Cape Town - Top South African mountain biker
Candice Lill finished her first Absa Cape Epic in 2017 “hungry for more”.
Lill used last year’s race as
preparation for 2018, a wise head on young shoulders discovering what the
Untamed African Mountain Bike Race was all about.
“I had a very good experience at my
first Absa Cape Epic, which is exactly how I wanted it to be,” said the
“I had no pressure. I was there to experience, learn and
grow. I finished most days with a smile on my face because I had prepared
and was ready for how tough the race can be.
“The idea for 2017 was to be part of
the race, but always have a little bit left in the tank at the end of the
stage. Being a relatively young rider, I am so grateful for the advice I took
to approach my first Absa Cape Epic like this. I left the race feeling hungry
for more. This is why I’m back in 2018 ready to give it a good go. I am
sure it will be totally different ball game, but let’s chat afterwards.”
Lill finished sixth in 2017 with
Namibian Vera Adrian, but will race the 15th Absa Cape Epic with
Adelheid Morath of Germany for Team dormakaba. Morath, who will ride in her
third Epic, was fourth last year with Ariane Lüthi, the three-time winner of
the Women’s category.
“Take one glance at Adelheid, and
you know she can climb, very fast! I am sure I will be suffering up many a mountain.
I don’t want to give away too many secrets here, but what I believe
is Adelheid’s biggest strength is her honesty, communication and ability
to look after a team mate. We have different strengths and weaknesses on the
bike, but that can all be optimised with the above three aspects. I look
forward to working with her and learning from her.”
Lill finished the Epic with renewed respect for all who finish the race, saying
you cannot have ridden it and not built some solid character.
meet someone who has finished the Ansa Cape Epic, I immediately know that
they must have a strong mind, have the ability to overcome challenges, and
be able to endure some level of pain - be it physical, emotional etc.”
The two main lessons she learnt last
year were that “you are only as strong as your teamwork” and the “race is
looooonnnggg and unpredictable”.
“To work as a team is a skill that many
people don’t possess. It is not given the emphasis it deserves, because it
is possibly one of the biggest factors to achieve success. In every situation,
think about your partner, how are they feeling? Where are they? Will it be
better for them if I do/don’t do this? Will it give them a mental edge if I let
them ride on the front? And they must do the same for you.”
“This race is not won on any single
day. Therefore, do not panic if you are having a bad day or
losing time because you had to fix a mechanical. Do the best you can
do in the situation and never ever give up chasing. The pendulum swings and
the next day you might be playing with a completely different set of
“I think there is a
good balance of everything in this year’s route - long stages over 100km,
shorter more technical stages, stages with crazy climbing and two
‘time trial’ stages. I am really excited about the Prologue on Table
Mountain because I love the atmosphere with the crowds, and the excitement and
anticipation in the air. I am also looking forward to the stages in Wellington
as I feel they suit my style of riding. I have always enjoyed the trails in
* The 2018 Absa Cape Epic mountain
bike stage race takes place from March 18-25 and the much anticipated route
can be viewed here