Comrades in saddles: The Absa Cape Epic Stage 3

The Absa Cape Epic is not just the accomplishment of competing in the world’s greatest stage race – it’s about the relationships riders make along the route. For the #SasolEpicWomen, the friendship shared amongst the riders in their comparatively small category is extremely strong, as was seen on registration day when women from all over the world were reunited for the first time since last’s year’s race.

Nothing seems to falter the camaraderie felt between the #SasolEpicWomen who, no matter what rank, greet each other with smiles, fist-bumps and well wishes at the starting line of each stage. At the end of the day, riders share war stories, offer up words on encouragement, and help to keep each other going through the whole competition.

Hannele Steyn is the only female Last Lion. Having cycled every stage of every single Epic, she has nothing but praise for the manner in which women conduct themselves and share with one another along the route. She met her riding partner, Anneke Viljoen a little over a year ago, and since they began riding together, the two have formed an extremely close and special bond. She commented on the mutual respect felt among the female riders – how both the front-runner and the amateur riders treat each other such warmth. “You meet a different person every night… it’s just amazing!”

First time Epic rider Anneke only started cycling seriously a year ago and has found the experience life-changing. She says, “I hope we can inspire other girls out there to come ride. It’s hard but it’s fun… making it over the end line is just the best feeling – I can’t imagine what the last day is going to be like. I’m looking forward to that!”

Can’t cheer on the #SasolEpicWomen from the sweltering sidelines in Wellington? Check out our website for daily updates, and join the ride on Twitter using #SasolEpicWomen.

For an in-depth look into how Stage 3 played out for #SasolEpicWomen, click here.

[Cover photo courtesy of Gary Perkin/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS]


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