While African cycling makes its mark at the Tour de France, South African Champion Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Bigla Pro Cycling Team) is making her mark in Italy as one of the finest pioneers in South African women’s cycling at the Giro Rosa, currently underway.
In yesterday’s Stage 7, Moolman-Pasio finished third and claimed four bonus points, which saw her move from third in the overall classification to second place. She is currently 16-seconds behind the overall leader Megan Guarnier of the Boels Dolmans Cycling Team, with a Time Trial today and one stage left to race on Sunday.
The team’s official website (http://www.bpct.ch/) quoted Moolman-Pasio as saying: “I’m really happy to have got seconds in the sprint after finishing third. I got some seconds on Anna van der Breggen and now I am second on GC. It’s great going into the time trial, which means I am starting behind her. She is obviously a very good time trialist and it will be good to have her ahead of me and get splits on the course.”
Moolman-Pasio’s prologue on 3 July placed her in sixth position, only three-seconds behind the winning time set by her teammate Annemiek van Vleuten. Her 18th place in Stage 1 saw her lying eighth in the overall classification. But it was her performance in Stage 2 that saw her climb to third in the GC after finishing third in a sprint finish. “I took the sprint too long and got pipped on the line but we're getting closer and closer and will look to more stages,” she said.
Two top-20 placings, a fifth and a third meant that Moolman-Pasio was able to retain her third place in the overall classification in stages three to six.
The 26th edition of the Giro d’Italia Femminile Internazionale started last week (Friday 3 July) with a Time Trial prologue in Ljubljana (Slovenia), and finishes this Sunday 12 July in San Domenico di Varzo.
On behalf of Cycling SA Executive and Management Committees, all our members and the nation, we wish Ashleigh all the very best for the final two stages of the Giro Rosa.
Summary of Results – Giro Rosa GC after Stage 7
1.Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) 21h03’41”
2.Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Bigla Pro Cycling Team) +16”
3.Anna Van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) +17”
4.Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda) +31”
5.Katarzyna Niewadoma (Rabo-Liv) +36”
6.Mara Abbott (Wiggle Honda) +1’01”
7.Evelyn Stevens (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) +2’23”
8.Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabo-Liv) +3’56”
9.Roxane Knetemann (Rabo-Liv) +4’09”
10.Shara Gillow (Rabo-Liv) +4’12”
*The only Grand Tour on the women's calendar will begin in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana with 149 riders taking on a short two-kilometre evening time trial test on Friday. A second open road stage will be held in Slovenia on Saturday with the race returning to its native Italy for Sunday’s stage three. (www.cyclingnews.com)