Moolman Pasio wins Madiba race

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Gallo Images)
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (Giant Shimano) has won the men's cycling race at the Unite4Mandela, while Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (Momentum) took the honours in the women's race, in Pretoria on Saturday.

Winner of the 2013 Tour de France, Chris Froome (Team Sky) drove the tempo up the Fort Klapperkop climb but after a six week off season the effort cost him and he was quickly swallowed by a furious peleton.

The early break formed on the slopes of the Telkom tower climb where a small group of riders managed to escape including the likes of Africa's first ever yellow jersey wearer at the Tour de France, Orica GreenEdge's Daryl Impey, Darren Lill (Cannondale Blend), Hanco Kachelhoffer (Altech), HB Kruger (Bonitas), Louis Meintjes and Jacques Janse van Rensburg (both MTN Qhubeka) as well as eventual winner Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (Giant Shimano).

It was Lill who launched the first attack up the Heritage Hill climb and was only caught near the top of the Voortrekker Monument climb only eight km from the finish at the Union Buildings.

The blow by blow attacks were matched and countered coming in to the finish but it was Janse van Rensburg who proved strongest on the day crossing the line ahead of a storming Kachelhoffer and Kruger who finished second and third respectively.

The women's field saw the two European campaigners Moolman Pasio and Marianne Vos (Rabobank) show their class with an early break that they managed to maintain all the way to the finish.

The hilly course suited the South African climbing sensation Moolman Pasio with multiple past world champion Vos unable to shake her on the 67km course.

The duo took the race down to the wire with Moolman Pasio emerging the winner in a mad dash to the line. Vos finished in second with Cherise Stander (RECM) rounding off the podium in third place.

"Today was really a special day with a really beautiful route taking in all the sights of Pretoria and I'm really happy that I managed to take the win over a class rider like Marianne today," Moolman Pasio said.

"It was really great to ride in Mandela's honour today like he always said sport is a great way to unite a country and it was really special to be a part of it."

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