Ending last year off with an injury was a blow but Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio says she’s happy with how things have turned out. The South African underwent successful rehab back home after a hip fracture ended her season prematurely.
Moolman-Pasio is back on the bike and training well in South Africa as she prepares for the national championships before joining the rest of Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team for a training camp in Spain.
“The recovery and rehab went really well but it has slowed down what I usually would have done. It meant I took a longer period off than I normally would have. It’s amazing how much you lose being on crutches and lying down in hospital for a week. There was muscle atrophy and I did have to work on building the muscle. Everything has gone really well and much faster than we thought so I’m really happy with that,” Moolman-Pasio said.
“Lucky the injury hasn’t affected the time that I start racing as we head into the new season so I will be taking part in the South African national championships then start the season in Europe at the end of February which I’m really happy about. I’m not putting too much expectation on myself and am going to be realistic. I know that I’ve come from a serious injury so I will just be using the first few races as preparation for the season. I think there are some great WorldTour races later in the year that I would like to target.”
Moolman-Pasio is watching the Women’s WorldTour with anticipation as she believes it is a good step forward for women’s cycling. “The quality of the racing is really great. I think they’ve assessed how the first year has gone and have made changes for 2017. If we can get good consistent exposure and people know where to find the racing, the excitement level will increase and women’s cycling will continue to take steps forward.”
Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team heads into the 2017 season with 11 riders. Lotta Lepisto
will again play a leader’s role alongside Moolman-Pasio. Other returning riders are Clara Koppenburg, Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin, Lisa Klein, Nicole Hanselmann and Stephanie Pohl.
Four new faces join the team: Allie Dragoo, Cecilie Ludwig, Christina Perchtold and Marie Vilmann.
“I’m really happy to stay on with the team. It really is family to me and I love our partners and the way the team works,” Moolman-Pasio said. “We really came together this past season and started to show that we’re a very united and committed team. We might not always be the biggest names on paper but we give it everything in the race. We are going to continue with that this year as it’s what we stand for.
“We stand for unity and good values and we’ve built a nice group with some amazing young riders coming in. I like being part of a group where the riders are hungry to learn and I like to do what I can to help them to develop and grow, being a slightly older rider, I’m at the part of my career where that is important to me. Our first training camp is coming up and I am looking forward to getting the year started.”
Source: Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Press Release