Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio delivered a superb performance during Sunday’s final stage of Auensteiner Radsporttage by winning the stage after crossing the line solo. The result also earned her the overall lead to top off a successful weekend by the Bigla Pro Cycling Team.
“It was an incredible team performance,” a delighted Moolman-Pasio said at the finish. “Every one on the team did everything they could and Lotta [Lepistö] and Vera [Koedooder] really did an exceptional job and so did Nicole [Hanselmann]. It’s really great to take the win solo, especially for the confidence. This was only a preparation race after coming from a long training camp. To win it especially on the weekend of [Team Manager] Thomas’ birthday. It’s a great day for the team.”
The South African National Champion had to earn the victory as she was closely marked by the Liv-Plantur team and others. With her trailing Sabrina Sultiens who was second on the overall classification by only one second at the start of the day, the bonus seconds at the intermediate sprints were always going to be a factor.
Lepisto played the perfect support role by winning the first two sprints. Moolman-Pasio decided to shed the group with 55km to go when she put in her first serious attack. This led to a lead group of 7 riders, including Sultiens. However, the yellow jersey Rozanne Slik (Parkhotel Valkenburg) was distanced.
Moolman-Pasio then put in several attacks that were closely marked. Eventually as the race approached the 20km to go mark, she made the decisive move.
“I waited for the second half of the circuit to really open it up. The climb was steep but it was quite short. Every time I attacked on the climb they were able to follow. Sometimes it got to my head where I started thinking can I make it. On the second last climb I attacked and I continued to drive it over the top and it was quite a technical descent and that’s where I made the difference. I got gaps on the corners and after the last corner I drove it and I got away. It gave me a lot of confidence to keep driving it and get out of sight,” she concluded.
The victories today are the first two of season for BPCT on European soil. It brings Moolman-Pasio's individual win tally to six. Earlier in the year she won the South African National Road and Time trial title and did the same in the African Continental Championships.
On Friday, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Bigla Pro Cycling Team) posted the second fastest time in the 6.3km TT in the Auensteiner Radsporttage, a three-day stage race in Germany. Moolman-Pasio recorded a 7th place finish in the 96km second stage from Ilsfeld to Auenstein, which placed her 3rd in the GC on Saturday, and she went on to claim the race win on Sunday in a 127km stage from Ilsfeld to Auenstein and with that, the overall GC win.
Source: Bigla Pro Cycling Team press release