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Victory for Cannondale Factory Racing Women on Tankwa Trek Stage 1



Cannondale Factory Racing got the 2024 Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek, presented by Biogen, off to a winning start on Stage 1; on Thursday, 8 February. Mona Mitterwallner and Candice Lill benefitted from a crash by Annie Last, who had been in second just behind the leaders, and ended the day with a 1 minute and 6 second buffer to ⁠Efficient Infiniti Insure.

 

In the women’s race a large group, of the top four teams raced together for the first half of the stage. Then on an undulating trail, a gap naturally opened behind Mitterwallner, Lill, and Last. “I was aware that the sounds of wheels behind me were getting fainter on a rolling singletrack,” Lill retold. “When I had a chance to look back, I saw that we had a gap and only Annie [Last] had been able to follow. She then had to wait for her teammate. On the next dual-track I looked at Mona [Mitterwallner] and she said go. So, that’s what we did.”

 

“Annie and Malene Degn were only about 20 seconds behind us coming into the final couple of kilometres,” Lill added. Disaster then struck for the Lapierre Mavic Unity team, Last crashed heavily and was only able to limp through the final kilometre. “It looked like a really bad fall, I hope Annie is okay and able to start tomorrow,” Vera Looser sympathized.

 

Looser and Danielle Strydom inherited second place on the trails and crossed the line in second. The Namibian/South African combination are racing for the first time together and are now well-placed for the rest of the race. They were followed home by KMC-Ridley’s Janika Loiv and Yana Belomoina. Lena Gerault and Margot Moschetti were fourth, just ahead of Last and Degn in fifth.

 

This sets Friday’s Stage 2 up for exciting racing. The route, into the Witzenberg Valley, is 88 kilometres long and includes 1 700 meters of climbing. Built by Sakkie and Hannes Hanekom the trails are famously technical and will be a complete test of man, woman and machine. The racing action gets underway at 06:30 and mountain biking fans can follow the action on Instagram and Facebook stories. Follow @tankwatrek on Instagram and Tankwa Trek on Facebook. Further information can be found at www.tankwatrek.co.za.

 

Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek, presented by Biogen, Results:

 

Women | Stage 1:

1. Cannondale Factory Racing: Mona Mitterwallner & Candice Lill (1:01:12)

2. ⁠Efficient Infiniti Insure: Danielle Strydom & Vera Looser (1:02:18 | +1:06)

3. ⁠ KMC-Ridley: Janika Loiv & Yana Belomoina (1:02:56 | +1:44)

 

For the full results from the Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek, presented by Biogen, click here.

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