Lill, Sanders deliver exciting Dullstroom duel

Sam Sanders. Photo: Daniel Coetzee for www.zcmc.co.za

Team dormakaba’s Candice Lill continued her good race form when she won a stage and the overall title at Round 6 of the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series at Dullstroom, Mpumalanga at the weekend.

On Saturday’s 70.5km opening stage, Lill secured the victory with a strong performance, finishing 15th overall and three-and-a-half minutes ahead of runner-up Sanders. Yolandi du Toit (Garmin Merida) was third.

An elated Samantha Sanders (Valencia).

On Sunday’s shorter, more technical 64.2km stage, Sanders showed her victory ambitions from the start, setting the early pace with only Lill able to stay with her. The pair eventually reached the final few hundred metres together with Sanders edging clear of Lill just before the line to secure the stage win and second overall.

Du Toit was third again and confirmed her third place overall with Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk) and Sarah Hill (Galileo Risk) claiming fourth and fifth overall respectively.

“Today was basically my stage to win or lose. I went out hard and Candice and I got away. She made me work, but I wanted to win the stage and I knew all she had to do was stay with me because we had a biggish time gap between us yesterday. So I’m happy with the way I rode today. I left it all out there,” said Sanders after Sunday’s stage.

Samantha Sanders (Valencia) sets a hard pace for the elite women

“Day 1 was a grind for me, so I didn’t really appreciate the scenery much. But today was great fun. The course suited me a lot better so I actually had a lot of fun out there. The guys at Advendurance have really put on another super event. It’s always a pleasure to participate in their events,” added Sanders.

Women combined final positions:
1. Candice Lill (RSA) Team dormakaba 5:32:10
2. Samantha Sanders (RSA) Valencia 5:35:43
3. Yolandi du Toit (RSA) Garmin Merida 5:46:10
4. Theresa Ralph (RSA) Galileo Risk 5:55:22
5. Sarah Hill (RSA) Galileo Risk 5:58:58
6. Dalene van der Leek (RSA) 6:07:21
7. Kristen Louw (RSA) 6:33:49
8. Heila Meintjes (RSA) 6:50:49
9. Melanie Roux (RSA) 6:52:02
10. Hanli Cilliers (RSA) 6:54:00.

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