Moolman-Pasio Overcomes Obstacles To Win Cycle Challenge
Photo Credit: Stuart Pickering/Cycling Direct
An incredible performance by Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio saw her overcome various hurdles to win the first ever UCI sanctioned 1.1 race for women in South Africa on Sunday. The Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge in Johannesburg took place under near perfect weather conditions.
Moolman-Pasio first encountered a mechanical problem at the start of the event then crashed on a fast descent while part of a dangerous 4 rider breakaway group that had a minute’s advantage.
The South African national champion racing at home showed great determination to fight through the adversity with the support from the Bigla Pro Cycling Team.
“It was an incredible day for African cycling,” Moolman-Pasio said. “The first ever UCI 1.1 for women in South Africa and was a great showcase and we have to thank all the sponsors like Momentum for making it possible.”
She continued: “It was a bit of a challenge out there. I was quite shocked when I fell. It was a high speed crash. I checked everything was ok and I jumped back on the bike. It was a bit of a blow but my team were absolutely fantastic. The Bigla girls gave everything to support and help me.”
Moolman-Pasio rejoined the peloton after crashing out of the breakaway. The Bigla Pro Cycling Team then hit the front to keep the pressure high.
“They chased with absolute heart and put down the pressure on every climb. Sharon Laws set me up on Cedar Hill. She attacked before and was away with two others. I saw her riding away from the two and I saw that was the opportunity to get across to her,” the 29 year old said.
Up the Cedar climb, Moolman-Pasio held a 300 metre advantage then increased it over the top of the climb to hang on solo at the finish with a one minute advantage over Liv-Plantur duo Sabrina Stultiens and Floortje Mackaij who rounded out the podium.
The result means Moolman-Pasio will move further up the UCI top ten rankings, becoming the first ever South African to do so.