Willeit, who won her first title way back in 2008, was part of a leading group of six riders after the climb of Suikerbossie. Her breakaway companions included Candice Lill (Summit), Samantha Sanders (dormakaba), Keep, Joanna van de Winkel (Cycle Nation) and Carla Oberholzer (Demacon).
With Lill doing the majority of the work in the run-in to the finish, the breakaway started to lose some of its impetus. This allowed the main chase group to come back into contention within the final three kilometres.
With the favourites watching each other, it became apparent that the 2019 crown would hinge on a short dash for the line.
Lill opened the sprint as the peloton rounded the final bend, but she was soon washed away as Keep accelerated. At the same time, former national champion Carla Oosthuizen launched her sprint on the inside.
However, the experience of Willeit and Le Court was telling as they hit the front at exactly the right time to take the top two positions.
Earlier, a group of around 35 riders emerged after the first major climb above Smitswinkel Bay. That group decreased to around 20 on Chapman’s Peak as Keep put on the pressure over the top.
“It was a really tough day out there and I knew from the beginning that the mountain bikers were going to make it hard,” Willeit, who also won titles in 2011 and 2014, said after the race. “The wind also put us in the gutter quite a bit.”
“I haven’t been in a sprint for a good while so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m over the moon and just really happy.”