Emphatic double for Investec-Songo-Specialized at Cape Town Cycle Tour

Cherise Willeit (Investec-Songo-Specialized) made an emphatic return to road racing by claiming her fourth Cape Town Cycle Tour title on Sunday. Willeit, who only recently started training in earnest again, took the bunch sprint ahead of 2018 defending champion Kim le Court (Team Demacon MaxWax Racing) and Tiffany Keep (Titan).

New Zealander Sam Gaze completed the double for Investec-Songo-Specialized by timing his sprint in the men’s race to perfection. Gaze denied Jason Oosthuizen (TEG Pro Racing) and Clint Hendricks (Pro Touch Continental) on the line, in a time of 02:39:42.

 

Women's Race


After a successful experiment in 2018, the elite and u23 women once again had their own start in Fish Hoek and Willeit crossed the line in a time of 02:16:11, after their 78-kilometre race.

 

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“I absolutely cannot believe it,” an elated Willeit commented shortly after the finish. “It’s just such a special victory for me today, in front of my husband and kids,” she said.

 

A strong southeasterly wind made for highly tactical racing from early on and the mountain bikers took the fight to the more favoured road teams of Sandton City/Cycle Nation and Demacon MaxWax Racing.

 

“Dormakaba and Summit Fin went hard right from the start,” Willeit said, explaining how a group of around 30, made up of a mix of mountain bikers and the main road teams, managed to get away at Smitswinkel.

 

Mountain biker Tiffany Keep attacked on Small Chappies and, along with Candice Lill (Summit Fin) – who won the Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB Challenge the previous weekend, pushed the pace. By the top of the main Chapman’s Peak climb, the group had been reduced to 10.

 

“I expected the mountain bikers to do what they did,” Willeit said. “There wasn’t really much opportunity for an attack from there because the mountain bikers set such a solid and fast pace at the front.”

 

The lead bunch was again split in half on the infamous Suikerbossie climb when Joanna van der Winkel went out, dragging a handful of riders with her.

 

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That group could not take it to the line, however, as cat-and-mouse tactics came into play in the last 10 kilometres, seeing the pace slow.

 

In the last two kilometres, the storming chase group – featuring defending champion Kim Le Court, was able to reattach. Willeit managed to find a clean line however and fend off the charge of Le Court and co, to take the win.

 

Men's Race


“Clint is an incredibly fast sprinter and there were a few other fast boys in there, so to be able to pull it off was really good,” commented New Zealand’s Sam Gaze (Investec-Songo-Specialized) after beating Jason Oosthuizen (TEG Pro Racing) and Clint Hendricks (Pro Touch Continental) to take the title of the world’s largest timed cycling race.

 

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Gaze – who finished runner up in 2018 – was part of a group of 10 riders who got away after Simon’s Town. He called it an “honest race”, thanks to the prevailing Cape Doctor (southeasterly wind) and the depth of the racing field.

 

“The Dimension Data boys did the work out of Simon’s Town and only around 10 riders could hang on with them,” he said, explaining how Smitswinkel was once again a decisive climb in the race.

 

Gaze and Dimension Data’s Stefan de Bod attempted to make a break from the group – which included the likes of 2018 defending champion Nolan Hoffman (Team Enza), Namibian journeyman pro Dan Craven, Dylan Girdlestone (OfficeGuru), Byron Munton (Alpha Bodyworks Giant), as well as Jayde Julius and Clint Hendricks – but they were unable to get away.

 

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Despite a valiant chase from the main peloton, the group stayed ahead. There were various surges up front, which saw a few riders dropping off the back up Chapman’s Peak and Suikerbossie, most notable of these, Nolan Hoffman.

 

As with the women, the men watched each other closely through the last 20, with no-one wanting to go too early or too hard. It stayed together and the bunch sprint was inevitable.

 

Gaze timed his attack to perfection to take the win on the line. “When I had that right-hander after the roundabout into the final few hundred metres I had a feel of the wind and had made up my mind that I was going to come from behind. Luckily it worked out perfectly.”

 

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Gaze said he was proud to do the double for the songo.info charity.

 

“It feels incredible to win this with Songo on my back,” he said. “The guys have done so much good work over the past few years and I’m really proud to represent them. I’m looking forward to starting the Absa Cape Epic with Songo and hanging on to the ‘Kulhavy Express’ train,” he said.

