Mbombela – Following her dominant display in the Time Trial earlier in the week South African women's cycling star Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio produced another quality performance as she pulled away from the rest of the field in the last five kilometres to claim the National Road Race title at the 2015 Pennypinchers South African Road, Time Trial and Para-cycling Championships on Saturday.
The Bigla Pro Cycling Team star looked comfortable throughout the race as she commanded the lead group but mentioned that she was a little worried towards the end that she might not have enough energy in her legs to get herself across the line.
“For a moment towards the end there I thought that we were going to go down to a sprint finish and I was worried about the intensity in my legs,” the Champion said. “I didn’t think that I was going to drop them and it was only on this last little climb that I really put my head down and just kept going and to come across the line alone was great!
“I have done things a little differently this year and I am hoping to peak later in the season so I was always a little bit worried about what was going to happen towards the end so I made sure that I got ahead,” she mentioned.
It was a group of eight and nice riders that got away and kept ahead of the rest of the field and the group managed to hold Moolman-Pasio up until the final couple of kilometres but she put in two surges that broke the back of the field and gave her that breathing space that she needed.
“I couldn’t quite believe it when I got ahead and I kept on looking back to see if someone was going to pop out from behind one of the bikes!
“I have had a really good block of training recently and so to win here was awesome and I am really happy that I can take this national champs jersey back to Europe,” an elated Moolman-Pasio added.
Second place went to An-Li Kachelhoffer of the Activate Drinks Team and the 27 year-old was surprised by her result and was happy that she was able to compete with the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist.
“It was a really tough race and we knew that Ashleigh was the girl we were chasing and she was the one who had everything to lose out there so we had to try and make it as hard as possible for her which we did and the team is really happy with our results,” Kachelhoffer explained.
She explained that it has been a difficult week for her and getting out onto the road and competing was a real highlight for her and the second place finish was something that she was extremely happy with after the race.
“I have been going through quite a lot personally recently and I really didn’t think that I was going to have the form to compete here today but to end second in a national championships is a great achievement and I am extremely happy!” she added.
Kachelhoffer and the rest of her team knew that keeping up with Moolman-Pasio was going to be the toughest part of the race and she realises that the gap between the champion and the rest of the female riders in South Africa is getting smaller.
“For the team it was a case of putting as much pressure of Ashleigh as we could and we had to make it as hard as possible for her. When she made a break we had to counter attack no matter how hard it was for us.
“We can see that we are getting closer and closer which is really encouraging for us and as a team we are really happy with what we did today,” an elate Kachelhoffer concluded.
The afternoon session on Saturday also consisted of two veterans races with the Veteran Men’s 60-64 age category Road Race being won by Johan Spies, who just pipped Time Trial champion Paul Furbank and Richard Travis to the line.
The Veteran Women 40-44 was also hotly contested with Adele Janse van Vuuren sneaking a victory in their road race ahead of Elise Gianchino and Monica Glover in third.
It was the Under 16 Boys Road Race that rounded out Saturday’s action and Devin Shortt produced a dominant ride to claim his age group title by 50 seconds with Ricardo Broxham in second and Demarco Pillay in third.
Cycling fans can follow the results as the racing unfolds with live timing here. Spectators on the course can also follow the live timing on their mobile devices, using the Mobi results link here. If you cannot get to the event in Mbombela, watch the racing live on streamit360.tv from 6-8 February.
For more information, visit http://www.cyclingsa.com/2015-sa-road-champs.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS - 2015 PENNYPINCHERS SOUTH AFRICAN ROAD, TIME TRIAL AND PARA-CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIPS - DAY FOUR
1. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio 03:18:46
2. An-Li Kachelhoffer 03:19:14
3. Lynette Burger 03:19:15
4. Cherise Stander 03:19:15
5. Lise Olivier 03:19:16
6. Carla Oberholzer 03:19:17
7. Heidi Dalton 03:19:20
8. Yolandi du Toit 03:19:33
9. Catherine Colyn 03:19:59
10. Juanita Venter 03:20:19
Veteran Women 40-44
1. Adele Janse van Vuuren 02:41:06
2. Elisa Gianchino 02:41:09
3. Monica Glover 02:41:10
4. Altha Viljoen 02:41:11
5. Nadia Visser 02:41:12
Veteran Men 60-64
1. Paul Furbank 02:40:45
2. Richard Travis 02:40:46
3. Johan Spies 02:40:47
4. Sieg Hamman 02:40:48
5. Noel Ziady 02:40:49
Under 16 Boys
1. Devin Shortt 02:26:10
2. Ricardo Broxham 02:27:00
3. Demarco Pillay 02:27:12
4. Ben Britz 02:27:44
5. Brendan Phillips 02:28:00