Skip Navigation

SA rider is Queen of Queen Stage

Press Release / Photo : Absa Cape Epic -Nick Muzik / 23.03.2019

South African Candice Lill and her German partner Adelheid Morath became the Queens of the Queen Stage when they won the 100km Stage 5 from Oak Valley Estate to Stellenbosch University on Friday.

The Summit Fin pair were able to temporarily halt the victory march of the Investec-songo-Specialized team of World Champions Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen who had convincingly won every other day of racing.

Lill and Morath finished the stage in a time of 5:20:42, just over four minutes ahead of Langvad and Van der Breggen, with Silverback-Fairtree's Jennie Stenerhag and Mariske Strauss finishing third, seven minutes further back – despite a big crash for Strauss when a rider went down in front of her near the finish.

Going into Saturday's and Sunday's final 159km of racing, the Investec-songo-Specialized duo still hold a 21-minute lead over Lill and Morath with Ariane Lüthi and Maja Wloszczowska (Kross-Spur Racing) third, another 30 minutes further back.

Lill and Morath broke away with the race leaders soon after the start and at the first water point the two teams had already established a significant lead over their rivals. Van der Breggen then crashed and punctured which meant the South African and her German partner were able to build a two-minute lead at the halfway point.

With Van der Breggen struggling to get back into a rhythm after her crash and the compulsory portage down the Gantouw Pass, Investec-songo-Specialized opted to ride a steady pace and minimise their losses. Their decision to back off from chasing the stage win allowed Summit Fin to double their lead to the finish.

"It was very hard out there today," said Lill after the finish. "Those little bumps on the route profile never seemed to end. It just felt like non-stop climbing today.

"Anna had a crash in front of me on an early descent and we got a gap and then just kept it steady until the end." The South African was very pleased to have made it a double win for South Africa, in both the Men's and Women's categories, on the Queen Stage.

"The spectators were amazing out there … they really got me through today. It is awesome for South Africa with Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys winning too. With Stellenbosch being a cycling hub for South Africa, there were so many spectators out there – I got tears in my eyes with them all shouting for me.

"We did not expect to win the stage. We knew the climbing suited us, but Annika and Anna are a pretty formidable pair, so to pull off this win is pretty special."

Van der Breggen had no obvious reason for her struggles after the Investec-songo-Specialized dominance before Friday.

"The beginning was fine," said the Olympic Road Race Champion as she waited for the podium presentation. "But after my crash I just felt really bad. Then when we fixed the tyre we stood still for a while. All of that and then after the portage, I just felt really bad.

In the race for the Absa African Women's Jersey, Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill of team Galileo Risk finished the stage as the sixth women overall and maintained their big lead in the competition.

Saturday's penultimate stage starts and finishes in Stellenbosch and sees riders complete an 89km out-and-back course on the trails around the historic town.

2019 Stage 5 Women's Results
Stage Results
1. Summit Fin 54-1 Candice Lill (South Africa) 54-2 Adelheid Morath (Germany) 05:20.42,1
2. Investec-songo-Specialized 50-1 Annika Langvad (Denmark) 50-2 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) 05:24.48,0 +4.05,9
3. Silverback - Fairtree 52-1 Jennie Stenerhag (Sweden) 52-2 Mariske Strauss (South Africa) 05:32.12,2 +11.30,1
Overall Results
1. Investec-songo-Specialized 50-1 Annika Langvad (Denmark) 50-2 Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) 23:09.42,2
2. Summit Fin 54-1 Candice Lill (South Africa) 54-2 Adelheid Morath (Germany) 23:31.04,5 +21.22,3
3. Kross-Spur Racing 53-1 Ariane Lüthi (Switzerland) 53-2 Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) 24:01.10,5 +51.28,3
4. Silverback - Fairtree 52-1 Jennie Stenerhag (Sweden) 52-2 Mariske Strauss (South Africa) 24:09.06,5 +59.24,3
5. Meerendal WIAWIS Rotwild 51-1 Sabine Spitz (Germany) 51-2 Nadine Rieder (Germany) 24:29.07,9 +1:19.25,7
6. Galileo Risk 56-1 Theresa Ralph (South Africa) 56-2 Sarah Hill (South Africa) 25:41.20,0 +2:31.37,8
7. FreakShow SCOTT 57-1 Sonya Looney (United States of America) 57-2 Catherine Williamson (England) 26:22.27,5 +3:12.45,3

[If you enjoyed this story and would like SleepMonsters to continue reporting on Adventure Racing then we need your help. Please support our Patreon campaign or make a donation via PayPal.]

More About ABSA Cape Epic

Schurter and Langvad Guide Their Newbies Home

Schurter and Langvad Guide Their Newbies Home
Former winners Nino Schurter and Annika Langvad on Sunday completed their objectives of guiding two Absa Cape Epic newbies to victories in Read More


High Fives for Annika and Anna

High Fives for Annika and Anna
Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen (Investec-songo-Specialized) collected their seventh stage win at the 2019 Absa Cape Epic to give Read More


Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Cruise to Overall Honours

Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Cruise to Overall Honours
With 70km and 1800m of vertical gain standing between Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing and overall victory on the Champs-Élysées of Read More


Langvad and Van der Breggen back on top at Absa Cape Epic

Langvad and Van der Breggen back on top at Absa Cape Epic
The leaders in both the Men's and Women's categories at the Absa Cape Epic extended their leads and both look virtually certain of Read More