 

You can watch the race replay here:

 

 

Men, 109km

 

1. Sam Gaze - 02:39:42 - (Investec-Songo-Specialized)
2. Jason Oosthuizen - 02:39:42 - (TEG Pro Racing)
3. Clint Hendricks - 02:39:42 - (Pro Touch Continental)

 

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 Women, 78km

 

1. Cherise Willeit - 02:16:11 - (Investec-Songo-Specialized)
2. Kimberley Le Court De Billot - 02:16:11 - (Team Demacon MaxWax Racing)
3. Tiffany Keep - 02:16:11 - (Titan)

 

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For more information on the 2019 Cape Town Cycle Tour, please visit http://capetowncycletour.com/ or follow us on Facebook, twitter (@CTCycleTour) and on Instagram (@ctcycletour).




24 Comments

MTBmeisie, Mar 10 2019 03:08

Gaze got the power.

Cherise's win is impressive, but am I the only person that finds it unprofessional to bring your child onto the podium at such a high profile race? 

Hairy, Mar 10 2019 03:18

Those are rather good looking trophies!

Hairy, Mar 10 2019 03:19

certainly do not have any issue with it from my side ... rather like the "family' feeling it brings

Gaze got the power.

Cherise's win is impressive, but am I the only person that finds it unprofessional to bring your child onto the podium at such a high profile race? 

babse, Mar 10 2019 04:39

This is a fun ride world champs geared at "charity"... I don't see any issues with it at all.

Schnavel, Mar 10 2019 05:17

Gaze got the power.

Cherise's win is impressive, but am I the only person that finds it unprofessional to bring your child onto the podium at such a high profile race? 

 

I think you're the only person...

 

Well done to both Sam and Cherise! Well deserved wins!

Daxiet, Mar 10 2019 08:59

Great wins by both Sam and Cherise. I just think it is a real pity that the elite and U23 ladies only get to do a 78km race. So if you want to race as a lady, you don't get to do the real Argus - seems a little unfair. There must be a better way.

BLACK96, Mar 11 2019 08:14

Great wins but have to give a shout out to junior Kelsey Van Schoor for hanging with with the elite ladies all the way to the sprint finish and taking a 7th, and she is still on junior gears!!! OMG

Michieldt, Mar 11 2019 08:27

Gaze got the power.

Cherise's win is impressive, but am I the only person that finds it unprofessional to bring your child onto the podium at such a high profile race? 

If you have ever watched the TDF you would have seen that most of the guys will bring their kids on the podium.

 

I also think its impressive for a mother of two to win so soon after the second baby. She should have brought both in stage...

Hairy, Mar 11 2019 09:15

not possible to bring both on stage, that trophy is just too large to carry with two kids in tow :P

If you have ever watched the TDF you would have seen that most of the guys will bring their kids on the podium.

 

I also think its impressive for a mother of two to win so soon after the second baby. She should have brought both in stage...

FreeSoul, Mar 11 2019 10:56

Why is the women's trace shorter?

babse, Mar 11 2019 11:13

Why is the women's trace shorter?

to make it a stand alone race without the interference of male/tandem groups... definitely the better option after trying to move them around a few time in the starting line up. They get caught by previous groups then just hang on. The finish becomes a mess with other male riders also having dash at the line.

Jaco-fiets, Mar 11 2019 01:06

Well done to Cherise! Pure class

Sam was basically in control of the break from the start. He was def in another class to the rest. Hope it carries through to

epic (for the total nr of days, not just 3 or 4....)

wolver, Mar 11 2019 01:49

Gaze got the power.

Cherise's win is impressive, but am I the only person that finds it unprofessional to bring your child onto the podium at such a high profile race? 

 

I really don't understand the whole taking your kids to the podium thing..........Why?

 

Disclaimer: I don't have kids.

svan, Mar 11 2019 02:21

Who's that hipster who made the break? (sitting behind Gaze in the 4th photo)

 

Great beard and casual sunglasses....

Headshot, Mar 11 2019 03:33

Who's that hipster who made the break? (sitting behind Gaze in the 4th photo)

 

Great beard and casual sunglasses....

Woulda won without that hair parachute slowing him down...

Headshot, Mar 11 2019 03:36

Gaze got the power.

Cherise's win is impressive, but am I the only person that finds it unprofessional to bring your child onto the podium at such a high profile race? 

Anyone who is a parent and has their kids nearby waiting anxioulsy to see them again would find this completely normal. 

Eddie Stafford, Mar 11 2019 05:02

Who's that hipster who made the break? (sitting behind Gaze in the 4th photo)

 

Great beard and casual sunglasses....

 

Think it is Dan Craven from Namibia.  Search google and look at his hand build stainless steel bike that he used for the Commonwealth games.  Bike was build by a South African in London, Saffron frames. https://road.cc/cont...onwealth-games 

the nerd, Mar 11 2019 10:22

Think it is Dan Craven from Namibia.  Search google and look at his hand build stainless steel bike that he used for the Commonwealth games.  Bike was build by a South African in London, Saffron frames. https://road.cc/cont...onwealth-games 

 

Agreed, looks like Dan! Awesome to see him in action! 

intern, Mar 11 2019 10:38

I really don't understand the whole taking your kids to the podium thing..........Why?

