Moolman-Pasio Wins Fifth Gold Medal In Two Weeks
Relishing her new environment with the Bigla Pro Cycling Team, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio’s season has continued to get off to a great start. Today she won the road race in the African Continental Championships currently being held in South Africa, successfully defending her title she’s held since 2011.
Second place went to Lise Olivier (South Africa) and third to Hadnet Kidane (Ethiopia).
Olivier and Kidane escaped from the peloton after 22 kilometres of racing in a move that would end up having a major effect on the race. Around 20 kilometres later, Moolman-Pasio made her move to get across to the breakaway. The trio worked well together until Kidane couldn’t hold the pace of the two South Africans any more.
Moolman-Pasio would go on to take the gold medal, which is her fifth gold medal in the last two weeks after winning both the time trial and road race at the South African National Championships and the time trial and team time trial in the African Continental Championships.
It was very hot. I had a look at my Garmin after the race and it said it was 38 degrees so it was very hot out there. We rode really well as a team. Lise did a great job in setting things up. She went in the early breakaway with Hadnet Kidane. Heidi [Dalton] and An-li [Kachelhoffer] also did a great job in controlling things. The plan was for one of them to get across to the breakaway but it just so happened on the next big climb on the second lap I went away solo to join the front.
We had to race quite tactically as I was very impressed with the way that Hadnet rode. She did a great job and marked us quite heavily. Eventually Lise first went solo and I went across to her and we rode to the finish. It’s nice to take gold and silver and I must say it was great for Hadnet to hold on and not give up to earn the bronze medal. It’s good to see an increase in the level of African women’s cycling. I’m really impressed by the Ethiopians and the Eritreans. African cycling is on the rise.
Photo: Craig Dutton