When she found out she would be the only Cervélo Bigla rider at the 21st edition of the event, she and race director Jenni Green got together to form a Bia Cycling team for the event, one that Moolman-Pasio and four other African riders.
“The team is about realising the power of “I”, of believing in yourself, and I thought it was really fitting to put together an African team for today,” said Moolman-Pasio, who finished seventh at the UCI Road World Championship time -trial in September.
“It was great to be able to ride with the girls and hopefully play some small role in helping them to learn something or believe in themselves and be inspired to keep pushing to reach the European level.”
Moolman-Pasio explained the 95km event was a special one for her for a number of reasons – first and foremost because it was the event that kick-started her career.
“This race has played an important role in my career; it’s where everything started for me.”
She first raced the event in 2008 in an effort to prove she was good enough to join the Cycle Lab SuperCycling team.
She made her way from Stellenbosch, where she was studying towards her chemical engineering degree, to race in Johannesburg. Her efforts proved to be good enough to secure a signing for the team towards the end of that same year.
That was the very start of her career and since then she has continued to grow from strength to strength, reaching new heights this year when she ranked third on the UCI world rankings.
“The local support in the early years and learning how to win a race really helped me take those steps to getting overseas,” she said.
“To be able to come back and win for the fourth time is really great and now that it’s a UCI race it makes it even more special to win.”
The 31-year-old said she had planned to emulate her victory two years ago, when she attacked and got away on the climb up Cedar Road, roughly 8km from the finish.
The impatient Moolman-Pasio said she had been tempted to do something more in the early stages, but her discipline paid off as she timed her attack to perfection.
“I knew the finish was hard and suited my strengths. The plan was to stay patient, make sure nothing dangerous nothing got away and put in a big attack on Cedar Road and everything went according to plan.”
She crossed the line in 2:35:55 and was followed by Vita Heine and Christa Riffel.
“I’m just glad everything came together on the day for me to be able to make my fans proud,” she concluded.