It is the intention for the Women’s Commission to make these jerseys available for sale in the near future to raise funds to further develop women’s cycling. We realise that we need to make ourselves sustainable in the long run to continue the work that we have started. Selling Cycling South Africa – Women’s Commission merchandise is just one of the initiatives that we are pushing to ensure this.

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The race could not have ended better. Cherise Stander, who volunteered to captain/mentor the Cycling South Africa – Women’s Commission U/23 & Development Team, took the win with an inspirational performance in our Flower design jersey. It was Cherise who attacked on the third lap of the five lap race. This attack caused a break to be formed that included An-Li Pretorius Kachelhoffer and Lynette Burger Pieterse of the Activate/Demacon Team, Lise Olivier of Time Freight eTeam and Zanele Tshoko also part of the Cycling South Africa – Women’s Commission U/23/Development Team. In the end Cherise proved to be in a class of her own by taking a solo win. An-Li and Lise rounded out the podium.

Cycling South Africa – Women’s Commission Chair, Lise Olivier, commented after the race:

Today was such a special day for women’s cycling. To have had this many ladies on the start line of such an elite event was incredible. UCI classified races do not allow individuals to enter. You have to be part of a team which is why we put together teams through the Women’s Commission. There are so many new small teams and pro/elite level riders with individual sponsors at the moment and we had to find a creative way to enable them to compete. This project allowed about 15 riders to compete that would otherwise not have been able to do so. Mountain bike superstars such as Candice Neethling, Bianca Haw and Jeannie Dreyer to multisport specialists came to join in the fun. The bunch had a very purple look.

Looking back at the race I am very proud to have been part of this event. It was great to see Cherise help her younger teammates get to the front of the bunch, teams allowing individual riders to join them for the day to also give them the opportunity to race and the support received from all involved from the Cycling South Africa Commissaires to the race organisers. This is the commitment and camaraderie that we need to drive positive change in women’s cycling.

I would like to thank everyone who made this possible. Jill Bezuidenhout who acted as Team Manager for no less than three teams on the day and Benno Willeit of Specialized that volunteered to assist in the backup car. Both the Activate/Demacon Team and Time Freight eTeam that allowed individual riders to join them after the Cycling South Africa – Women’s Commission teams were full. The jerseys were designed by Eszter Lane of Pipotch Designs. Tim Keep of Pure Adventure Wear, who supports a junior mountain bike team for girls, made these jerseys for us on very short notice.

This coming weekend more ladies will have the opportunity to be part of this initiative at the Hibiscus Coast Cycle Challenge which is also part of the Autumn Series UCI races. We are hoping that this is just the first of many more such projects.

We are giving away two jerseys. To stand a chance to win on of these jerseys visit our Facebook page (Cycling South Africa – Women’s Commission). Like our page and comment on our post which design you prefer.

You can learn more about the Cycling South Africa – Women’s Commission by liking our Facebook page and by following us on Twitter (@CSAWomen).