 

Disclaimer: I don't have kids.

I do (have kids) and I don't (understand either).

sirmoun10goat, Mar 12 2019 10:11

I do (have kids) and I don't (understand either).

I dont have kids but I do understand - it's like take your kids to work day

CheriseStander, Mar 12 2019 01:42

Gaze got the power.

Cherise's win is impressive, but am I the only person that finds it unprofessional to bring your child onto the podium at such a high profile race? 

Hi Hi, I am busy posting an add on a bike that we are selling and came across this article and your comment. Firstly thanks for the all msg of support and congrats it really does mean so much to me!  To answer the second part about having my kid on the podium... the race director actually brought Thomas to me on stage as at that point in time I was so busy with interviews and Dope Control that I hardly had the opportunity to actually give him some attention. He was desperate to be with his mommy as he is only 2years old and had no understanding of what was going on. I am at the moment a self funded rider (although I am very fortunate to receive Specialized equipment) so Cycling for me is a bit of a selfish sport and takes me away from my loved ones often without very much reward so I try and involve my family as much as possible...sharing that moment was so special and a memory I will cherish forever. Even though it doesn't look like it on the pic he loved being on the stage and still talks about it. :-)

I am sorry that you find it unprofessional but if I see my kids unhappy because they want to join in my moment of celebration I will make them apart of the journey every single time and that's why my youngest went on stage with me to the prize giving the next day. At the end of the day for us it was a family victory and I am hoping that it came across that way.

 

I hope this makes a little bit of sense...

Iwan Kemp, Mar 12 2019 02:54

Hi Hi, I am busy posting an add on a bike that we are selling and came across this article and your comment. Firstly thanks for the all msg of support and congrats it really does mean so much to me!  To answer the second part about having my kid on the podium... the race director actually brought Thomas to me on stage as at that point in time I was so busy with interviews and Dope Control that I hardly had the opportunity to actually give him some attention. He was desperate to be with his mommy as he is only 2years old and had no understanding of what was going on. I am at the moment a self funded rider (although I am very fortunate to receive Specialized equipment) so Cycling for me is a bit of a selfish sport and takes me away from my loved ones often without very much reward so I try and involve my family as much as possible...sharing that moment was so special and a memory I will cherish forever. Even though it doesn't look like it on the pic he loved being on the stage and still talks about it. :-)

I am sorry that you find it unprofessional but if I see my kids unhappy because they want to join in my moment of celebration I will make them apart of the journey every single time and that's why my youngest went on stage with me to the prize giving the next day. At the end of the day for us it was a family victory and I am hoping that it came across that way.

 

I hope this makes a little bit of sense...

 

Great reply and great what you have done. Hopefully that moment will spark a next generation of rider(s). I think it's great that you shared the moment with your kid. 

Andrea Fletcher 3l3v3n, Mar 12 2019 05:03

Hi Hi, I am busy posting an add on a bike that we are selling and came across this article and your comment. Firstly thanks for the all msg of support and congrats it really does mean so much to me!  To answer the second part about having my kid on the podium... the race director actually brought Thomas to me on stage as at that point in time I was so busy with interviews and Dope Control that I hardly had the opportunity to actually give him some attention. He was desperate to be with his mommy as he is only 2years old and had no understanding of what was going on. I am at the moment a self funded rider (although I am very fortunate to receive Specialized equipment) so Cycling for me is a bit of a selfish sport and takes me away from my loved ones often without very much reward so I try and involve my family as much as possible...sharing that moment was so special and a memory I will cherish forever. Even though it doesn't look like it on the pic he loved being on the stage and still talks about it. :-)

I am sorry that you find it unprofessional but if I see my kids unhappy because they want to join in my moment of celebration I will make them apart of the journey every single time and that's why my youngest went on stage with me to the prize giving the next day. At the end of the day for us it was a family victory and I am hoping that it came across that way.

 

I hope this makes a little bit of sense...

 

Hi Cherise,

 

Firstly, CONGRATS on your win!!  You are an inspiration to other women, whether they have kids or not.   

 

Secondly, you really don't need to explain WHY you had your beautiful boy up there with you!  Personally, I think that was awesome!!  You will always get those people that have something negative to say :(

rock, Mar 13 2019 02:18

kids have been going up on the podiums for ages, this kid even went on to become a pro like his dad.

granted this podium is not as high profile as the argus.

 

 

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