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  • Writer's picturedirtyheart

Tense and tactical on Stage 2 at Absa Cape Epic

Cape Town, South Africa (21 March 2023) – There were no changes in the overall category leads of the Absa Cape Epic after Stage 2, with both the men’s and women’s leaders holding on to their yellow and orange leader jerseys respectively, after 116km of racing on Tuesday, 21 March.

In the Women’s category, the three top teams raced together all day. They were joined for a short while by a handful of other women’s teams, but their class told as the day wore on.

With Amy Wakefield recovering from late-night surgery to her arm injury and dealing with a lack of sleep, the onus was on Sofia Gomez Villafane and Katerina Nash (NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized) or Efficient Infiniti Insure to attack at some stage. For Wakefield and Lill, the aim was always to ride defensively on the day and make sure no team was able to eat into their overall lead.

On a stage that featured few opportunities for decisive moves, the three women’s teams couldn't be separated. Looser and Le Court eventually made the killer move with 5km to go, though Looser misjudged her attack slightly, thinking she only had a kilometre or two left of the racing.

Le Court, initially stuck behind NinetyOne-Songo-Specialized, was eventually able to chase down her partner and the pair raced away to give the all-African combo a deserved stage victory.

“There was a little step over this bridge,” said Looser. “It could almost have been stairs; I rode over and I saw that Sofia stopped for a second and had to dismount. I thought ‘now is my chance’ and just put my head down knowing that Kim could sprint away from them and catch me. I saw a sign and was hoping that it said 2km or 1km to go, then I saw that it said 5km to go and I thought ‘no, my legs.’ Then I looked back and saw Kim. I was very happy that she was there!”

Le Court added, “I put in the attack and saw they couldn’t catch me. I caught Vera and thought I was going to throw up… but I held on to the end, burning to the finish. We are thrilled to win. It was a great day.”

Wakefield and Lill were satisfied with their ride, happy to not lose any time in the overall lead. “I’m feeling ‘okay’,” said Wakefield, after the injury and surgery on Monday night. “I won’t lie, I felt every bump and I’m pretty sore. But it is what it is and I had to take it to get through the stage.”

Lill was slightly more impressed with her partner, labelling her a superwoman. “Amy is amazing,” she said. “It was a good race today, tight and tactical. We raced hard in parts and took it easier in other parts. It was a long day, but we're still in orange. That’s where we want to be.”

Tune in to Stage 3 of the Absa Cape Epic live broadcast from 08:30 on Wednesday 22 March on the Absa Cape Epic Facebook page or the Epic Series YouTube channel.

2023 Absa Cape Epic Stage 2 Results: Women’s category:

1. Efficient Infiniti Insure: Kim le Court, Vera Looser– 05:28:42.6

2. NinetyOne-songo-Specialized: Sofia Gomez Villafane, Katerina Nash – 05:28:47.1 (+00:00:04.4)

3. e-FORT. net | SeattleCoffeeCo.: Amy Wakefield, Candice Lill – 05:28:47.8 (+00:00:05.2)

2023 Absa Cape Epic General Classification After Stage 2: Women’s category:

1. e-FORT. net | SeattleCoffeeCo.: Amy Wakefield, Candice Lill – 11:46:02.0

2. NinetyOne-songo-Specialized: Sofia Gomez Villafane, Katerina Nash – 11:51:25.9 (+00:05:24)

3. Efficient Infiniti Insure: Kim le Court, Vera Looser – 11:56:42.3 (+00:10:40.4)

View the full Stage 2 results here.



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