The 19-year-old Bestmed-ASG rider won the 50km race when she set off at a fast pace in an effort to catch the men. This turn of speed helped her gap the top women as she made her way around the course.
“The men went full out so it was tough to chase them, but I enjoyed the challenge,” she said.
“I’m very excited because this was my first race for the team. I’m very glad and grateful to have won it,” said Louw.
She won the race, which consisted of two 25km loops, in 2:11:42. Teammate Nicolene Marais followed two minutes later and Sharon van den Heever completed the top three.
Team manager Owen Botha said he was very happy with Louw’s successful debut.
“This weekend was quite a prestigious event and we’re happy that we can be a part of somebody’s excitement and success.”
Botha explained he’d first been impressed by the young rider’s attitude when she crashed badly in a training session before a mountain bike race in Pietermaritzburg last year.
“She was so insistent on getting up and riding the next day, so they bandaged her up and she looked like a mummy. She had severe injuries but she had the heart of a lion and wanted to ride.
“She’s a real talent. With a little guidance, we can be sure she’ll do even better in the future.”
In the men’s race defending champion Alex Pavlov was beaten by Henry Uys, who finished in 1:47:43. Pavlov crossed the line one minute later. Andrew Westaway crossed the line in third.
The race started from Sun City in the Pilanesberg and took riders through sections of the Gary Player and Lost City golf courses as well as the Letsatsing Game Reserve.