20.0) View the full Stage 6 results here.



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