South Africa’s Robyn de Groot launched the first attack on the first 73 kilometre stage of the UCI WE2.1 race, on a stage that really tested the women’s stamina, strength and strategy yesterday.
Contending with a flat surface and a strong side wind coming in from the west, the women still managed to maintain a fast average speed of 43km/h with few opportunities to break away. De Groot’s break outside Virginia did not last long as the bunch caught her again within minutes.
Strong winds caused the riders to gutter and resulted in many falls during the race. South Africa’s Linda van den Biggelaar was involved in a crash early on in the stage and had to be taken to hospital.
The sprint for the finish took place approximately five minutes before the end of the race, with an elated Andruk crossing the finish line in 2 hours 02 minutes and 15 seconds. World number three cyclist Emma Johansson (SWE) of Team Hitec Products Mistral Home finished a close second just 1 second behind, with Team RusVelo’s Olga Zabelinskaya (RUS) another one second behind in third place.
Ashleigh Moolman Pasio from Team Lotto Belisol was the first South African to cross the line, finishing in ninth place in a time of 02:02:40, 25 seconds off the winning time.
Stage 2 will see a neutral start on the corner of Church and Central Streets in Jagersfontein at 11:45. The start is at 12:00 on the R 704 outside Jagersfontein. At 14: 05 the women will reach Bloemfontein and continue into Currie Avenue from about 14:10. They will turn into Vereeniging Road and take the slipway into Ferreira Street and then into Monument Road at approximately 14:15. The race will finish at the Museum of the Boer Republics where they turn into Memorial Road and end on the Show Grounds at approximately 14:20.
Team Stage 1 Results
1. ANDRUK Alona (2.02.15)
2. JOHANSSON Emma 00:00:01
3. ZABELINSKAYA Olga 00:00:02
4. KUPFERNAGEL Hanka 00:00:04
5. PIJNENBORG Mascha 00:00:04
6. SHARGA Olena 00:00:04
7. PAVLUKHINA Olena 00:00:25
8. KAPUSTA Sylwia 00:00:25
9. MOOLMAN Ashleigh 00:00:25
10. GRAUS Andrea 00:00:25
11. MOLICHEVA Irina 00:00:25
12. PRETORIUS An-Li 00:00:25
13. TAYLOR Carlee 00:00:27
14. VAN DE MERWE Charlotte 00:00:27
15. LONGO BORGHINI Elisa 00:00:27
16. VAN DER KAMP Laura 00:00:29
17. FERRIER-BRUNEAU Christelle 00:00:38
18. SCHOEMAN Anriette 00:00:41
19. MUSTONEN Sara 00:00:41
20. BRAS Martine 00:00:41
21. VAN JAARSVELD Karien 00:01:00
22. DECROIX Lieselot 00:01:00
23. DE GROOT Robyn 00:01:01…