Looser secures podium spot in Cape Town
Race the 'pinnacle of the sport in SA’
While the top spot once again eluded the Namibian, she was happy to be second behind her friend and racing partner.Namibia’s Vera Looser put up another great performance to finish in second position in the 78-kilometer elite women’s race at the 2023 Cape Town Cycle Tour yesterday.
Looser was narrowly beaten in a sprint finish by the winner, Kim Le Court Billot of Mauritius, with both recording the same time of two hours, 13 minutes, and 20 seconds.
Le Court Billot has now won the Cape Town Cycle Tour four times – including the last three consecutively.
Looser has achieved second, third and fourth positions in this race previously, and although the top position on the podium once again eluded her, the Namibian does seem ready to continue the good form she has shown on the international scene last year – including a fourth place at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Pleased with achievement
Speaking to Namibia Media Holdings correspondent Arrie Hougaard, the 29-year-old Looser said while everyone always races to win, she is happy to secure the second place behind her good friend Le Court Billot.
"Conditions were much more favourable than last year, with some good riders on the start line, including Ashleigh Moolman Pasio.
"The climbs were really hard for me, but the race is not over until the fat lady sings, so I managed to take the opportunity to come back on the downhill.
"It then came down to the sprint. I know I’m a pretty good sprinter, but if it’s a bit chaotic, it becomes difficult to gauge, so I’m happy with second place."
In third place was Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, the first South African over the line, narrowly leading her compatriots Haylee Preen and Cherise Willeit.
The 109 km men’s race also finished in a sprint, this time between three South Africans after 2:26:14, with Chris Jooste a slightly more comfortable winner ahead of Andries Nigrini, Jeadon Terlouw, Daniel Loubser and Gert Heyns.
"This is the pinnacle of the sport in South Africa, so I’m thrilled with the win," Jooste said afterwards.
A total of 25 000 riders took on the 109 km race, while another 3 000 entered the shorter 42 km route.
Since 2018, the elite women have enjoyed their own start group and a race free of interference from the men. Starting in Fish Hoek, they complete 79 kilometres of the classic Cape Town Cycle Tour route, including the ascents of Smitswinkel, Chapmans Peak Drive and Suikerbossie.
Next: The Cape Epic
Looser is now looking forward to joining up with the Mauritian Le Court Billot for the upcoming Absa Cape Epic mountain bike tour over eight days. "Starting next Sunday, I’ll be having a string partner next to me, and we should have a great time again," Looser said.
Looser has completed the Cape Epic twice before, both times securing sixth-place finishes with South African Sarah Hill in 2021 and Candice Lill (South Africa) in 2017.
Le Court finished the 2021 Cape Epic in seventh place with Theresa Ralph of South Africa as her partner.
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