Loitering within Tents

Loitering within Tents
It is the most iconic image of all: the rider village at the Absa Cape Epic. 700 identical red tents, laid out to OCD perfection. For the Read More


Locals Woo the Queen

Locals Woo the Queen
Renaissance men Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys shrugged off a disastrous first five days to win The Queen Stage of the Absa Cape Epic from Read More


Even a Crash Cannot Stop Investec-songo-Specialized

Even a Crash Cannot Stop Investec-songo-Specialized
The Investec-songo-Specialized train continues to rush toward Absa Cape Epic victory and such is their control of the Women's category Read More


Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Storm Back Through the Time Trial

Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Storm Back Through the Time Trial
The scene is set for a spectacular Queen Stage into Stellenbosch on Friday, as Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing dominated the 43-kilometre Time Trial Read More


Drama on Stage 3 Sees Yellow Jerseys Change Hands

Drama on Stage 3 Sees Yellow Jerseys Change Hands
It's not over until it's over. A disastrous rear-wheel puncture saw Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing concede the Yellow Jerseys to Cannondale Read More


Anna and Annika Keep Their Perfect Record Intact

Anna and Annika Keep Their Perfect Record Intact
The Investec-songo-Specialized duo of Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen extended their lead during Stage 2 of the Absa Cape Epic Read More


Hat trick for Schurter and Forster

Hat trick for Schurter and Forster
Oak Valley Estate in Elgin is an icon of the Absa Cape Epic and today's racing will once again be immortalised in the annals of the Read More


Langvad / Van der Breggen Increase Their Absa Cape Epic Lead

Langvad / Van der Breggen Increase Their Absa Cape Epic Lead
There was a tacit admission from their nearest rivals that the mountain biking-road riding combination of Annika Langvad and Anna van der Read More


Swiss Pair Consolidate Overnight Lead

Swiss Pair Consolidate Overnight Lead
The all-Swiss pairing of Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing won the 111km Stage 1 of the 2019 Absa Cape Epic in emphatic fashion on Monday 18 March. Read More


Langvad and Van der Breggen Quickly Take Control

Langvad and Van der Breggen Quickly Take Control
Mountain biking World Champion Annika Langvad and her road riding World and Olympic Champion partner Anna van der Breggen put down a marker Read More


Cross Country Specialists Make Intentions Clear At Prologue

Cross Country Specialists Make Intentions Clear At Prologue
Team Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing won the Prologue of the 2019 Absa Cape Epic on the slopes of Table Mountain ahead of Cannondale Factory Racing Read More


Untold Stories of the Absa Cape Epic

Untold Stories of the Absa Cape Epic
With 650 teams set to start the 2019 Absa Cape Epic on the 17th of March, there are 1 300 individual stories of dedication, Read More


Last Lions Roar On in 2019

Last Lions Roar On in 2019
The Amabubesi Finisher Club celebrates all riders who have finished three or more Absa Cape Epics. That pride of lions grows year on year, Read More


Battle Lines Drawn for 2019 Absa Cape Epic

Battle Lines Drawn for 2019 Absa Cape Epic
The pre-race press conference, held just three days before the start of the Absa Cape Epic, set the assembled mountain biking media abuzz Read More


Iron Cowboy Prepares To Tackle The Untamed African Mountain Bike Race

Iron Cowboy Prepares To Tackle The Untamed African Mountain Bike Race
James Lawrence is no stranger to feats of ultra-endurance. Known as the Iron Cowboy, Lawrence hails from Calgary, Canada, and holds the Read More


Mixed Aspirations for Triple World Champ, Óscar Freire

Mixed Aspirations for Triple World Champ, Óscar Freire
As a former three-time World Champion whenever Óscar Freire pins a number to his kit he attracts a great deal of attention. Even if Read More


War Veterans to Battle Preconceptions By Taking On The Absa Cape Epic

War Veterans to Battle Preconceptions By Taking On The Absa Cape Epic
Jaco van Gass, British Armed Forces Parachute Regiment, and Stu Croxford, Duke of Lancaster's Infantry Regiment, are set to take on the Read More


Icon of South African Cycling to Ride his First Absa Cape Epic

Icon of South African Cycling to Ride his First Absa Cape Epic
From 2001 until he retired in 2013 there was no better known South African cyclist than Robbie Hunter. The former Rabobank, Phonak and Read More


Effervescent Hermida and Rodriguez Return to Master the Absa Cape Epic

Effervescent Hermida and Rodriguez Return to Master the Absa Cape Epic
Effervescent, quick with a joke or a laugh, Jose Antonio Hermida and Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez are two of the Absa Cape Read More


Espargaró Swaps Leathers for Lycra at the Absa Cape Epic

Espargaró Swaps Leathers for Lycra at the Absa Cape Epic
Though best known for his exploits around a race track, on two petrol powered wheels, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini MotoGP rider, Aleix Read More


Our Patrons

Adventure Race Croatia

Rootstock Racing

TanzNavigation

SleepMonsters Patreon

Thank you to all our

adventure racing

patrons


Adventure Race Croatia

Rootstock Racing

Tanz Navigation

-- -- --

Brian Gatens

-- -- --

Adventure Enablers

Chipp Dodd

Celia Nash

David Ellis

Erik Sanders

Fiona McBryde

Graham Bird

Jakub Malik

Josh Hayman

Strong Machine AR

-- -- --

Adrian Crane

Barbara Campbell

Dejna Odvody

Klaus Mygind

Marco Ponteri

Nigel Davison

Rob Horton

Semyon Yakimov