Saturday’s Elite women’s road race saw the three South African’s outsmart their rivals to claim gold, silver and bronze for the top three podium positions of the 68km event. Shortened due to the very hot conditions, the participants were required to race four laps of the 17 kilometre circuit.
“Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio broke away five kilometres into the race and was soon caught by An-Li Pretorius and Lise Olivier,” said team manager George Cornelissen. “The trio managed to stay in front for the entire race in the very hot conditions, and in the final lap, put on a spectacular sprint to the finish line, much to the pleasure of the large crowd.”
Moolman-Pasio’s gold medal time was 1 hour 59 minutes 20 seconds, with Pretorius claiming silver and Olivier bronze. The fourth woman to finish was Burkina Faso’s Adjaratou Nignan, crossing the finish line 5 minutes and 29 seconds later.
In the junior men’s race, Jevandre Pauls and Nicol Germishuis were in a breakaway of six riders, who had managed to stay away from the ensuing pack for the entire race that covered 85km. “Pauls led Germishuis out in front, but an Algerian rider had him covered and Germishuis finished in second place, earning a silver medal,” continued Cornelissen. “Third place went to Karim Bonkoungou of Burkina Faso. The winning time was 02:09:06, and the same time was allocated to the other 5 riders in the bunch as well.”
On Sunday, it was the turn of the Elite and Under-23 men, who had to race 10 laps of the 17km circuit in stifling conditions. This time, it was Jay Thomson who claimed a silver medal for South Africa; Thomson was outsprinted in the final kilometers of the race. Songezo Jim, racing in the U23 category, found himself in a breakaway of four riders, and claimed a bronze medal with his third place result.