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  • Writer's picturedirtyheart

South African Success on Stage 3 of Absa Cape Epic




Cape Town, South Africa (22 March 2023) – It was a banner day for South African mountain biking on the 100km Hermanus to Oak Valley Stage 3 of the Absa Cape Epic, with local riders claiming stage victories in the Men’s and CM.com Women’s categories on Wednesday, 22 March.


Amy Wakefield and Candice Lill (e-FORT. net | SeattleCoffeeCo) won the transition stage in the CM.com Women’s category, while Matt Beers won the Men’s Stage 3 race alongside American partner Christopher Blevins (Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne). Lill and Beers are the reigning SA Marathon Champions, while Wakefield was the 2022 South African Marathon Champion. The consecutive stage successes for Wakefield and Lill further cemented their overall lead in the CM.com Women’s category. Sofia Gomez Villafane and Katerina Nash (NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized) now sit eight minutes back in second place overall. The CM.com Women’s category race followed a similar pattern to Stage 2. At the start, Sofia Gomez Villafane and Katerina Nash (NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized), Amy Wakefield and Candice Lill (e-FORT. net | SeattleCoffeeCo) and Kim Le Court and Vera Looser (Efficient Infiniti Insure) immediately pulled away from the rest. They remained together for almost half the stage until Looser and Le Court started to drop behind after 50km. NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized and e-FORT. net | SeattleCoffeeCo surged ahead, but it was clear that Wakefield and Lill were getting stronger as the day wore on. Both South African riders know the region intimately and at 70km, on the second last climb of the day, the pair made their move. Villafane and Nash fought back gamely, but on the next climb, Nash had no answer to the local knowledge and power of the South Africans. “We sensed that they were battling to keep up with us,” said Lill. “So around 70km we attacked. We passed Sofia and Kate and put the hammer down. They caught us at first but then on the next climb, we managed to pull away. Both Amy and I know these trails so well, so we knew exactly what was coming and what we needed to do. We looked at the route this morning and thought today is the day where we can make time if we feel good.” Wakefield said she took some strain on the stage but praised her partner for her mental and physical fortitude. “I did go through some dark places today," she commented, explaining how Candice was there to help when she needed it. "My arm is actually fine, that’s old news! It was the riding where I struggled in parts today. But we pushed through and we’re happy with the lead and another stage win.”


Tune in to Stage 4 of the Absa Cape Epic live broadcast from 07:30 on Wednesday 22 March on the Absa Cape Epic Facebook page or the Epic Series YouTube channel.


2023 Absa Cape Epic Stage 3 Results:


CM.com Women’s category:

1. e-FORT. net | SeattleCoffeeCo.: Amy Wakefield, Candice Lill– 04:59:42.6

2. NinetyOne-songo-Specialized: Sofia Gomez Villafane, Katerina Nash – 05:02:40 (+00:02:57.4)

3. Efficient Infiniti Insure: Kim le Court, Vera Looser – 05:08:24.7 (+00:08:42.1)



2023 Absa Cape Epic General Classification After Stage 3:


CM.com Women’s category:

1. e-FORT. net | SeattleCoffeeCo.: Amy Wakefield, Candice Lill – 16:45:44.6

2. NinetyOne-songo-Specialized: Sofia Gomez Villafane, Katerina Nash – 16:54:06 (+00:08:21.4)

3. Efficient Infiniti Insure: Kim le Court, Vera Looser – 17:05:07.1 (+00:19:22.5)


View the full Stage 3 results here.

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