Women’s winner Tiffany Keep battles strong headwinds to win Cape Town Cycle Tour

Kent Main and Tiffany Keep were worthy winners of the 46th edition of the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Picture: Cape Town Cycle Tour

Kent Main and Tiffany Keep were worthy winners of the 46th edition of the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Picture: Cape Town Cycle Tour

Published Mar 10, 2024


Tiffany Keep won the 46th edition of the Cape Town Cycle Tour in the Mother City on Sunday morning.

Keep edged out S’annara Grove with a bike throw on the line to claim victory by a tyre’s width after a fiercely contested sprint.

In the women’s race, the early headwinds and lack of teams made for a tactical first half to the 78km route. The favourites marked each other and were content to bide their time.

Only on the run in to Chapmans Peak Drive did the group begin to meaningfully stretch as Juanita Mackenzie went on a solo raid.

At the foot of the famous climb, Grove powered past Mackenzie with Keep on her wheel. Grove set the pace up Little Chappies before Keep countered on Chapmans Peak proper. Only South African Road Champion Carla Oberholzer could follow the DAS Hutchinson Brother UK’s rider’s tempo.

Grove managed the gap behind and kept the Sandton City Cycle Nation rider and her fellow leader to a 10 second margin over the summit of the climb.

Dropping to Hout Bay, the women’s favourites came back together with Vera Looser, Jo van de Winkel and Catherine Colyn joining Grove at the front with Oberholzer and Keep. Through Hout Bay there was a moment for the leading six to compose themselves before more fireworks on Suikerbossie.

Van de Winkel was the first to attack climbing out of Hout Bay, but Keep blew past her within 500 metres of the summit with Grove, Oberholzer and Looser in tow. Van de Winkel dug deep to hold Looser’s wheel, but was not able to do so.

As such a quartet of favourites started the descent past the Twelve Apostles together. They then worked together well to ensure none of the chasers were able to regain contact. Once Keep, Grove, Oberholzer and Looser reached Beach Road in Sea Point it was clear that the race would be determined by a sprint.

Grove was the first to kick, jumping clear by a handful of metres and then trying to hold her power through the agonising final 50 metres. Just when it looked like the Doltcini O’Shea Cycling Team rider was going to do enough, Keep came ranging up on her outside.

The pair threw for the line in unison and the DAS Hutchinson Brother UK rider edged it by the narrowest of margins. Looser and Oberholzer thundered across the line heart-beats later, with only a few hundreds of a second separating the top four.

The next five minutes were anxious ones for Keep and Grove as they awaited the official decision. When it came, Keep was obviously elated and Grove disappointed.

“We didn’t know who got it,” Keep confessed. “It was super, super close. S’annara [Grove] jumped me with about 100 metres to go and I had to work quite hard to get back to her wheel. So, ja, I’m really, very, happy with that!”

Behind the battle for first, Van de Winkel rolled across the line solo in fifth, 15 seconds behind the winner. Keep’s victory makes her the first new Cape Town Cycle Tour elite women’s winner since 2018, and only the third woman to claim the women’s old race title.

She joins Kim le Court and Cerise Willeit in this prestigious group and confirms her evolution from young talent to established South African road racing star.

Cape Town Cycle Tour

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